Big Red Recon: Nebraska Football is Back
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Big Red Recon: Nebraska Football is Back

August 31, 2018

Nebraska football is back! We finally made it after what seemed like the longest offseason ever. Now we can shift from talking about depth charts and hypothetical situations to discussing actual games and play calls. 

Since the season is here, there is plenty of recruiting and behind the scenes information to get into so let’s get to the recon.

Class Breakdown

Husker Commits

Matthew Anderson‍, offensive lineman, Leesville, Lousiana

Desmond Bland‍, offensive lineman, Yuma, Arizona

Tony Fair‍, defensive tackle, Pima, Arizona

Jackson Hannah‍, linebacker, Nashville, Tennesee 

Nick Henrich‍, linebacker, Omaha, Nebraska

Rahmir Johnson‍, running back, Oradell, New Jersey

Michael Lynn‍, offensive lineman, Greenwood Village, Colorado

Luke McCaffrey‍, quarterback, Highlands Ranch, Colorado

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

2019 Needs

QB 0 DL 1
RB 1 MLB 0
WR 2 OLB 1
TE 0 DB 3
OL 2 K/P 0


Additional Recon

>>On the eve of the season opener against Akron, official visits are locked in. As of right now, here are the ones that Hail Varsity can confirm.

3-star RB Wandale Robinson

3-star DB Tiawan Mullen

3-star DL Brant Banks

3-star OL Dohnovan West

4-star OL Danielson Ike‍ (unofficial visit)

4-star OL Bryce Benhart

2020 4-star Turner Corcoran‍ (unofficial visit)

The question always comes up of who I think could leave this visit as part of the Huskers' recruiting class. Right now, I have a prediction in for Tiawan Mullen. I also really like Nebraska’s position with Brant Banks, Bryce Benhart and Turner Corcoran. I’m not quite ready to put in predictions for those prospects but I’m close. 

It sounds like there will be a slew of good 2020 prospects in Lincoln this weekened as well as on unofficial visits. Check back with Hail Varsity later today for a full visitor preview. 

>>After Omaha Burke won its game last week 49-28 over Lincoln Southeast, I spoke with 4-star tight end prospect Chris Hickman. The versatile athlete is pretty guarded when it comes to his plans but did say that he is looking at LSU, Oregon, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska and Ole Miss. He also told me that he didn’t currently have any of his official visits set up but will be doing that soon. 

I continue to think that Nebraska has made real progress with Hickman and is in a great position.

>>Now that the season is here, one thing that will come up more and more is which commits plant to enroll early at Nebraska this January. So far, I’ve been able to confirm that quarterback commit Luke McCaffrey‍, linebacker commit Nick Henrich‍ and junior college offensive lineman Desmond Bland‍ all plan to be in Lincoln in January. With the excitement building and the growing trend of early enrollees, expect the number of commits coming in January to swell. 

>>One of the top offensive linemen in the country for the class of 2021 has his return date to Lincoln set. Offensive tackle Hayden Conner‍ from Taylor High School in Katy, Texas, figures to be at least a 4-star prospect when 2021 ratings ramp up. Conner tweeted out his visit plans recently which include a trip to Nebraska.

Conner visited Lincoln for the spring game and he was blown away once again by the fan support.

>>One thing to keep an eye on for this recruiting cycle is how the additional attrition Nebraska has experienced can equal extra spots opening up in the class. I’ve always felt that Nebraska would find a way to get to a full boat of 25 players signed in the class. Now, I think they could push that number to 28. That number would actually tie the biggest number of prospects taken by Nebraska in a recruiting cycle with the class of 2008.

>>Last weekend when the depth chart was announced, it came as a surprise to some that Ole Miss transfer Breon Dixon was not in the two-deep. Then once Scott Frost mentioned in his press conference that Dixon could be a candidate for a redshirt, it raised even more eyebrows. The reason for this development in my mind is two-fold. 

First, the return of Luke Gifford has been a pleasant surprise to the staff. They had heard plenty of how good Gifford was but had not really been able to put eyes on it themselves since he missed spring ball and had an injury to rehab from. Now that he has returned to form during fall camp, he is entrenched as a starter and is a captain. 

The next thing affecting Dixon is the rapid development of Caleb Tannor. After Tannor signed, I was told he was on the fast track to play early and Tannor himself said he was coming in with the mindset of being ready to play. This week, outside linebacker coach Jovan Dewitt laid out some of the plan for his freshman linebacker from Georgia.

"He’s going to play. He’ll get a significant amount of reps. There’s going to probably be five-or-so outside linebackers that are going to get a lot of reps on Saturday. I’m excited to watch him go to work. We’re probably going to ease him into it to a certain degree; first game, he’ll be starting on several special teams, he’ll have a chance to roll into some situational stuff on defense.”

>>Let’s attempt to put a bow on the Tristan Gebbia situation from what I know. After talking to multiple people it’s become clear that Gebbia didn’t exactly lead the charge of leaving Nebraska. The situation was explained to him by people close to him that he would have a difficult time beating out Adrian Martinez if he stuck around Lincoln. I also know that Gebbia and Martinez exchanged messages after Martinez was announced as the starter and Gebbia wished him well. 

At the end of the day, Gebbia is a competitor and did not want to hang around Lincoln hoping Martinez either got hurt or played badly. Now that the season is starting, let’s hope we can all move on.  

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