Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Big Red Recon: Huskers Turning the Page to 2023 Recruiting

January 21, 2022

The race to the February signing date is on.

We are just a couple weeks away from Feb. 2 when the 2022 recruiting class will be put to bed. The large chunk of the work has been done for the Huskers in December. The team also has a whopping 16 players joining the team for winter conditioning and the spring semester. The combination of transfers and early enrollees has the Huskers brining in a record number of mid-year players. Nebraska will be evaluating a lot of juniors as the board for the 2023 cycle gets set.

Let’s get to the Recon.

2022 Commits

Chase Androff, Tight End, Lakeville, Minnesota

Jake Appleget, Outside Linebacker, Lincoln, Nebraska

Decoldest Crawford, wide receiver, Shreveport, Louisiana

Justin Evans-Jenkins, Offensive Lineman, Irvington, New Jersey

Jaeden Gould, Defensive Back, Oradell, New Jersey

Anthony Grant, Running Back, Buford, Georgia

Malcolm Hartzog, Defensive Back, Bassfield, Mississippi

Ernest Hausmann, Outside Linebacker, Columbus, Nebraska

Emmett Johnson, Running Back, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Victor Jones Jr., Wide Receiver, Orlando, Florida

Jalil Martin, Defensive Back, Chicago, Illinois

Javier Morton, Defensive Back, Stone Mountain, Georgia

DeShon Singleton, Defensive Back, Greensburg, Louisiana

Gage Stenger, Athlete, Omaha, Nebraska

Brodie Tagaloa, Defensive End, Concord, California

Richard Torres, Quarterback, San Antonio, Texas

2022 Needs

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

The Recon:

>> The Huskers will host their first of two Junior Days on Saturday. It’s a great opportunity for the team to host several prospects at once to get them around the program. The players do a photo shoot, attend meetings and do a group tour. There is also a player panel where they can ask questions to current players before an academic presentation.

We full have the full visit list with analysis here. One prospect I am curious about is Creighton Prep offensive lineman Sam Sledge. The Huskers viewed him as a defensive lineman under the previous assistant coaches. Now they see him as a potential center. That could ignite the communication between Sledge and the Huskers.

>> A lot of attention has been put on wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph getting Nebraska’s foot in the door in Louisiana. Since he was hired the Huskers have made a number of offers in the state and that doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The new development that has my attention is running backs coach Bryan Applewhite hitting Texas hard. The Huskers don’t have to start from scratch in that state since they have history playing games in Texas. I’ll be very curious about what type of impact Applewhite can make in an area that the Huskers have spot recruited recently. Bill Busch has gone to work in Kansas and Missouri since joining the full-time staff. That’s a smart move that should pay immediate dividends.

>> The Huskers are only hosting one official visitor this weekend. Louisiana running back Ajay Allen confirmed with Hail Varsity that he will be making the trip to Lincoln. Allen (5-11, 185) is committed to TCU where Applewhite used to coach. It’s intriguing that Nebraska would potentially take another running back. However, there is no clear-cut leader in the room after going through the 2021 season where the team hoped someone would run with the job. I do expect some attrition from the room post-spring. The writing seems to be on the wall that not every back can stay long-term.

>> The Deondre Jackson situation was unfortunate for everyone. He committed to the Huskers quickly before his academics could be fully vetted. It turns out that he is ineligible right now. He will return to Texas A&M to get his grades right then hope to transfer out this summer. Jackson is still committed to Nebraska but we’ll see what the running back picture looks like in May.

>> I’m still expecting more attrition for Nebraska soon. The staff shakeup on both offense and defense could cause players to leave. I’ll have my eye on outside linebackers and defensive linemen moving forward.

>> One of the top underclassmen making his way to Lincoln this weekend for Junior Day is Iowa 2024 running back Titus Cram. The Iowa native has a stellar sophomore season as a running back and kick returner. Cram ran a personal best 11.3-second 100-meters last spring. Cram runs the 200m and 400m and does long jump. He has a personal record of 22 feet, five inches. The back is excited to get to campus this weekend.

“I’m looking forward to what it’s like to walk around the campus,” Cram said. “Oh, and taking the photos with the uniforms.”

>> Massachusetts quarterback William Watson III is heading to Lincoln for Junior Day this weekend. Watson doesn’t hold an offer from the Huskers yet but is familiar with offensive coordinator Mark Whipple. He has a scholarship offer from Pittsburgh from when Whipple was there. Watson is looking forward to learning more about the Huskers.

“I’m looking forward to meeting all the coaches and people involved in the football program,” Watson said. “I also want to hear about the program and how they plan on winning football games and championships.”

We’ll see how things go for Watson this weekend with Nebraska. I can see him leaving Lincoln with an offer.

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