For the last six weeks, I’ve written over and over again that Nebraska is in a holding pattern with recruiting. Now that head coach Scott Frost and (most) of his staff are in place, that is certainly no longer the case. Things are moving and moving fast as evidenced by the 50 or so offers that have gone out in less than a week’s time. There are couple of things I want to talk about though before we get to some things I’m hearing on the trail and around the team.
I don’t think it’s a big deal that 100 percent of Frost’s staff isn’t in place yet. As you have noticed by now, Nebraska has had a clear plan under Frost of how to attack recruiting and have hit the ground running with a thought-out and organized plan. I would also tell you that Nebraska is actually ahead of schedule compared to other schools who just made a change when it comes to hiring a staff. Chip Kelly has purposely slowplayed filling his staff and recruiting, Dan Mullen has yet to hire his full staff and Pruitt at Tennessee was quoted yesterday saying he will take his time filling his staff out until after he coaches Alabama in the College Football Playoff.
A quick thought on the amount of offers going out. Essentially the Huskers have to rebuild an entire recruiting board especially on offense where guys were being recruited for a pro-style offense versus an up-tempo spread attack. There will be some carry over though, which is why players like running back Jeremy Banks and wide receiver Tommy Bush have already received visits from the new staff.
I can’t express enough how surprised I’ve been that this staff has been so prepared for this week. They are certainly ahead of schedule when it comes to organization and sheer effort on the recruiting trail. Now they get this first crack at being closers at Nebraska which I’ll talk more about below.
Cameron Brown, 4-star wide receiver, St. Louis, Missouri
Will Farniok, 3-star offensive lineman, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Cameron Jurgens, 4-star tight end, Beatrice, Nebraska
Masry Mapieu, 3-star defensive tackle, York, Nebraska
Joshua Moore, 4-star wide receiver, Yoakum, Texas
Barret Pickering, 2-star kicker, Birmingham, Alabama
Tate Wildeman, 3-star defensive lineman, Parker, Colorado
David Alston, 3-star linebacker, St. Paul, Minnesota
>>One of the most intriguing official visitors coming to Lincoln this weekend is UCF wide receiver commit Justin McGriff. He has tremendous size (6-6, 210) that you just can’t teach and he is unlike any receiver on Nebraska’s roster currently. I exchanged messages with him yesterday and he is excited to get to Lincoln to see the campus and check out the facilities. His parents will be joining him on the trip as well. I asked him if he was considering a flip and his response was as follows. “Yeah definitely considering a flip due to the comfort level that I have with my position coach, which is Beckton and definitely coach Frost.” After speaking to McGriff, I’ve put in a prediction for him to flip to Nebraska.
>>New Huskers offensive line coach Greg Austin has been hard at work on the recruiting trail. One player that he offered at both UCF and now Nebraska is 3-star offensive lineman Hamilton Hall. The big man (6-6, 320) told me that he has a good relationship with Austin and Frost that is getting better over time. He didn’t know much about Nebraska before they offered him but he’s been doing research on his own to get familiar. Hall is a very smart kid who has a 27 ACT score so it doesn’t surprise me he’s researching on his own. Hall also told me that Nebraska is one of his favorites and he will definitely take an official visit here with his mom and dad. He tells me he will make a decision after all of his officials and he won’t commit anywhere without being on campus first.
>>The most important visitor on campus this weekend is 4-star quarterback, Adrian Martinez. The dual-threat QB is currently committed to Tennessee and stuck to his commitment through their strange coaching search but there is momentum building with him and Nebraska. I’ve talked to him twice since he became the first player to be offered by Frost at Nebraska. He has been very excited each time I’ve talked to him and has already bonded with quarterback coach Mario Verduzco. I’ve also gotten some information that he has been quietly recruiting for the Huskers behind the scenes. It would surprise me if Martinez didn’t flip to Nebraska this weekend. He is an early-enrollee and doesn’t have any other visits scheduled, in fact he cancelled his other trip to Missouri.
>>Nebraska is going to need speed to make this offense really go. They had identified 3-star wide receiver/running back Jaron Woodyard from Arizona Western Community College back when they were at UCF as someone who would thrive in their offense. He was considered a lean to UCF before the staff left for Nebraska, and I believe he will follow them to Lincoln. He makes an official visit to Lincoln this weekend and it would not surprise me to see him join the Nebraska class. He has speed to burn.
>>One of the first in-home visits Scott Frost made was to see Lincoln Southwest DT Bryson Williams. The Wisconsin commit had been completely overlooked by the previous staff and he did not receive a scholarship offer from them. Frost said in his introductory press conference that there are too many players from this state playing good college football elsewhere and that needs to stop. He made a strong case to Williams along with Huskers assistant Barrett Ruud who coached Williams previously. Williams will have a tough decision here but I feel good about Nebraska’s chances of securing the flip as he wants to sign on Dec. 20.
>>Running backs coach Ryan Held has been everywhere on the recruiting trail this week and by all accounts he is doing a great job of connecting with players and families along the way. This comes as no surprise to people that know him. I spoke with a former teammate of Held’s at Nebraska who told me a story that gives you all you need to know about him. The former Husker reached out to Held to congratulate him on the job. Held’s response was that he would work as hard as he could every day to prove that he belonged here. That’s the kind of man Nebraska is getting with running backs coach Ryan Held.
>>Remember how Scott Frost made it a point to say he wants to keep in-state talent home but also spoke about getting the walk-on program back to what it was when he played here? Sources tell me that next week, Nebraska will be hosting a #Homegrown Nebraska event for walk-on candidates and their family. There will be academic presentations, a Husker player panel, facilities tour, plus an opportunity to meet coach Frost and members of the staff. This is an excellent idea.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.