Nebraska Defense Faces Third Down Woes Against Indiana
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Big Red Recon: Kicking off a Huge Recruiting Weekend

November 16, 2018

It’s hard to believe Nebraska’s senior day is here already. It seems like just yesterday that people were ready to kick off the Frost Era. This week, the Huskers host Michigan State in a really good matchup of strength versus strength. The Spartans defense against Nebraska’s offense will be a lot of fun to watch. 

Off the field, this will be a massive recruiting weekend for Nebraska. The official visit list has a big defensive lean, which I’m sure many fans are happy about. There will also be several priority 2020 targets in Lincoln this weekend.

Let’s get to the recon. 

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

Tony Fair‍, defensive tackle, Pima, Arizona

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

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

>> Earlier this week, running backs coach and junior college recruiting coordinator Ryan Held was asked about the impact of Coach Jeff Sims leaving Garden City Community College. He can’t talk about a specific school but gave an interesting answer anyway.

“Any school that we’ve had a relationship with, if there’s a change, we have to evaluate what’s going to be the best fit for us when it comes to junior college,” Held said. “Obviously, having been in that, we need schools or a school we can trust. If we send a kid there, he will graduate and we will get him back. It’s a ‘we scratch your back, you scratch ours’ type of deal. In today’s world, you aren’t placing ten guys like back in the day. Here’s one or two and a list of names that you might want to look at that might not have the grades but can help your football team. Having a junior college relationship with a school or schools is very important. You want to be able to farm guys out.

“As you build your roster, it’s not just high school kids. You have graduate transfers, JUCO transfers, a regular transfer that sits out. It’s really an NFL model in terms of free agency and drafting is how I look at it.”

Depending on who GCCC hires to replace Sims, that could certainly impact Nebraska’s relationship with the school. I’d imagine that the plan for Nebraska to get Dominic Watt and Willie Canty back to Lincoln would stay the same but Nebraska could be looking for a new school to place guys in. The good news is Held has deep ties in the JUCO world.

>> The Nebraska coaching staff has been strategic about getting out of Lincoln and going to high schools around the country during the season. An example of that this week is that tight ends coach Sean Beckton went to Georgia with plans to get an update on the status of 4-star running back commit Ronald Thompkins. The Grayson prospect is solid with his commitment, so it could just be a check on his health while he recovers from his ACL injury. Also, it doesn’t hurt to be seen at Grayson High School.

>> Ahmarean Brown, a 3-star wide receiver from Jefferson High School in Tampa, Florida, recently left the Maryland class. I caught up with Brown via Twitter direct messages and he said that Nebraska is in the mix for him. He would like to take a visit to Lincoln but the Huskers have not offered yet. Brown holds 16 scholarship offers including Iowa State, Alabama, Michigan and Michigan State. 

>> Taking a look at the confirmed unofficial visitors for the game against Michigan State this weekend, it really caught my eye that a few of the 2020 priority targets have visited Lincoln multiple times. Turner Corcoran, who is perhaps the No. 1 overall target for the 2020 class, will make his fifth trip to Lincoln since Frost took over. Monroe Mills, a lineman out of Missouri, and defensive lineman Brock Griffin are both making their second trips of this season. 

Nebraska continues to be in a great position with future classes by hosting a lot of good regional targets multiple times. 

>> Yesterday in the recruiting notebook, I mentioned Colorado as a school to watch for Nebraska recruiting should a change be made with the Buffs’ head coach. One player to definitely keep an eye on is 4-star wide receiver Braedin Huffman-Dixon. He hails from the same high school as one-time commit Chase Williams. Huffman-Dixon was high on Nebraska with the previous staff before he committed to CU back in May. 

>> After JUCO offensive line commit Desmond Bland picked up an offer from Florida State a couple of days ago, there were a lot of Husker fans concerned. At this point, I still like Nebraska’s chances to hang on to Bland even though I’ve gotten word that he does intend to visit FSU. I am not sure what exactly the wining pitch for the Seminoles would be here since Bland has no ties to Florida, is a Midwest kid and there is no comparison between Nebraska’s offense and Florida State’s. 

Nebraska also still has an official visit to use with Bland who has a tremendous relationship with the Huskers’ staff. 

>> Speaking of offensive line recruiting, don’t look for Nebraska to sign more than who they already have committed unless something drastically changes. Bland, Matthew Anderson, Michael Lynn and Bryce Benhart will likely be the group they sign. Adding Cam Jurgens into the mix is essentially like picking up an additional lineman this cycle. 

Also, junior college offensive tackle Myron Cunningham tells me that there hasn’t been much if any contact with Nebraska lately. Bamidele Olaseni, the tackle from Garden City CC, doesn’t hold an offer from NU and Keenan Walker is a May graduate now, so their chances don’t look good for ending up at Nebraska. 

The one addition I could see the Huskers making is if they can flip Jeremy James from his commitment to Ole Miss. James took an official to Lincoln for the Purdue game.

>> Another future prospect to keep an eye on this weekend is 2021 DE/OLB Travion Ford. The defender from Missouri is very excited to take his trip to Lincoln this weekend and recently picked up offers from LSU and Tennessee. Ford told me that he’s excited to meet the coaching staff, tour the facility and see the defensive live in action. 

I would not be surprised if Ford receives an offer from Nebraska this weekend.

>> One current Husker offensive lineman to keep an eye on for next season is redshirt freshman Trent Hixson. I continue to hear very good things about his progress throughout the season. Keep him in mind when thinking about who could be in the mix for playing time next season on the line. 

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