Big Red Recon: QB Talk and Landing Players From the South
Photo Credit: Ryan Loco

Early Returns from the Huskers’ Recruiting Evaluation Period

May 01, 2018

Now that spring football is in the books, Nebraska’s staff is out in full force around the country evaluating prospects. They are checking in on players they have offered but also building relationships with players from future classes and looking at the junior college market. Here are some of the early trends from the coaches hitting the road through the evaluation period. 

Held scouring the country for JUCO talent

During the last recruiting cycle, Nebraska signed five players from the junior college ranks after not singing any the previous three years under Mike Riley. It’s unclear if the goal will be to sign five each cycle, but I’d say a reasonable minimum will be three players each season. Part of the reasoning there is junior college recruiting coordinator Ryan Held’s deep ties to the JUCO scene. The other thing that gets overlooked is that Nebraska would be smart to consistently look for additional ways to add talent considering its lack of a strong recruiting base. Since spring football ended, Held has been to Mississippi, Texas and Arizona checking out talent. Expect these early evaluations to pay dividends for the Huskers this cycle.

Verduzco looking for QBs

As I reported last week, quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco went out to Oregon to see 4-star Michael Johnson Jr.‍ throw. Johnson Jr is a good prospect but many have doubts that he can be pulled away from Oregon considering his dad is an assistant coach there. I’m told, however, that it’s far from a lock that he ends up at Oregon. The Ducks are very high on a different quarterback, Cale Millen, who recently decommitted from Northwestern. Verduzco swung through Alabama to see Taulia Tagovailoa‍ throw on Monday but don’t expect much traction with the recent Tide commit. Today, Verduzco is scheduled to see 3-star quarterback John Rhys Plumlee in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Plumlee is a very intriguing option and his film is electric.

Eye on the Class of 2020

Since Nebraska’s coaches have hit the road, there have not been a lot of new 2019 offers that have gone out. However, Nebraska has certainly been evaluating the class of 2020 and plenty of offers have gone out to prospects in that class. The Huskers are at or close to double-digit offers for 2020 at running back, wide receiver, linebacker and defensive back. The majority of prospects that have been offered are 4-star caliber players with some 5-stars mixed in. It appears as if Nebraska feels good about its ability to get in on the ground floor with these prospects and build the relationships needed to be a real player in their recruitments. If that is correct, look for a lot of younger players at Nebraska’s camps this summer and for 2020 to be the big recruiting year from the Frost era.

Iowa is a priority

Erik Chinander has made Iowa a huge focus during the evaluation period. We already knew that 3-star defensive end Mosai Newsom‍ from Waverly, Iowa, is a priority target for the Huskers and Chinander is his lead recruiter. Running back Gavin Williams‍ is one of the fastest players in the state of Iowa in the 2020 class and Nebraska recently offered him. Griffin Liddle‍ is a 2021 defensive tackle that recently picked up a Husker offer as well. Chinander has deep ties in the state of Iowa so expect many battles between Nebraska and Iowa on the recruiting trail in the coming years.  

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