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Big Red Recon: Busy Week for Huskers as Training Camp Looms

June 19, 2020

It was a busy week for the Huskers. With all the news that happened, it didn’t feel like the offseason. One of the biggest pieces of news of the week was that there is now a light at the end of the tunnel for football’s return. Nebraska will be able to resume football acitivities beginning July 13 with preseason practice starting Aug. 7. 

Nebraska also suffered it’s first decommitment of the 2021 recruiting class when Georgia linebacker Chris Paul Jr. backed off his pledge. There’s plenty to dive into with the program.

Let’s get to the Recon.

Husker Commits

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 

Patrick Payton‍, Outside Linebacker, Miami, Florida

Teddy Prochazka‍, Offensive Lineman, Elkhorn, Nebraska

Will Schweitzer‍, Outside Linebacker, Los Gatos, California

Branson Yager‍, Offensive Lineman, Grantsville, Utah

2021 Needs

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

 

The Recon:

>> Nebraska’s latest commit Will Schweitzer had plenty of good nuggets from his interview with Hail Varsity Radio on Thursday. One thing I wanted to highlight is that he has such a high ceiling because of his speed and work ethic combination. His high school head coach has told us that before, and Schweitzer agrees.

“I get to the football,” Schweitzer said. “There's not a play that I'm going to take off. You can count on that. That's what a lot of coaches have always loved about me. If a guy is more athletic or faster or bigger than me it doesn't matter because I'm going to get football. I'm going to make a play. It's hard to take me off the field because they'll always want playmakers on the field and I feel like I'm can make plays.”

Schweitzer has been highly productive racking up 218 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and six sacks over the last two seasons. For those balking at his sack numbers keep in mind that he’s playing inside linebacker in a 4-2-5 defense in high school.

>> The latest edition of Greg’s Guys saw three running backs make a push into the top 10. One name that didn’t make the list is Texas running back Caleb Berry. The Lufkin High School star visited Lincoln back in January but has gone mostly quietly since then. After exchanging some messages with him I can say that Nebraska is still in the picture with him. Berry says he is in contact with Nebraska often and he “for sure” wants to take an official visit when things open back up.

>> Earlier this week, I spoke with defensive end Ru’Quan Buckley. He still remains one of Nebraska’s top targets at the position. He named Nebraska as his leader but then said he wants to take things slow with a commitment and possibly wait until after the season to pick a school. Despite that, I am putting in an early prediction for the Michigan defender to be ‘N.’ His relationship with defensive line coach Tony Tuioti is strong and the Huskers have made him a priority all cycle. 

>> The Huskers have suffered very few decommitments under Coach Scott Frost. Once players commit to Nebraska, they generally shut things down and don’t take visits to other schools. Part of that is that this staff does not pressure kids to make quick decisions which helps them feel 100% secure in their decision. So, it was unique when linebacker Chris Paul Jr. stated publicly numerous times that he wanted to take other visits. 

My feeling on what happened here is that Frost, defensive coordinator Erik Chinander and inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud had a conversation with Paul and told him that if he wanted to take other visits it was fine but that would need to be done while not being committed to Nebraska. That way he can fully explore his options and it’s in the open that Nebraska is looking for another inside linebacker. 

I don’t really fault either side here. Paul might want to play college football closer to home and the Huskers might have their eyes on other linebackers.

>> It made waves this week when Frost spoke about fast tracking some personnel decisions. He named offensive tackle Bryce Benhart and it’s expected he will start this season at right tackle. But it’s the other part of what he said that also caught my attention. 

“Through taking during this time, I think we’re probably going to start (Farniok) out at right guard, just expecting there to be a younger player at right tackle potentially,” Frost said. “Having a veteran with Jaimes on the left side of the line, having a veteran with Matt on the right side of the line I think will help whoever’s playing left guard and right tackle. It’ll also give us the ability to move Matt back out to right tackle a lot easier if he’s playing on the right side.”

He's clearly talking about redshirt freshman offensive lineman Ethan Piper for the left guard spot. Benhart gets a lot of deserved press but quietly the team is very high on Piper’s potential. He’s very athletic which is what gives him a leg up over Boe Wilson and Trent Hixson who have both started games for Nebraska. If Piper and Benhart hold down starting roles this season, the future is bright for Greg Austin’s group. Benhart, Piper and center Cam Jurgens would all have multiple years of eligibility with some other nice prospects developing.   

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