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Big Red Recon: Friday Night Lights
Photo Credit: Greg Smith

Big Red Recon: Friday Night Lights, Round Two

June 22, 2018

Well, we made it folks. We are just about through the end of camp season as tonight marks the second of Nebraska’s Friday Night Lights camps and the end of all the camps on campus. Starting on June 25 through July 24, the recruiting dead period will be in effect, barring schools from contact with prospects and hosting them on campus. Nebraska would love to make a final lasting impression on several of its top targets heading into that time period, especially if they plan on making summer decisions. 

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 

Ronald Thompkins‍, running back, Loganville, Georgia

2019 Needs

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


Additional Recon

>>It seems like we haven’t talked attrition in a while but I still hear chatter about it. From what I’m hearing it’s nothing too shocking but two names to keep an eye on still are Jalin Barnett and Matt Snyder. Both guys came into Nebraska with high hopes and it just hasn’t worked out. Barnett was a huge recruiting coup for Mike Riley and his back in January 2015, but may not fit this new staff. Snyder was also a win for Riley after Jim Harbaugh tried to recruit him and he stuck with Nebraska. Injuries have really derailed his chances to get going at Nebraska.

>>As I wrote in the mailbag this week, I feel good enough about Nebraska’s position with Omaha Burke linebacker Nick Henrich‍ to put in a prediction for him to be N. It was a masterful bit of recruiting timing to get Henrich on campus directly after his visit to Madison to check out Wisconsin last weekend. All indications are that Henrich and the staff continue to build a great relationship and that the Burke star loves the culture that Scott Frost and company are building. Combine that with him being the centerpiece of the 2019 class and there is a strong indication that he will be in later this summer.

>>Staying in Omaha, I also put in a prediction for 2020 4-star wide receiver Zavier Betts‍. The Bellevue West prospect has enormous potential and the Huskers are certainly locked in on him. Betts excelled in the action he got last week at Friday Night Lights, consistently winning his reps. It wouldn’t stun me if he shut things down this summer. He is certainly a candidate to kick off the class of 2020 for Nebraska.

>>Last week I talked about putting in an early prediction for Georgia 2020 quarterback Logan Smothers‍. He and his father have been pretty locked in on Nebraska since their trip to Lincoln a couple of weeks ago. After that visit, Smothers visited Auburn, Mississippi State and Alabama but did not come away with any new offers. I reached out to Smothers earlier this week and he told me that Nebraska is still on top for him. Ohio State is lurking and wants Smothers on campus for an unofficial visit, but I still like where Nebraska is here.

>>One very intriguing visitor to Lincoln today is junior college safety Jonathan Alexander‍. The Kilgore College player is already in town and hoping for an offer from Nebraska. If the staff throws its hat in the ring, Alexander could immediately join the team as he is a full qualifier. He told me that he actually has four years to play three seasons which is rare coming out of junior college. His two brothers and his mother will be accompanying him on the trip. 

Last week when I got a photo of incoming Husker transfer Will Jackson, many people remarked how he looked the part. Should Alexander get that offer from Nebraska and join the fold, folks will say the same about him.

>>Today is the day that Leesville, Louisiana, offensive lineman Matthew Anderson‍ will announce his college choice. Barring something completely unexpected the choice will be Nebraska. Credit the staff for finding him early and making a great impression on him and his family should things break Nebraska's way at some point on Friday.

>>We now have a bit of an evolving story with 3-star defensive end Mosai Newsom‍. At one point he was on the visitor list for FNL tonight, then, while on vacation with his family in Michigan, he got an offer from Michigan State and will now be visiting East Lansing. He is hard to read and doesn’t talk much. Not panicking yet but he is a player many thought, myself included, would be in the boat by now. He is near the top of Nebraska’s defensive end board so they would like to wrap this up sooner than later. 

>>There is smoke building around 3-star running back commit Thomas Grayson‍. During this cycle I was once told by a coach on staff that it’s great to get kids committed now but recruiting them doesn’t really end until they sign in December or February. It sounds like Nebraska will have to continue recruiting the running back from Tulsa, Oklahoma. It’s unclear if Grayson is uneasy because Nebraska landed the commitment of a third running back in Ronald Thompkins or he is waiting on an offer from Oklahoma but something isn’t sitting right here. Perhaps this all gets cleared up and he ends up in the class, but as of now there is work to do to keep him in the boat. 

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