Nebraska head football coach Scott Frost stands at the podium and answers questions from the press
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Big Red Recon: Mad Scramble to the Early Signing Period for Huskers

December 10, 2021

It’s hard to believe but we’ve made it to a big mile marker in the 2022 recruiting class. Players will be signing letters of intent to their selected colleges in less than a week. The early signing period begins on Dec. 15. Nebraska has most of its coaching changes done now that offensive coordinator Mark Whipple and offensive line coach Donovan Raiola have joined the staff. It’s going to be a wild ride in the coming days.

Let’s get to the Recon.

2022 Commits

Chase Androff, Tight End, Lakeville, Minnesota

Jake Appleget, Outside Linebacker, Lincoln, Nebraska

Malcolm Hartzog, defensive back, Bassfield, Mississippi

Ernest Hausmann, Outside Linebacker, Columbus, Nebraska

Ashton Hayes, Running Back, Reno, Nevada

Victor Jones Jr., Wide Receiver, Orlando, Florida

Jalil Martin, Defensive Back, Chicago, Illinois

Grant Page, Wide Receiver, Boulder, Colorado

Gage Stenger, athlete, Omaha, Nebraska

Richard Torres, Quarterback, San Antonio, Texas

2022 Needs

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

The Recon:

>> The end to this recruiting cycle is unlike any other that I’ve covered in my time doing this. The Huskers’ slow regular season of recruiting was going to lead to a fast and furious finish to the class. Add in the transfer portal and new high school targets coming available to the team and things get hectic quick. The new coaches are also making things harder to track than ever. It’s going to make for a very interesting last few days before the early signing period opens on Dec. 15.

>> There are two official visits that were supposed to happen that are now off. Each is in a position of need. Oklahoma State offensive line grad transfer Hunter Anthony wanted to make it to Lincoln but he is graduating this weekend from Oklahoma State and will play in the bowl game. That’s going to delay his process even though he wants to enroll for the spring semester.

Akron quarterback Zach Gibson was scheduled to come to Lincoln for his official visit this weekend. After Nebraska hired Whipple, he was informed that the team would be moving in a different direction. It’s still unclear if that means the Huskers have someone else lined up or if Whipple wants to evaluate the current quarterbacks more.

>> Inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud was at Omaha Burke on Thursday. Burke always has talented players but the main player of focus was 2025 linebacker Christian Jones. The Huskers have an early offer out to Jones and even though its early it is worth noting that the Huskers are putting in solid effort from the beginning of this recruitment. It should pay off down the road.

>> The Huskers quietly hosted a mid-week official visitor this week. Hutchinson College defensive back DeShon Singleton was in town checking out the Huskers. This weekend he will head to Kansas State for an official visit. He wants to enroll in January so this might be a battle between two old Big 12 foes.

>> One thing that everyone wants to know about with the new coach hires for Nebraska is who they can bring as transfers to help the team. I have been told consistently through the hiring process is that Raiola has players out there who want to play for him at Nebraska. Since he hasn’t had to recruit before this will be a fascinating recruiting case study.

>> There is something everyone has to keep in mind when thinking about transfers. They don’t have to sign during the early signing period. The only real deadline is being enrolled for the spring semester that begins in January. In theory some of these transfer decisions could go for weeks. It helpful for the team if they are wrapped up sooner because they can move to other needs.

>> Compared to recent years, the Huskers will have a much smaller group of early enrollees in the 2022 class. Ernest Hausmann, Victor Jones Jr., Richard Torres and Grant Page are the only four. Unless players commit to the team between now and the end of the early signing period it looks like the Huskers will welcome in the smallest group of early enrollees under Frost. A silver lining there is that these four are planning to be roommates when they arrive in Lincoln.

>> It can’t be said enough how much of a boost Mickey Joseph is for Nebraska’s recruiting efforts. His ability to get the team in front of prospects that he was working on while at LSU is huge. If he can land one guy for the 2022 class and then a transfer or two it’ll be a win. The Huskers have had a lackluster recruiting class and effort to this point. The injection of new blood was sorely needed.

>> The Huskers did an in-home visit with Omaha North graduate and Northern Colorado grad transfer Kevin Williams Jr. Ruud did the in-home visit and it went well according to Williams. He’s going to meet with Frost and Raiola on Friday. Williams has two years left of eligibility.

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