Nebraska Football Players at Game Against Iowa
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Big Red Recon: Big Steps Made Toward Season For Huskers

August 27, 2020

After a summer filled with speculation and more questions than answers the Big Ten got a huge piece of the football puzzle this week. The conference-only 10-game schedule was released. it was built for maximum flexibility for the teams as they navigate playing football amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nebraska starts camp on Friday, Aug. 7 as preparation begins for the game against Rutgers on Sept. 5 in New Jersey. It was a busy week around college football with a lot of positive news.

Let’s get to the Recon.

Husker Commits

Marques Buford‍, Defensive Back, Cedar Hill, Texas

Gabe Ervin‍, Running Back, Buford, Georgia

Heinrich Haarberg‍, Quarterback, Kearney, Nebraska

Shawn Hardy‍, Wide Receiver, Kingsland, Georgia

Randolph Kpai‍, Inside Linebacker, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Henry Lutovsky‍, Offensive Lineman, Mount Pleasant, Iowa

Seth Malcom‍, Inside Linebacker, Tabor, Iowa

Latrell Neville‍, Wide Receiver, Houston, Texas

Patrick Payton‍, Outside Linebacker, Miami, Florida

Teddy Prochazka‍, Offensive Lineman, Elkhorn, Nebraska

Will Schweitzer‍, Outside Linebacker, Los Gatos, California

Lardarius Webb‍, Defensive Back, Jackson, Mississippi

Malik Williams‍, Defensive Back, Buford, Georgia

Branson Yager‍, Offensive Lineman, Grantsville, Utah

2021 Needs

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

The Recon:

>> This week Colorado State transfer Nouredin Nouili got great news when his waiver  seeking immediate eligibility was approved. Everyone involved is fired up about this news. Nouili will give the Huskers another option on the interior of line. He will help push the other players in the room, too. The former CSU starter will have a chance to crack the rotation but it will be interesting to see if they can utilize the four-game redshirt rule to get his feet wet and then have three years of eligibility left. It’s a win-win all around with this news.

>> This week there was a report in the Omaha World-Herald that 4-star tight end Thomas Fidone took a very unofficial visit to Lincoln. I can confirm that news. He made the trip along with Henry Lutovsky, Heinrich Haarberg and Seth Malcom. They eventually met up with Turner Corcoran and Bryce Benhart. It doesn’t hurt that Benhart and Corcoran are massive pieces of the Huskers future offense who are close in age to Fidone.

The bond between Fidone and Nebraska’s recruits and players is real. It will matter when he ultimately decides on a school. That trip also wasn’t the first time he came to Nebraska to hang out with commits.

After talking with a couple of the Husker commits this week they say there will be more of these visits occurring and not just from Fidone.

>> If you make any type of ‘most important’ or ‘most intriguing’ Huskers list for the 2020 season quarterback Adrian Martinez will appear in the top three. Martinez bouncing back from his sophomore slump is a huge key to the team’s success this season. Quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco commented on how the California native handled last season on Sports Nightly Thursday evening.

“With regards to his mental part of it, psychological part of it, I thought he handled himself extremely well, particularly when you consider the amount of hype that surrounded him that he never asked for. When things don’t turn out exactly like you would like them to, some young guys can really get shattered by it. It’s my opinion he did not. He battled through it like a warrior.”

Martinez’s mindset (and play) sets the tone for this season for Nebraska. Everything you hear at this point is that he’s working hard and ready to take a step forward.

>> One of the more intriguing 2021 recruiting class storylines is the Huskers efforts in Hawaii. Since defensive line coach Tony Tuioti came to Lincoln one of his focuses has been trying to get a pipeline going of players to Lincoln. It takes some time to build up relationships and interest in Nebraska’s program. This current cycle is the first that the Huskers have had a year to work on prospects. There are three targets that Nebraska has a shot with currently. Wide receiver Titus Mokiao-Atimalala plus likebackers Wynden Ho’ohuli and Mason Tufaga all have interest in Nebraska. It would have helped in a major way to get any of them on campus this spring or summer but the team is doing the best they can under the circumstances.

>> Have we seen the last of the high-profile opt-outs in the Big Ten? Nebraska’s schedule has already been altered by players decided to skip junior seasons to prepare for the NFL Draft. Rondale Moore was the latest to decide on Thursday. Minnesota star Rashod Bateman has opted out. So has Michigan State star defensive end Jacub Panasiuk. Potential top-five pick Micah Parsons has elected to do the same. I’d be surprised if these guys were the last big names to opt out. There will be a lot of eyes on Columbus, Ohio, to see if they have players that choose to do this.

> > This weekend I’ll be in Kansas City to cover a showcase camp event put on by former Husker Michael Rose-Ivey and Sammie Parker.

The group has put on a couple of camps over the last month. This will be the last one of the summer. They are hoping to attract talent from Kansas City, St. Louis and the surrounding areas. I’ll have complete coverage of the event throughout the weekend.

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