Big Red Recon: Huskers' Running Back Board is Clearing Up
Photo Credit: Aaron Babcock

Big Red Recon: Huskers’ Running Back Board is Clearing Up

April 27, 2018

Spring football is now officially behind us and Nebraska’s staff has been out around the country evaluating prospects and offering new players for 2019, 2020 and even 2021. At this point, Nebraska is looking to strengthen the relationships they have built with players in the 2019 class while really getting a jump on the relationships with 2020 and 2021 prospects. There have been numerous big-time 2020 prospects that Nebraska has offered this week as they have more time to build relationships with those players versus jumping in with that caliber of prospect for 2019, where the  Huskers are still playing a bit of catch-up. 

Class Breakdown

Husker Commits

Thomas Grayson‍, running back, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Garrett Nelson‍, defensive end, Scottsbluff, Nebraska 

Ethan Piper‍, defensive tackle, Norfolk, Nebraska

Garrett Snodgrass‍, athlete, York, Nebraska 

2019 Needs

QB 1 DL 3
RB 2 MLB 1
WR 2 OLB 2
TE 0 DB 4
OL 4 K/P 0


Additional Recon

>>There seems to be no shortage of offensive lineman with strong interest in Nebraska right now. That’s a great sign for Nebraska as the Huskers have seen some big misses in recent years that went down to the wire on signing day. Right now, prospects with offers that have good interest in Nebraska include 3-star McKade Mettauer, 3-star Barrett Miller, 3-star Taylor Miterko, and JUCO Kadeem Telfort among others. There are also a few players on the line without offers that are high on Nebraska and waiting on the call. In short, Greg Austin has done a great job casting a wide net and getting guys interested.

>>I think it’s safe to say that going forward the running back position will not be put on the back burner in recruiting. There is already one running back committed in the 2019 recruiting class, 3-star Thomas Grayson‍ from Tulsa, Oklahoma, but by no means is Nebraska stopping at just one back in the class. Four-star John Bivens was in Lincoln for the spring game and is an excellent prospect. Nebraska currently leads for him. Three-star Rahmir Johnson, who may be at the top of Ryan Held’s board, has been on campus this spring and Nebraska is right in the mix for him. If Nebraska eventually ends up with all three of those backs in this class, it would be a home run. Keep an eye on 3-star Breece Hall and JUCO Dedrick Mills as well. Hall has been to campus this spring and has a Husker connection as his step-dad played for Nebraska. Mills, a former Georgia Tech player, led the Yellow Jackets in rushing the season he was there. The big question is how many running backs will Nebraska take in the 2019 class?

>>After I released the latest version of Greg’s Guys, I knew one of the first questions would be about cornerbacks or a lack of any of them appearing on the list. It’s not time to ring the alarm bell just yet about the lack of solid targets. However, I think there is a bigger explanation for why Nebraska seems to have a lack of traction with corners right now. All of the turnover at defensive backs coach in the last seven-to-10 years has really hurt Nebraska. There is currently no identity in the Husker secondary or clear vision of what they are looking forward. When that changes, cornerback recruiting will improve. Travis Fisher is a good coach to set that culture. 

>>One thing that was pretty interesting after the spring game came up when talking to defensive back Deontai Williams. The defender told me that he’s been making the calls on the defense and he’s like the quarterback of the defense. As a mid-year enrollee, I asked about his progression in that role through the spring. 

“I struggled very much, but as soon as I started watching film with the coaches and paying attention to the details, that’s when it starting clicking, Williams said. "When I started to get it, I could play the way I wanted to play.”

That’s a telling tidbit about just how big of a role he could be in for this fall. 

>>I’m hearing that that Mario Verduzco is heading to see quarterbacks this week. Some of the potential guys he could see are 4-star Michael Johnson Jr. in Oregon and 3-star John Rhys Plumlee in Mississippi among others. Quarterback recruiting has seemed slow even though Luke McCaffrey seems to have pushed to the forefront, if only because he’s the only quarterback that was on campus this spring. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Huskers let the quarterback situation play out into the fall after getting a full evaluation of the targets, including seeing them throw during the current evaluation period and getting senior film. 

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