Nebraska Football Memorial Stadium Outside Shot
Photo Credit: Aaron Babcock

Big Red Recon: Puzzle Pieces for 2019 Sliding into Place

December 07, 2018

It has been an eventful week in Nebraska recruiting. The coaches have been working out on the road during the second week of the contact period but they also picked up a huge commitment when they successfully flipped 4-star Wandale Robinson from Kentucky to Nebraska. 

The news has been coming fast and furious this week but there is still plenty of recon to get into. 

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

Tony Fair‍, defensive tackle, Pima, Arizona

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

>>In the end, Nebraska’s persistence and clear plan won out with 4-star athlete Wandale Robinson. The Huskers knew things were not over even when Robinson had his big high school ceremony announcing that he was going to Kentucky. The immense pressure to stay home and many outside influences (not all family) really got to him, but his heart just wasn’t in Lexington. Nebraska’s staff had the facts and data on their side with how he could be utilized in the offense. What is also amazing to me is that Nebraska pulled this flip off without Scott Frost going in home. 

>>As of right now, both junior college linemen commits, defensive lineman Tony Fair and offensive lineman Desmond Bland are in similar positions with their place in the 2019 recruiting class. Essentially, the Huskers do not want to have any of their JUCO prospects sign in December if there is any chance they won’t make it academically. Also, the strong preference in North Stadium is to not take JUCO guys if they can’t make it to campus in January. The Huskers want to make sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed before fully accepting them. The big issue here is that if Nebraska takes their NLI and they don’t qualify, it counts for Nebraska’s scholarship number next season. 

In addition to the grade concerns, while Nebraska was hoping those guys would get their academics in order, they did not stop recruiting the positions. If Nebraska makes moves with guys higher rated on their board, especially at defensive tackle they will not hesitate to move on.

>>In related news, last night Nebraska offered 4-star defensive lineman Matthew Pola-Mao‍. The Arizona defender is an intriguing player not just because he is a prospect with a high ceiling but also because he is the cousin of priority defensive back target Noa Pola-Gates. It may be very intriguing for these two, who are very close, to join forces at Nebraska along with their cousin who is coming to Nebraska to play softball. Keep an eye on a January visit for Matthew.

>>The Huskers are trying to quietly do work in Arizona in the class of 2019 and 2020. Currently the only Arizona native in the class is defensive back Javin Wright. However, with 4-stars Ty Robinson, Noa Pola-Gates and Matthew Pola-Moa firmly on the radar for this cycle, the Huskers are trying to make waves. In 2020, Nebraska already has high interest from players like 4-star DB Jacobe Covington who tells me that Nebraska has been through his school during the contact period. 

It’s smart for Nebraska to make noise in Arizona since the two in-state schools struggle to put a consistent product on the field. 

>>Nebraska may not be done adding playmakers to the backfield. Keep an eye out for 4-star running back out of Ohio, John Bivens‍. The talented runner missed his entire senior season with a knee injury but tells me that he is back running and cutting. The Huskers have been on him since this staff got here and he was a visitor for the spring game. Bivens is scheduled to visit Lincoln in January. 

>>Wide receiver is a position that I expect to see a few new names pop up for maybe one more slot available in the 2019 class. Demariyon Houston‍, a 4-star wide receiver from Oklahoma City may be atop the list. I do know that Ryan Held went to visit him yesterday and Nebraska is trying to secure a visit for next weekend. This weekend, the former Texas commit will be at Minnesota with PJ Fleck attempting to get him to row the boat. 

>>Keep 2020 offensive lineman Jalen St. John‍ from Trinity Catholic High School in St. Louis in mind. He’s another 500-mile radius 2020 big man that has interest in Nebraska. He told me this week that he will be in Lincoln for the junior day in January. Defensive backs coach Travis Fisher has spent a lot of time this week in St. Louis trying to build relationships with 2020, 2021 and even 2022 prospects. 

>>This week, Nebraska has just one uncommitted prospect scheduled to come to town for an official visit, JUCO outside linebacker Amare Barno. The defender is a good prospect who is definitely a “take” for Nebraska. Things could move quickly with him if all goes well this weekend. Outside of Barno, Nebraska will be hosting Garrett Nelson, Rahmir Johnson and Matthew Anderson this weekend.  

On the surface, that may seem like a disappointing official visit weekend with the early signing period set to open so soon. Look at it a little deeper and know that Nebraska has 23 commits in the class, is hosting a player at a position of need this weekend and remember that next week is now when they hope to host a bigger number of uncommitted players. The Huskers want to take the last shot at a handful of prospects before they can sign with a school. 

>>Think all the way back to Week 1 this season. Nebraska hosted Wandale Robinson and Bryce Benhart for official visits that weekend as well as Brant Banks. While the other two have gotten a ton of (rightful) attention, Banks has gone under the radar despite coming back for an unofficial visit for the Purdue game. Nebraska still has the momentum with him and he is an early enrollee. He is still being recruited by the Huskers as a defensive lineman. 

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