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Nebraska Recruiting: 4-star DB Noa Pola-Gates Commits To Huskers
Photo Credit: Greg Smith

Big Red Recon: It’s Closing Time for Nebraska

December 14, 2018

We made it to the final dose of Recon before the early signing period begins. Things have been relatively stable for the last few weeks leading up to next Wednesday since so much of the class was locked in before the contact period began. As a result of that, Nebraska has been able to laser in on its key targets and has made significant progress with some of them.

Let’s get to it.

Class Breakdown

Husker Commits

Matthew Anderson‍, offensive lineman, Leesville, Lousiana

Bryce Benhart‍, offensive lineman, Lakeville, Minnesota

Desmond Bland‍, offensive lineman, Yuma, Arizona

Darien Chase‍, wide receiver, Vancouver, Washington

Myles Farmer‍, defensive back, Atlanta, Georgia

Jackson Hannah‍, linebacker, Nashville, Tennesee 

Nick Henrich‍, linebacker, Omaha, Nebraska

Chris Hickman‍, tight end, Omaha, Nebraska

Rahmir Johnson‍, running back, Oradell, New Jersey

Michael Lynn‍, offensive lineman, Greenwood Village, Colorado

Luke McCaffrey‍, quarterback, Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Dedrick Mills‍, running back, Garden City, Kansas

Jamie Nance‍, wide receiver, Blanchard, Oklahoma

Garrett Nelson‍, defensive end, Scottsbluff, Nebraska 

Mosai Newsom‍, defensive end, Waverly, Iowa

Quinton Newsome‍, defensive back, Suwanee, Georgia

Ethan Piper‍, defensive tackle, Norfolk, Nebraska

Wandale Robinson‍, athlete, Frankfort, Kentucky

Garrett Snodgrass‍, athlete, York, Nebraska 

Ronald Thompkins‍, running back, Loganville, Georgia

Javin Wright‍, defensive back, Chandler, Arizona

2019 Needs

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


Additional Recon

>>Defensive end Brant Banks has been asked about a couple of times this week. All things had been pointing to him being in the class. He took an official to Lincoln week one and returned for an unofficial visit for the Purdue game. Then he decided to take a couple other official visits and things slowed down between him and the Huskers. 

Now that Datona Jackson will not be part of the class, I’m told that Banks has the green light to commit. Banks is still high on the Huskers and they would accept his commitment along with one other defensive end this cycle. 

>>That other defensive end I’m referring to of course is 4-star and U.S. Army All-American Ty Robinson‍. The initial reaction I’ve been able to gather from Thursday’s “swarm” visit to see Ty has been very positive. Sources indicate to me that both he, his family and his coach were all very impressed by the entire staff showing up to visit him. Robinson now enters decision mode and he will sit down to weigh his options between Nebraska, USC, Alabama and Oregon. I’m told he will likely have a decision before the weekend is over and then make his announcement at his school on Wednesday. 

Back in April, I put in a prediction for Robinson to be in the class. The recruitment took some twists and turns but I see no reason to move off that prediction now. 

>>A couple of months ago i was given a heads up that Jimmy Fritzsche‍, the tight end turned offensive tackle was a player that Greg Austin really liked. He did not have much Power 5 interest at the time but he has a great frame and is very athletic. The secret is out on the South Carolina prospect now and he has seen his stock rise. He has taken official visits to Syracuse and Connecticut in the last two weeks. Then he took an unofficial visit to Clemson on Thursday where he picked up an offer from Dabo Swinney just ahead of his official visit to Nebraska. 

Here’s the deal: Nebraska has flat out told him that if he doesn’t commit and sign before the early signing period then he will not have a spot in the class. Coming into the weekend Nebraska was the clear favorite and still is based on what Fritzsche told me yesterday. Clemson is pushing for him to not sign early obviously but it’s hard to know if Clemson would take commitments from another offensive lineman potentially leaving him in the cold. 

My feeling is that the relationship that Greg Austin has built up here wins out after a home run official this weekend and Fritzsche signs next Wednesday. 

>>Speaking of next Wednesday, there should be a lack of drama on that day. The only current commit that is not expected to sign is Desmond Bland. Essentially there is still some risk about him qualifying so if he signs next week then doesn’t make it, he will still count against the Huskers’ scholarship numbers next season. 

There was a little question about Michael Lynn signing early but he will do so. So will Matthew Anderson who picked up an offer from Kansas State recently. 

>>Let’s return to Arizona for the latest on 4-star defensive back Noa Pola-Gates‍. The defender tells me that Nebraska staff will be through the house today meaning they will get the last visit with him. Scott Frost will not be there since he has already used his in-home visit. I believe Frost will be back in Lincoln to greet the Fritzsche family but expect a heavy contingent of defensive coaches to see Pola-Gates today. 

Nebraska is moving in the right direction with the hard-hitting defensive back. I am very close to putting in a prediction for him to be in the class. 

>>There will only be one official visitor this weekend, Fritzsche. Take that as a sign of things going very well to close out the early signing period. There will still be a few guys that come in for visits in January like WR Charles Njoku‍ plus potentially DB Nehemiah Pritchett and LB Brandon Mack. Do not sleep on Nebraska’s interest in adding Njoku to the class. I’ve been quietly dropping hints that he has become a priority target but the staff would love to have him be the eventual successor to Stanley Morgan Jr.

The other thing worth noting is that the Huskers will be able to save official visits to use in the spring. By my count, Nebraska has used 37 of its 56 official visits including this weekend’s visitor. Some thought that NU wouldn’t use many spring officials because using them for an actual game day was such a big sell. However, they are using them evenly as the situation dictates.

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