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Big Red Recon: Huskers Locking in on Top Targets

May 29, 2020

It is an interesting time in the world of college football. Each day seems to bring a new scenerio for how games could look in the fall. While schools and public health officials make those decisions, the NCAA is also trying to figure out the best path forward on ramping up training camps. Voluntary workouts start in Lincoln on Monday, June 1 which is one step toward football returning.

The NCAA will need to address the recruiting concerns shortly as well. The dead period was extended through July effectively ending any chance at summer official visits in the normal time period. Still, the Huskers are doing plenty of work behind the scenes to build the 2021 class and beyond.

Let’s get to the Recon.

Husker Commits

Heinrich Haarberg‍, Quarterback, Kearney, Nebraska

Randolph Kpai‍, Inside Linebacker, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Henry Lutovsky‍, Offensive Lineman, Mount Pleasant, Iowa

Christopher Paul Jr.‍, Inside linebacker, Cordele, Georgia

Patrick Payton‍, Outside Linebacker, Miami, Florida

Teddy Prochazka‍, Offensive Lineman, Elkhorn, Nebraska

Branson Yager‍, Offensive Lineman, Grantsville, Utah

2021 Needs

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


The Recon:

>> One of Nebraska’s top targets at wide receiver is closing in on a decision. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Kansas City wideout target Jaylin Noel shuts down his recruitment in a matter of weeks. Right now I like the Huskers position enough to put in a prediction that he will be part of the class. Noel’s relationship with offensive coordinator Matt Lubick and his area recruiter Ryan Held is strong. The Huskers made a strong push with him and I believe their persistence will pay off. 

>> You never know what form peer recruiting will take in a recruiting cycle and what sticks. This cycle Nebraska’s targets and commits have clearly bonded over fishing. Nash Hutmacher got in on the action and is in a class of his own with his skills. Still the younger players have had a lot of fun with it too including Jaylin Noel, Chris Paul and others. Quarterback commit Heinrich Haarberg decided on Thursday night to switch things up and get a dunk contest going. 

That of course prompted Henry Lutovsky, Marcus Mbow and Thomas Fidone to respond. 

This is all peer recruiting at its finest. It’s not always just about promoting your school to other top recruits. A huge component of what typically happens behind the scenes is making guys feel comfortable and at home with the other members in his class. Clearly Haarberg and Lutovsky have a comfort level with Mbow, Noel and Fidone. Even though that trio are all uncommitted they feel like part of the group which can be another tipping point in decision making.

>> Expect Nebraska to take it slow on voluntary workouts. Whether gyms are operating at 25% or 50% capacity may not matter to the Huskers as they begin ramping things up. There will be small groups working out to start that are under the guidelines for capacity in gyms. Think of this initial workout period as just a time to get acclimated again versus pushing the limits. 

>> Earlier this week I previewed the upcoming battles Nebraska will have to keep the talented 2022 trio of Deshaun Woods, Micah Riley and Devon Jackson in the state for college football. Right now, I think the Huskers are off to an early lead with Woods and have work to do with Riley and Jackson. It sounds like a broken record but improvement on the field will be huge in those battles along with relationship building. 

>> Speaking of 2022 it is projected to be another strong year in the 500-mile radius. You are going to hear and read a lot about the targets in Missouri and Kansas in the coming months. Nebraska has been working hard to get off to fast starts with those prospects, many of which will become national recruits shortly. This is also why Jaylin Noel and defensive end Tobechi Okoli are even more important targets for the Huskers this cycle. They are great prospects but can also hope open more doors in their area for Nebraska. 

>> There was a video posted to JD Spielman’s Instagram feed featuring him working out this week. There was some initial confusion over where exactly that took place. Spielman was at a facility in Omaha. I still don’t think the chances are great that Spielman returns to the team but he is still working out to prepare for something. Nebraska has given him space during his time away and there has yet to be any formal decision either way.

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