Happy Thanksgiving, ladies and gentlemen. It’s a day for great food and even better football. Nebraska has been spending most of the week preparing for its Black Friday battle against Iowa, but some recent news indicates that the coaches are also putting in work on the recruiting trail as well.
We’ve recapped some of the biggest recruiting news this week, including an update on Nebraska’s recruitment of the running back position.
Husker Safety Target Receives Oklahoma Offer, Schedules Official Visit
Nebraska made a move on one of the top sleepers in the 2017 class earlier this November, offering and hosting Kamren Curl, a 3-star safety out of Muskogee, Oklahoma. Curl visited for Nebraska’s victory over Minnesota, and was impressed by what he saw, which he indicated in an interview with Hail Varsity. It appeared that Nebraska was clearly in the driver’s seat to pluck the top safety in the state of Oklahoma right out from under Oklahoma’s nose, but an offer from Bob Stoops and company may have shaken things up.
Curl received an offer from Oklahoma on Nov. 17, with the offer vaulting Oklahoma into his top three, along with Nebraska and TCU. Ole Miss remains in the picture as a potential dark horse. Curl has scheduled an official visit to Oklahoma for Dec. 3rd when the Sooners host Oklahoma State in the unofficial Big 12 title game.
Expect Brian Stewart to make a trip down to Muskogee before Curl’s visit to Norman as the Huskers will want to keep their lead for the talented prospect. Curl has stated that he plans to make his collegiate decision on signing day.
Nebraska Offers Running Back from California Powerhouse
Nebraska is still looking to find the perfect fit at running back position in its 2017 class, as the Huskers sent out a new running back offer Monday afternoon to CJ Verdell. Verdell, a 3-star running back out of Chula Vista, California, now holds 16 FBS offers. He has been committed to Oregon since May but with Mark Helfrich’s job status currently up in the air, he may be a candidate to flip.
The 5-9, 195 pound Verdell is in the midst of a tremendous senior season at Mater Dei Catholic, as he has rushed for 1,731 yards and 26 touchdowns while averaging 9.6 yards per carry this season. His efforts have helped Mater Dei Catholic achieve a 10-1 record, with the only loss coming in a 51-42 shootout to the undefeated Hawkins High, a school where current Husker targets Joseph Lewis and Greg Johnson play.
Huskers Hitting California Again for 2018 Class
California has been a huge focus for Nebraska in its 2017 class, as the Huskers currently have two California commits in their class and could add as many as five more California natives by signing day. Nebraska doesn’t look to be ending its focus on California after this season either, as the Huskers recently offered Los Angeles, California, athlete Marcus Johnson. Johnson, a 5-10, 165 pound WR/DB, currently attends Augustus Hawkins high school, the same school where Husker targets Joseph Lewis and Greg Johnson, Marcus’ older brother, attend.
Marcus currently has 12 FBS offers, including tenders from Notre Dame and USC. He named USC his leading school back in March this year and has taken unofficial visits to USC, Notre Dame, Arizona and Michigan. Marcus has accounted for 506 all-purpose yards and tallied 44 tackles for Hawkins, where his efforts have helped the Hawks achieve a 12-0 record so far this season.
After Huge State Performances, Have Bradley and Bryant Done Enough to Earn Nebraska Offers?
If you missed the Nebraska state final games earlier this week, you missed out on some tremendous games and dazzling performances. While several players stood out, no two athletes shined on the biggest stage quite like Bellevue West’s Jaylin Bradley and Elkhorn South’s Moses Bryant.
Bradley got the spotlight on Monday, as he and his Thunderbird teammates blitzed Class A favorite Omaha North 44-6. Bradley was incredible in the second half, rushing for four of his five touchdowns in the final thirty minutes of the rout. Bradley finished the game with 249 rushing yards and five touchdowns, pushing his season totals to 2,917 rushing yards and 50 touchdowns.
Bryant got his chance to shine on Tuesday night, and he somehow topped Bradley’s incredible performance. Bryant finished the Class B state title game with 143 rushing yards, 110 receiving yards and 101 kick return yards and scored all five of Elkhorn South’s touchdowns in the Storm’s 34-32 victory. Bryant also made a huge impact on the defensive end, making the game winning tackle to stop Omaha Skutt’s two point conversion attempt that would have tied the game. Bryant finished his junior season with 1,688 rushing yards, 332 receiving yards, and 32 total touchdowns, cementing himself as the state of Nebraska’s top player in the 2018 class.
These two performances has many thinking, “Why don’t these two have Nebraska offers yet?” Bellevue West coach Mike Huffman alluded to some grade issues keeping Bradley from receiving an offer from the Huskers, and that a Nebraska offer may be on the horizon if he can get them cleaned up. Bryant’s issue may be that Nebraska doesn’t yet know what position Bryant will fit best in college, as he could conceivably play running back, wide receiver or cornerback at the next level.
Both prospects should receive Nebraska offers prior to signing day. If Bradley can get his grades up, he is right up there with the current Nebraska running back targets in terms of talent and he will be a much easier sell to get to Lincoln from Bellevue, Nebraska versus California or Louisiana. If Bryant hasn’t already done enough to earn a Nebraska offer, it’s hard to predict what will get him one as he proved that he was the best pure football player in the state this season. An offer should be coming at some point over the next month, and I’ll guess that Nebraska will recruit him as a cornerback to start.