Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Big Red Recon: Putting a Bow on Early Signing Period For Huskers

December 17, 2021

What a week it has been for the Huskers. Getting the new offensive coaches acclimated to their jobs would be enough of a task. Adding to the mix is the early signing period, as well as bringing in transfers to help boost the talent on the roster for the 2022 season. It’s been hectic for the program but the signing period has been drama-free. The Huskers had no letter of intent drama with the commits in the class. There is plenty to dive into as we look to wrap up the early signing period.

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

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

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:

>> It makes sense but it is on purpose that the Huskers are going so hard after defensive backs with experience this offseason. Outside of Quinton Newsome and Myles Farmer the team doesn’t return many snaps in the room. Even those two just have a season of experience. It’s also important that the Huskers increase the competition in that room. There are a lot of unproven players with potential in the room now but the cream needs to rise to the top. It’s not a guarantee the Huskers are done adding players to the room.

>> When I spoke with Bergen Catholic coach Vito Campanile about Jaeden Gould ahead of Gould’s commitment we talked about another former player of his. Campanile was thrilled about how Rahmir Johnson handled himself this season, working into the starting lineup. Like a coach, he mentioned how excited he’s been to see Johnson blocking in the Big Ten. The Huskers will be involved with the school again during the 2023 recruiting cycle. Campanile says he’s got a couple 2023’s that are getting a lot of college looks.

>> The Huskers were dealt a blow when LSU quarterback Myles Brennan announced he is returning to Baton Rogue. Brennan got a lot of attention from Nebraska, did have an offer and Bill Busch was his lead recruiter. Now that he’s off the board I believe the Huskers have their sights set on USC transfer Kedon Slovis. I’m told both sides do have interest. It’s interesting to me that Nebraska is locking in on pass-first quarterbacks. That obviously signals a slight shift in the offense. It gets my attention because it would mean the Huskers have to commit to a true run game led by running backs. Stay tuned.

>> One thing that I’ve consistently heard over the last week is how other portal offensive linemen are interested in playing for Donovan Raiola. The early reviews from prospects have been through the roof. He’s got a lot of connection for someone who has never coached at the college level before. Raiola may be able to get the Huskers in a battle or two for offensive linemen that we didn’t see coming before his hiring.

>> There is one thing that about each new coach on Nebraska’s staff that seems to be a common theme. Each coach is not afraid to be very direct with his players. I’m told that each coach has already made it clear the type of standards they expect to see from their position groups. There will be some adjustments that need to be made by the players to get used to be held accountable this way. That’s especially true at wide receiver and offensive line. There is always an adjustment period with new coaches so I expect it to all work itself out positively.

>> One of the teams hardest hit by transfer defections is LSU. Their coaching change has resulted in a number of talented Tigers looking elsewhere for a place to play college football. The latest is LSU wide receiver Trey Palmer. The class of 2019 four-star has entered the portal.

Sources tell me that the Huskers are the early favorite to land the playmaker from Louisiana. Palmer (6-1, 187) had 30 catches for 344 yards and three touchdowns this season for the Tigers. Palmer is also dynamic in the return game. He has both a punt and a kickoff return for a touchdown in his career.

His verified track times in high set state records. He won both the Louisiana Class 1A state title in the 100m and 200m dash. His 21.11 time in the 200m dash broke the Class 1A state record. Nebraska’s new wide receiver coach Mickey Joseph will be instrumental in trying to close the deal for the Huskers.

>> During his signing ceremony new Husker wide receiver signee Decoldest Crawford gave a big hint. He noted that he doesn’t think he’s the last Louisiana player to join the Huskers this offseason. The Huskers are trying to make a push with several prospects in the state with the push being led by wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph. Don’t underestimate Bill Busch’s role in this too. If he ends up becoming the full-time special teams coach he could also carry the title of recruiting coordinator. Joseph and Busch would make for a nice one-two punch in Louisiana for the Huskers.

>> The Huskers made a very intriguing 2023 defensive back offer on Thursday. The offer went out to Baton Rouge native David Jones (6-0, 185) who is a dynamic playmaker. He attends Madison Prep High school. Jones is a do it all player that stars at safety, wide receiver and running back. He’s exactly the type of under-rated (for now) player that Joseph can get the Huskers in the door with early to make an impression on.

>> One of the players in the 2022 recruiting class that we don’t know much about is California defensive lineman Brodie Tagaloa. He was very under the radar all cycle and we didn’t find out he was a serious target until the offseason. I asked defensive coordinator Erik Chinander what drew the Huskers to the defender.

“Versatility was a big thing with him,” Chinander said. “He’s got the size we’re looking for and the length. When you watch his film, he’s playing tight end. He’s running downfield catching the football. He’s making plays on defense. I think he’s a guy that, obviously I want to keep on defense but we all know who the head coach is so he gets to take a few guys every once in a while if he wants one. I think that guy would excel at potentially tight or potentially defensive end. He could grow into an offensive lineman, you never know.”

The Huskers also recruiting Tagaloa’s older brother so the program already knew his family. He’ll be an interesting player to see develop when he arrives in Lincoln this summer.

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