The bye week has hit for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the team says it couldn’t have come at a better time to take a mental break and for the team to get healthy. I completely understand the need for this team to get healthy, so I do agree with the sentiment. However, if this team was healthy right now I’d prefer them play this week to regain some confidence and not let the fan base stew for an extra week in the noise swirling around the program.
The bye week does present an interesting opportunity for the Husker staff to get out on the road and it sounds like they are taking full advantage of that. Coach Riley gave us some details on Wednesday.
“We’re going to have some coaches leaving as soon as tonight," he said. "Some will stay. We’re going to have a practice that will be run by probably half of our full-time coaches [Thursday] and it will be good. But we thought we’d benefit from having one more day in high schools. I got kind of lobbied on that, and it was a good idea I think.”
More in a bit on what some of the other coaches are up to but with this being the last weekend of regular season for high school football in the state, it’s expected to see some Nebraska coaches pop up at games. In fact, Mike Riley will reportedly be at Beatrice-Norris tonight to check out that rivalry game featuring 4-star tight end commit Cameron Jurgens or at Omaha North vs Piux X in Lincoln.
Cameron Brown, 4-star wide receiver, St. Louis, Missouri
Will Farniok, 3-star offensive lineman, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Mario Goodrich, 4-star cornerback, Lee’s Summit, Missouri
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
Brendan Radley-Hiles, 4-star defensive back, Bradenton, Florida
Tate Wildeman, 3-star defensive lineman, Parker, Colorado
Chase Williams, 4-star athlete, Corona, California
David Alston, 3-star linebacker, St. Paul, Minnesota
News from the week
>>I mentioned earlier that Mike Riley was lobbied to allow the coaches to get an extra day on the road recruiting. That was led by Donte Williams. Williams was active yesterday, as the coach offered two new 2019 prospects.
— K²4 (@Kamren_24) October 19, 2017
— SEISxJAY (@jayvaunwilson6) October 19, 2017
Something that I like about these offers is that they are going to fast-rising players out West who don’t already have existing ties or are not strong leans to USC or UCLA. Nebraska may be shifting their priorities a bit on how they evaluate which players they can realistically land versus staying in it to the end only to lose out to USC. They also seem to be prioritizing more physical players in the secondary. Sounds like that would be a no brainer but remember in the Pac-12 that coverage skills were first then tackling. In the Big Ten you need to be a sound tackler. Could be something worth keeping an eye on.
>>Something that has been extremely puzzling to Nebraska fans and media is why the team hasn’t gone after more JUCO prospects since Riley has come to Lincoln. There have been glaring holes in the roster that could have been well served by transfers who were used to college football. There is growing buzz that both running backs coach Reggie Davis and offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh will make stops at JUCO games this weekend in search of backs and offensive lineman. Could this be the first directive from new athletic director Bill Moos?
>>Wide receiver commit Joshua Moore confirmed to me that Keith Williams will be in town tonight to watch his game. That’s pretty important since Moore is going to Tuscaloosa this weekend for an official visit to Alabama. It’s worth noting that his twin brother, Jordan Moore, is also scheduled to go on the visit too. Also, if you recall, Bama coaches came to Yoakum, Texas, to watch Joshua play the night before he took his official to Nebraska.
>>After spending the day in Los Angeles yesterday, Donte Williams will be in Georgia tonight to see 4-star defensive back Christian Tutt play. Tutt has already been an official visitor and had a great time. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if he was a “silent commit” but with how things are going in Lincoln, a visit is needed.
>>It’s hard to understate how close this 2018 recruiting class is or was to really being special. Allow me to list the players not committed that have serious interest in Nebraska: 5-star OLB Micah Parsons, 4-star LB Elijah Wade, 4-star DB Christian Tutt, 4-star ATH Bryan Addison, 4-star DB Aashari Crosswell, 4-star ATH Talanoa Hufanga, 3-star DE Daniel Carson, 3-star DB Dallas Craddieth, 4-star WR Tommy Bush, 4-star WR Isaah Crocker, 4-star WR Kobe Smith and 4-star WR Jalen Hall.
This is not counting the current commits Nebraska is now in battles for like Radley-Hiles, Joshua Moore and Goodrich. It also doesn’t account for potential flips like 4-star RB TJ Pledger, 4-star WR Brian Hightower, 4-star LB Bo Calvert and, at one point, 4-star QB Matt Corral.
I list them all out to illustrate that Nebraska was close to infusing a significant amount of talent into the program. That's not to say Nebraska would have landed 100 percent of that talent either. Now, all is not lost yet because there are still five games left on the schedule and despite what the ESPN FPI says, a 4-1 finish can be done. The question will be, even if Nebraska pulls that off, will they be able to reverse the terrible momentum they currently have on the trail enough to pull a number of the guys mentioned above into the fold?
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.