Nebraska football is back. Again.
It feels like it’s been a long time coming for Nebraska to play another football game but we are on the brink of that actually happening. The Huskers will travel to Northwestern to take on the Wildcats on Saturday. The series has been historically close between the programs so we could be in store for another nail-biter this weekend. The Huskers have been hard at work behind the scenes on the recruiting trail while getting ready for the game.
Let’s get to the Recon.
Koby Bretz, Defensive Back, Omaha, Nebraska
Marques Buford, Defensive Back, Cedar Hill, Texas
James Carnie, Tight End, Firth, Nebraska
Gabe Ervin, Running Back, Buford, Georgia
Thomas Fidone, Tight End, Council Bluffs, Iowa
Mikai Gbayor, Linebacker, Irvington, New Jersey
Kamonté Grimes, Wide Receiver, Naples, Florida
Heinrich Haarberg, Quarterback, Kearney, Nebraska
Shawn Hardy, Wide Receiver, Kingsland, Georgia
Randolph Kpai, Inside Linebacker, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Henry Lutovsky, Offensive Lineman, Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Seth Malcom, Inside Linebacker, Tabor, Iowa
Latrell Neville, Wide Receiver, Houston, Texas
Patrick Payton, Outside Linebacker, Miami, Florida
Teddy Prochazka, Offensive Lineman, Elkhorn, Nebraska
AJ Rollins, Tight End, Omaha, Nebraska
Jailen Weaver, defensive lineman, Antioch, California
Lardarius Webb, Defensive Back, Jackson, Mississippi
Malik Williams, Defensive Back, Buford, Georgia
Branson Yager, Offensive Lineman, Grantsville, Utah
>> One of the pleasant surprises of the season opener was the play of junior college defender Pheldarius Payne. What’s interesting here is that Payne was recruited as a defensive lineman but was moved to outside linebacker late in camp to give the Huskers additional pass rush. Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander was pleased with what he saw from him too.
“He’s getting there. He was a guy that had an injury coming out of JUCO,” Chinander said on Wednesday. “So, he didn’t get to do as much offseason work as he wanted to. He’s done a good job with the reps that he’s got. He’s made himself into a contributor right away. I think he’s going to continue to get better and better as he gets more reps and game experience. He’s a guy that got a really bright future. He can rush the passer and set the edge. He’s got pretty good explosiveness side to side.
“He’s done a really good job of immersing himself at Nebraska in everyday life. He’s done a great job. We feel good about him and can count on him. He’s only scratching the surface of what he can do.
The Huskers need an additional pass rusher or two to emerge this fall to help boost their defense. The early returns on Payne have been good.
>> There are a lot of Husker fans eagerly awaiting the debut of wide receiver Omar Manning this weekend. Scott Frost shared on Thursday that he was ready to play in this weekend’s game against Northwestern. I am not here to throw cold water on the excitement but I would expect for Manning to see 25 snaps or so this weekend.
>> In an appearance on Sports Nightly on Thursday, inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud expressed his excitement about all three inside linebacker commits in the 2021 class.
“We’ve excited to keep finding commits who love the game and are good people, too,” he said.
Those three inside ‘backers committed to Ruud are Randolph Kapi, Seth Malcom and Mikai Gbayor. Each player is smart, athletic and shows leadership qualities. It’s another solid group of players heading to Lincoln to play inside linebacker.
>> Defensive lineman out of California Jailen Weaver, pne of the Huskers’ latest commits, has been tough to reach for comment on his commitment. However, I was able to speak quickly with his mentor Shamawn Wright to see what type of player the Huskers are getting.
“The player that Jailen is, he’s very athletic,” Wright said. “He’s a three-sport athlete. He runs track and field and he’s started on varsity basketball since he was a sophomore at center. He also a football player. He’s very athletic, he’s fast and light on his feet. He’s very long and rangy. I think with the quickness and speed with him being long that’s a big advantage for any defensive lineman. Plus, him knowing how to use his hands as well.”
With his size (6-8, 280) and athleticism it will be worth tracking if he continues to see his rating increase once California plays high school football in January.
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.