We’ve almost made it folks. There are just two more official-visit weekends before National Signing Day on Feb. 2 and Nebraska still has a lot of meat on the bone so to speak. There is a small visitor list to preview for this weekend but plenty going on with Nebraska recruiting. This is supposed to be a “transition class” for Scott Frost but it feels nothing like that as the Huskers zero in on a top-25 class. The lack of reaches in the class plus this staff’s ability to keep working through its board with its first and second choices has been impressive.
David Alston, 3-star linebacker, St. Paul, Minnesota
Greg Bell 3-star JUCO running back, Yuma, Arizona
Braxton Clark 3-star cornerback, Orlando, Florida
Will Farniok, 3-star offensive lineman, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Will Honas, 3-star JUCO linebacker, El Dorado, Kansas
Miles Jones, 3-star ATH, Plantation, Florida
Cameron Jurgens, 4-star tight end, Beatrice, Nebraska
Katerian Legrone, 3-star tight end, Atlanta, Georgia
Masry Mapieu, 3-star defensive tackle, York, Nebraska
Adrian Martinez, 4-star quarterback, Fresno, California
Justin McGriff, 3-star wide receiver, Tampa, Florida
Barret Pickering, 2-star kicker, Birmingham, Alabama
Casey Rogers, 3-star defensive end, Avon, CT
C.J. Smith, 4-star defensive back, West Palm Beach, Florida
Dominick Watt, 3-star wide receiver, Hollywood, Florida
Tate Wildeman, 3-star defensive lineman, Parker, Colorado
Deontai Williams, 3-star JUCO defensive back, Ellisville, Mississippi
Mike Williams, JUCO wide receiver, Scooba, Mississippi
Jaron Woodyard, 3-star JUCO wide receiver, Yuma, Arizona
>>The visitor list has been fluid all week long, as to be expected at this time of year, but barring any surprises Nebraska will have three official visitors on campus this weekend. Three-star wide receiver commit Dominick Watt will be on campus with his mother this weekend to see everything that the coaching staff sold him on well enough to commit without being on campus. Also heading to Lincoln this weekend are 3-star athlete Cam Taylor and 3-star quarterback prospect Matthew Tago.
Both players are intriguing, but for different reasons. Taylor is a great athlete and did a little bit of everything for his high school team. For now Nebraska projects him on the defensive side of the football, most likely safety. With 4-star safety Cam Jones set to announce his decision on Saturday, it’s hard to envision the Huskers taking both players but I believe they’d like to find room for both if possible. Tago is being recruited as the second quarterback in this class, and while his bruising running style gets the headlines from his film, his ability as a passer is being overlooked in my opinion. He completed over 60 percent of his passes as a high school quarterback and did not throw many interceptions. Like most high school quarterbacks, he has some things to clean up with his mechanics but that’s where Mario Verduzco and Frost come in. There is also the bonus of him being able to play linebacker if it doesn’t work out at quarterback. Get athletes, figure it out later.
>>There have been many twists and turns in the recruitment of 3-star running back Maurice Washington. Yesterday, I reported that Nebraska was in to see him at his high school, and it was set for him to move his visit up to this weekend. Late last night I got word that he will not be on campus this weekend and will instead keep his original plan of visiting Feb. 2, the final weekend before signing day. He will not be visiting any schools this weekend. With all the confusion over whether or not he is qualified, and the feeling that he was waiting on “bigger” offers out there, there has been some frustration from Husker fans. Make no mistake about it, Washington is worth waiting on. He is a special talent. I can tell you based on what I’m told, Washington is not the one who opted to keep the visit for Feb. 2. He would have changed it to this weekend but Nebraska was unable to make the flights work for his mother to join him from California. The final plan is to have Frost do a school visit and in-home visit next week ahead of the trip to Lincoln. They already have everything all booked up for next weekend.
>>On a local recruiting note, I got a tip that Georgia is scheduled to be through Omaha Burke today. Presumably the Bulldogs are in town to check out tight end Chris Hickman and linebacker Nick Henrich. Both prospects are must-haves for Nebraska in 2019, but they are becoming national recruits. Don’t be surprised to see Barrett Ruud as a fixture in the Omaha metro for the next year as Nebraska will put a huge priority on signing those two.
>>While Nebraska does not yet have a commitment from 3-star offensive lineman Jarrett Bell, I continue to hear the coaches like their chances with him. More evidence of that comes in the form of two official visits being moved for offensive lineman. I reported earlier in the week that 3-star offensive lineman Willie Canty would be visiting this weekend, but that has been moved to next weekend. Also, last night 3-star offensive lineman Blake McDonald told me that he will no longer be visiting Nebraska. Bell continues to be the focus here, and Nebraska will go back in-home with him on Sunday. The numbers will likely get in the way but I would strongly consider taking a flier on Canty. He is a true tackle and given a couple of years, could develop into a nice player.
>>Last night, Frost went in-home with 4-star outside linebacker Javontae Jean-Baptiste. By all accounts, things went very well. It’s unclear if he committed to Frost last night but that would not be surprising given the clear momentum Nebraska has with him right now. His trip to Ohio State did not go as smoothly as most thought it would, and Jean-Baptiste and his family have a great connection with Frost and company. There is no known timetable for his decision but it would not surprise me at all if he wasn’t “AllN” sooner than later. That’s just a huge development for this recruiting class and another big win for Frost to go alongside Adrian Martinez and Will Honas. Beating Urban Meyer for a player he wants is no small feat should Nebraska land Jean-Baptiste as expected.
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.