Big Red Recon: Huskers Hitting the Ground Running for 2021
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Big Red Recon: The Calm Before The Storm for Nebraska

September 20, 2019

What a week it has been for Husker recruiting. Nebraska hosted its first huge visit weekend of the season against Northern Illinois. The program is set up nicely to potentially go on a run of commitments after getting the ball rolling with 4-star defensive back Henry Gray this week.

Nebraska got a huge victory over Northern Illinois last Saturday and will look to keep that momentum going against Illinois. There is a lot to dive into so let’s get to the Recon.

Husker Commits

Zavier Betts, wide receiver, Omaha, Nebraska

Alex Conn‍, offensive lineman, Derby, Kansas

Turner Corcoran‍, offensive lineman, Lawrence, Kansas

Henry Gray‍, defensive back, Hollywood, Florida

Blaise Gunnerson‍, outside linebacker, Carroll, Iowa

Nash Hutmacher‍, defensive tackle, Chamberlain, South Dakota

Tamon Lynum‍, cornerback, Orlando, Florida

Sevion Morrison‍, running back, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Will Nixon‍, wide receiver, Waco, Texas

Marvin Scott III‍, running back, Port Orange, Florida

Logan Smothers‍, quarterback, Athens, Alabama

2020 Needs

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


The Recon:

>> The Huskers hosted six official visitors last weekend for the first night game of the season. It was a great atmosphere for the program to show off. Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander sees the impact that setting can have on recruits and their families.

“I think the night game is awesome,” Chinander said. “You couldn’t ask for a better game day experience. The kids were really impressed. The families were really impressed. It was a great weekend to have them. It’s obviously hard when we are playing late, you stay late with the kids and then get with them on Sunday. It was a great weekend. The next weekend is going to be a great one too.”

That next weekend Chinander is referring to is the Ohio State game. Nebraska already has 10 confirmed official visitors for that matchup. It will be the most talent this staff has had on the sidelines in Lincoln since taking over the program. 

>> There have been persistent questions this fall about the availability of freshman running back Ronald Thompkins. People want to see if he can recover quick enough from his knee injury to make an impact this season. Running backs coach Ryan Held laid out the latest plan for getting him in games when he spoke with media this week.

“Probably not. We’ll see what happens,” Held explained. “I think we’re just being smart with him, just making sure the we don’t do anything to set him back. At this point, I don’t know what will happen but I will say he’s probably not going to get much, so we’ll just leave it at that.”

There is no reason to rush Thompkins back at this point. He has a long career at Nebraska ahead of him.

>> We fielded a lot of questions this week about quarterback Adrian Martinez and whether or not something is wrong with him. I wanted to ask an offensive coach directly if teams are spying Martinez more. I thought that is what caused him to look hesitant to start the season.

The coach told me that teams actually aren’t spying him more than last year but are instead throwing a lot of different looks at him. So, the “hesitation” is Martinez being unsure of what he’s seeing. That is perhaps why Coach Scott Frost reminded everyone he’s only a sophomore on Monday and is still growing as a quarterback. There are plenty of looks and adjustments he has not seen yet.

>> Earlier this week we got a chance to speak with redshirt freshman cornerback Braxton Clark. He opened up about the process of coming out the other side of tough situation last year. He was injured which kept him on the sidelines. He also saw two of the defensive backs he came into the program with leave over the summer. Clark credited his parents, teammates and coaches with helping him stay mentally tough. Buy stock in the Orlando cornerback now because it will be tough to come by at this time next year. 

>> Next week there will be a lot of intriguing visitors on the sidelines. Count 4-star cornerback Darion Green-Warren as one of the most intriguing to me. The California defensive back is one of the best in the nation this cycle. If Travis Fisher can land Green-Warren to go along with recent commit Gray, that would be a heck of a duo. Also, I’m told that the Huskers did all they could to get into position to flip Oregon commit Myles Slusher. This could be another productive year on the trail for Fisher. 

>> Sticking with the visitors from last week keep this nugget in mind: the Huskers got commitments from 59% of the official visitors that came to campus last cycle. One thing that shows me is the staff is good at identifying which targets they have realistic shots at. Keep that in mind when looking at the massive visit list for Ohio State. There will be very few if any “courtesy trips” taken. 

>> One quick prediction from the Northern Illinois official visitors: I’ve gone ahead and put a prediction in for California linebacker Caleb McCullough to be “N.” The Huskers have to survive an official to Boise State but Nebraska is in a great position to land him.

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