Coming into this week I was fully prepared to write how this week was the “calm before the storm” being the last full week of the dead period before coaches could go back out on the road and visit players or initiate contact with them. Instead, there has still been a steady dose of news with Nebraska recruiting as the coaches look to capitalize on the buzz following the Peach Bowl.
If you want a very real example of just how the Peach Bowl and undefeated season at UCF has helped the Nebraska staff, look no further than JUCO cornerback Kenneth George Jr. When I spoke with him for this article, he spoke glowingly about what the staff was able to accomplish in just two short years. The effects of the season as a whole will be felt in a very positive way on the recruiting trail this season.
David Alston, 3-star linebacker, St. Paul, Minnesota
Greg Bell 3-star running back, Yuma, Arizona
Will Farniok, 3-star offensive lineman, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Will Honas, 3-star linebacker, El Dorado, Kansas
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
C.J. Smith, 4-star defensive back, West Palm Beach, Florida
Tate Wildeman, 3-star defensive lineman, Parker, Colorado
Deontai Williams, 3-star defensive back, Ellisville, Mississippi
Jaron Woodyard, 3-star JUCO wide receiver, Yuma, Arizona
>>In the short time that Frost and company have been at Nebraska, there has been a shift in which programs they are getting into recruiting battles with. Under Mike Riley, you routinely saw Nebraska go up against Oregon, UCLA, Oklahoma and USC for prospects. Now, as Nebraska looks to compete for more players in the south, Louisville, Tennessee and Ole Miss look like Nebraska’s new recruiting foes. Each of those schools recruit the second-tier Florida talent well, which is exactly the type of talent Nebraska will look to feast on under Scott Frost. It will be interesting to see how those battles play out because those schools are also known for recruiting a “certain way.”
>> The star of last night’s Under Armour All-America Game was Texas running back and Huskers target Maurice Washington. In fact, he came away with the game’s MVP honors after a three-touchdown performance.
Your 2018 Under Armour All-America Game MVP for Team Highlight: Maurice Washington #UAALLAMERICA pic.twitter.com/VjoLRhgIFr
— All-America Game (@AllAmericaGame) January 5, 2018
The underrated 3-star running back is rumored to have Nebraska as his favorite right now and is scheduled to take an official visit to Lincoln on Jan. 12.
>>Another Jan. 12 visitor that I can confirm is Ole Miss linebacker/safety Breon Dixon. He is an interesting case because he is seeking to transfer from Ole Miss because of the sanctions and then get a waiver to be eligible immediately. He is a former 4-star recruit and would challenge for playing time immediately at Nebraska due to his versatility.
I was able to reach one of his high school coaches at Grayson High School, coach Rob Patton to ask about Dixon’s game.
“He is extremely athletic. He has the skills to be successful as a defensive back or linebacker. He has a high football intelligence and has a knack for making big time plays. He made many plays for us in crucial situations (interceptions, sacks, deflected passes, defensive scores, & TFLs).”
If Grayson High School sounds familiar to you, it is the same high school that produced current Nebraska linebacker Mohamed Barry. The school also has a pair of top end 2019 players in linebacker Owen Pappoe and cornerback Kenyatta Watson. There is a strong belief that Dixon will visit next weekend and just stay in Lincoln and enroll in class.
>>One interesting development from yesterday’s news on Donte Williams taking a job at Oregon. It appears that his first offer was to former Nebraska commit Mario Goodrich. This doesn’t really surprise me as the two are very close but I believe this puts an end to any speculation that Nebraska would be able to re-enter the picture with Goodrich. At this point I’d call Oregon the clear favorite and look for him to set up a visit there ASAP.
>> There have been multiple defensive tackle offers that have gone out recently. A lot of the prospects fit the same mold of having good size but athleticism to play across the line at any spot. That to me sounds an awful lot like current Nebraska commit Masry Mapieu. What I’m saying is, I believe the feeling around north stadium is that Mapieu is not very close to qualifying and they need to line up a back-up plan. Of course this makes losing out on the comeback attempt for Bryson Williams hurts even more.
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.