We made it. Football is (sort of) back in our lives since the sold out Red-White Spring Game is Saturday. After last spring where everything with coach Scott Frost was so new, this year has seemed a bit more muted. The one thing that hasn’t really slowed down is recruiting news. Nebraska had the opportunity to host a number of its top targets this spring.
A good number of those recruits will be back in town for the spring game as well, headlined by 4-star offensive tackle Turner Corcoran.
Let’s get to the Recon.
Zavier Betts, wide receiver, Omaha, Nebraska
Logan Smothers, quarterback, Athens, Alabama
>> Nebraska 2020 quarterback commit Logan Smothers is changing high schools. His dad Shane has accepted a position at Muscle Shoals High School and will start next school year. They enrolled Logan on Wednesday so he can finish track and be able to do spring training there. He is officially a Muscle Shoals High School student now.
Smothers’ new school in the second largest class in Alabama, meaning he will get to test his skills against better competition. In addition, Muscle Shoals is where 4-star linebacker and Alabama commit Jackson Bratton attends. Bratton and Smothers are very close but Bratton couldn’t make it up for the spring game. The plan is for Bratton to come to Lincoln and on official visit with Logan as of now.
>> The picture at defensive tackle is really taking shape for Nebraska. I have the Huskers as the leader for 4-star Nash Hutmacher who took his official visit last weekend. This weekend, junior college defensive tackle Jahkeem Green will be taking an official visit. Green stands at 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds. He would be eligible this summer if he commits.
Defensive tackle Jamar Sekona will also be in town this weekend. He is very high on Nebraska’s board. The Huskers would love for him to join the class and there is an outside chance it happens sooner than later. My understanding is that if the Huskers can get them, they will take all three of these players.
>> Priority 2021 target TJ Bollers was back in Lincoln this week. After talking to him, I would give the Huskers a great shot at eventually landing him. He is right in Iowa’s backyard and his dad played for the Hawkeyes. However, the family is close with Erik Chinander who played with his dad at Iowa. He told me that he will be back in Lincoln for a game this season.
>> This week we found out that Eric Lee is working exclusively at safety. Defensive backs coach Travis Fisher has talked all spring about finding a home for Cam Taylor even if it’s at safety as well. That battle is one to keep an eye on when we get to the summer. The staff is looking for consistency back there, not just splash plays followed by mental errors.
Most of the incoming freshmen don’t figure to play a role in that battle since Fisher said this week that Noa Pola-Gates, Quinton Newsom and Myles Farmer would all start their Husker careers as cornerbacks.
>> There will be a lot of peer recruiting going on Saturday. At my last count, all the signees except Jackson Hannah, Jimmy Fritzsche, Darien Chase and Jamin Graham will be in town to enjoy Lincoln but also help reel in targets. Combine that Smothers being in town and there will be a lot of positive talk about choosing Nebraska.
>> Earlier this spring, Nebraska hosted the talented trio of offensive tackle Turner Corcoran, wide receiver Xavier Betts and defensive Blaise Gunnerson for a practice. After that trip all of them confirmed to me that they got along well and could see themselves playing together in Lincoln. Now all three will be back in Memorial Stadium for the spring game to continue building their relationship as each of them aren’t far off from a college choice.
I do have Corcoran on commit watch this weekend. Nebraska is also in a great spot currently with Watts and Gunnerson.
>> Walk-on inside linebacker Joey Johnson is a name that continues to be brought up by the Nebraska coaching staff. He is especially important for depth with Nick Henrich out after having shoulder surgery. It’d be very impressive if Henrich is back before mid-season based on what I’ve heard but the four-game redshirt rule could help him get his feet wet this season.
>> Kevon Billingsley, a 4-star defensive end from St. Louis, will not be in Lincoln this weekend. He will be attending Missouri’s spring game instead. The difficulties in St. Louis continue for the Huskers. They have consistently gotten guys to give a tentative yes to coming to campus but haven’t been able to complete the deal recently. A lot of time and effort has been spent in that area. It doesn’t make much sense to continue putting resources there if no progress is being made. More focus in Iowa and/or Colorado could make sense here.
>> In addition to Watts (who is fresh off a trip to Notre Dame), there is another pair of wide receivers that are coming to town this weekend. Tommy Christakos, a 3-star pass-catcher from Arizona, and Logan Loya, a 4-star from California, will be on the sidelines this weekend. Both have gone a bit under the radar but each is very talented with different skill sets. Christakos is a bigger wideout standing at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds that even grow into a hybrid tight. Loya is shiftier at 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds. Nebraska has an opportunity to jump out in front with each and already have a top wide receiver talent with Zavier Betts in the class.
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.