Nebraska Cornhusker linebacker Garrett Nelson hits a practice dummy during practice
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Big Red Recon: Shifting Focus to Spring Football for the Huskers

February 04, 2022

The book has been closed on the 2022 recruiting class. The Huskers finished the class with a bang adding two skill position players to the mix on National Signing Day. Both players were flips. Running back Ajay Allen and wide receiver Janiran Bonner signed with the Huskers. Now that the class is signed it time to focus fully on winter conditioning and spring ball. Before we know it spring football will be here. It will be as competitive as any spring under coach Scott Frost.

Let’s get to the Recon.

2022 Commits

Ajay Allen, Running Back, Monroe, Louisiana

Chase Androff, Tight End, Lakeville, Minnesota

Jake Appleget, Outside Linebacker, Lincoln, Nebraska

Janiran Bonner, Wide Receiver, Ellenwood, Georgia

Decoldest Crawford, Wide Receiver, Shreveport, Louisiana

Justin Evans-Jenkins, Offensive Lineman, Irvington, New Jersey

Jaeden Gould, Defensive Back, Oradell, New Jersey

Anthony Grant, Running Back, Buford, Georgia

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

Javier Morton, Defensive Back, Stone Mountain, Georgia

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

The Recon:

>> There are going to be surprises that emerge with all the additions to the Huskers this offseason. One player that I’m hearing really good things about behind the scenes is New Mexico State transfer Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda. That wide receiver group is full of potential and bigger names have been added to the room this offseason. Garcia-Castaneda has impressed with his work ethic and skills in drills.

>> Frost announced some injury updates on Wednesday when he met with media for National Signing Day. Young offensive linemen Turner Corcoran and Teddy Prochazka will not participate in spring practice. Corcoran has a new undisclosed injury and Prochazka is recovering from the knee injury suffered last season. Starting tight end Travis Vokolek will also not take part in spring. Gabe Ervin Jr. is on the mend and “getting close” but will miss the spring too.

The Huskers should have these four back for fall camp. All are in the mix to play big roles for the team in 2022. Not rushing them back from injury will be key.

>> It will open the door for many players this spring given the injury status of those players. The first player who comes to mind immediately is tight end Thomas Fidone. He is fully recovered from his injury and ready to hit the ground running. If he can take steps in his development this spring it’d be huge. Fidone will get a steady diet of reps. It’s tough to know who from the offensive line will see additional reps with Corcoran and Prochazka out. Donovan Raiola has his work cut out for him to find the right combination of players knowing that two starters are on the way back. We don’t know if Corcoran will stay at tackle or slide inside to guard or even center when he returns. That will be a big fall camp storyline.

>> There is something brewing to keep an eye on with 2023 recruiting for Nebraska. I asked Florida defensive back Dwight Bootle about peer recruiting when he committed to the team.

“I got some coming up with me,” Bootle said. “We’re going to end up having a good recruiting class.”

Bootle said that with a lot of confidence. He’s a popular player down south and has a great personality to help the team recruit. I came across this tweet on Thursday night.

Upshaw (6-2, 180) is a 3-star defensive back from Perry, Florida. The Huskers could be in a great position to land a top 20 recruiting class for 2023. Between in-state recruiting, 500-mile radius talent and connections in the South, it could be a bounce back class. The team just has to show promise on the field.

>> There has been a growing amount of talk that the Huskers haven’t done enough to address the lines of scrimmage this offseason. The team has tried to address it and come up short. Missing on offensive lineman Tre’mond Shorts and defensive lineman Nesta Jade Silvera was a big deal. If the Huskers had landed those two, perception would be a lot different. They didn’t land them so now the team will need to wait until the summer to add more to the lines. Expect the Huskers to add at least one player to each line this summer to increase the talent level.

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