Big Red Recon: An Important Recruiting Stretch for the Huskers
Photo Credit: Aaron Babcock

Big Red Recon: An Important Recruiting Stretch for the Huskers

June 15, 2018

We are at the midway point of June now and hitting a pretty important stretch of recruiting for Nebraska. Tonight the Friday Night Lights camp series resumes and the first camp under Scott Frost should produce some new names to keep an eye on. In addition, Nebraska continues to hosts important 2019 and 2020 targets on a daily basis. The staff has kept everyone busy so lets get to the recon.

Class Breakdown

Husker Commits

Desmond Bland‍, offensive lineman, Yuma, Arizona

Thomas Grayson‍, running back, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Jackson Hannah‍, linebacker, Nashville, Tennesee 

Rahmir Johnson‍, running back, Oradell, New Jersey

Luke McCaffrey‍, quarterback, Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Garrett Nelson‍, defensive end, Scottsbluff, Nebraska 

Ethan Piper‍, defensive tackle, Norfolk, Nebraska

Garrett Snodgrass‍, athlete, York, Nebraska 

2019 Needs

QB 0 DL 3
RB 1 MLB 1
WR 2 OLB 2
TE 0 DB 4
OL 3 K/P 0

 

Additional Recon

>>On Wednesday, 3-star 2020 QB Logan Smothers visited Nebraska with his dad. I spoke with him and asked how he enjoyed his time with quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco.  After speaking with him, I put in an early prediction for him to join the 2020 class. This is admittedly early but there are a couple things at play here. Smothers and his dad absolutely love what Nebraska has going under Scott Frost. Also, Smothers knows that there will likely only be one quarterback taken in 2020 so jumping on board early would secure his spot. He would not just be a space filler as he is a dynamic player that is a perfect fit for what Frost and Verduzco look for in the signal-callers. If he does not get an offer from Auburn or Alabama within the week, I would not be surprised to see him “N” soon.

>>A bit of local news related to Friday Night Lights. According to Hail Varsity’s Jacob Padilla, don’t expect to see 2019 4-star tight end Chris Hickman‍ at either camp due to family commitments. It would be nice to have him on campus, particularly on June 22 ,but since he is taking his time with his process it’s not a deal breaker at all since he’s not anywhere near a decision. 

>>Staying with Omaha Burke, 4-star LB Nick Henrich‍ will be taking his first official visit this weekend. The highly sought-after recruit will be heading to Madison this weekend to visit Wisconsin. Henrich originally hoped to have a decision made prior to his senior season and there is no reason to think that has changed. What will be interesting to see is if Nebraska decides to use one of their two official visits on him should he get close to making a decision.

>>Confirming players that are attending Friday Night Lights tonight has been tough, but I do have a big one to report. Four-star 2020 wide receiver Zavier Betts‍ (6-3, 190) from Bellevue West will be in Lincoln. Betts is a great talent and has the potential to be a 5-star player next cycle. Right now, Nebraska is doing a tremendous job recruiting him. I’d put the Huskers as the favorites right now.  

>>Tonight, marks the first Friday Night Lights camp under Frost. From what I can gather, it seems like tonight’s camp is going to be geared more towards evaluating players that are on the fringe of getting offers or walk-on opportunities. Then next week you’ll see more 2019 commits on campus, in addition to some priority targets. That seems like a step back from last year’s camp where Micah Parsons stole the show and there was some serious star power. Remember it took a couple years to build the camp to that level and ultimately none of those guys signed with Nebraska. I’m expecting there to be a couple surprises during the camp as guys will have the chance to make a big name for themselves. 

>>St. Louis continues to be a priority for Frost and company. They need to make up a good amount of ground in short order with a lot of prospects in the regional hotbed, but they did get some good news this week. Four-star wide receiver Jameson Williams‍ from Cardinal Ritter included Nebraska in his top five. 

Next up, the Huskers need to get the talented pass-catcher on campus. Getting him around the coaching staff could go a long way to making up ground.

>>One note from the coaches’ tour earlier this week. Nebraska is not recruiting a lot of tight ends this cycle so we haven’t gotten a clear picture of what exactly they are looking for. I was in Blair with Sean Beckton and I asked what he looks for in his tight end recruits.

“The first thing I’m looking for is athletic guys," he said. "Guys that can run and catch. You have to be physically and mentally tough as well. Those are the attributes we are trying to find here at Nebraska. That formula worked for us at UCF. We had guys there that started at receiver, but they were physical kids that we built into tight ends to where they could really run down the field and stretch the defense and do a lot of different things.  They could line up at tight end, in-line next to the tackle, then the next play get out wide and play like a receiver and be able to block on the perimeter. The tight ends have to be very versatile so they can play in whatever scheme we are trying to present that week.”

While Beckton has praised Jack Stoll, Kurt Radfal and Austin Allen consistently, this description sounds a lot like freshmen Katerian Legrone and Justin McGriff. Watching their careers develop will be interesting but there is already talent in the room for Beckton. 

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