The October edition of Greg’s Guys is here.
This is the first list in a long time where the Huskers a building towards a game. While it feels great that football is on its way back, of course recruiting never stops. This time around three players from last month’s list committed to schools. Just one, linebacker Mikai Gbayor picked the Huskers.
The list continues to be dominated by defensive players as the Huskers look to close out the 2021 recruiting class strong. Eight of the 10 players on the big board are defensive players, just like last month.
If you aren’t familiar with the Greg’s Guys list, it’s my top 10 players in the class based on Nebraska’s needs, how a player fits in the scheme and talent. The list is always fluid and that’s what makes it fun.
1) DE Ru'Quan Buckley (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
Last Rank: 1
The Michigan defender has long been one of Nebraska’s top defensive targets this cycle. He has set an Oct. 14 announcement date for his college decision. It currently feels like a Nebraska-versus-Michigan State battle. Florida State is also making a push, but is recruiting Buckley as an offensive lineman. High school football just got underway in Michigan so new film of his improvements over the offseason should be available soon. He also released a top 11 last weekend with the Huskers safely in it.
2) TE James Carnie (Firth, Nebraska)
Last Rank: unranked
The in-state tight end has been a hot prospect since the football season started in Nebraska. He picked up offers from Iowa, Kansas State and Pitt in August and announced a decision date of Oct. 12. Then his recruitment really got shaken up when the Huskers entered the mix and came through with an offer on Monday. The Huskers are now likely the odds-on favorite to come away with the Nebraskan’s commitment.
3) OLB Wynden Ho'ohuli (Mililani, Hawaii)
Last Rank: 3
The No. 1 player in Hawaii (6-3, 215) may represent the best chance to get back on the board in the state for the 2021 cycle. The Huskers have been trying hard to make inroads on the island but have come up short recently. The biggest problem for Nebraska (and the other schools that offered) is that Ho’ohuli hasn’t been able to visit any of the schools he is considering. He’d be making a big leap of faith to commit to Nebraska sight unseen. Ho’ohuli might have the luxury of waiting all the way until February to decide just to see if the NCAA changes its mind on visits after the new year. He’d make a great linebacker in the Huskers’ defense as a nice sideline-to-sideline player.
4) DE Tiaoalii Savea (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Last Rank: 6
Nebraska currently holds all the buzz for the 4-star (HV Rating: 92.3) defensive lineman out of Vegas. It’s tough to pull players from out of the region without having official visits, but that’s what the Huskers are trying to pull off here. Savea announced that he has shut his recruitment down and will be focusing on his school work.
I just want to announce that my recruitment is close and I’ll be focusing on my school work from now on. 🤙🏽
— Tiaoalii A. Savea † (@TiaoaliiS) August 31, 2020
Savea intends to make his decision public at the Under Armour game. There is talk that he has informed the schools recruiting him of his decision already.
5) DE Mandela Tobin (San Diego, California)
Last Rank: 4
Tobin has consistently shown Nebraska love on social media throughout his recruitment. There is no decision date set for his recruitment to end, but the feeling around his commitment is that the Huskers are in the lead for him. He’s had a good relationship with Nebraska throughout his recruitment. Tobin also looks up to Husker legend Ndamukong Suh.
6) DE Jailen Weaver (Antioch, California)
Last Rank: unranked
The California native (6-8, 280) is among a handful of names to know for the Huskers on the defensive line this cycle. The Huskers made his final three recently alongside Tennessee and Indiana. It seems Weaver is destined to leave the west coast but where will he land? The Vols seem to be the favorite here with a decision date set for Halloween.
On film Weaver shows explosion and quickness that you don’t see often from players his size.
7) ATH Dametrious Crownover (Grandview, Texas)
Last Rank: 8
The senior is being recruited to either play tight end or outside linebacker by different schools. The jumbo athlete has potential at either position. That makes him one of the most intriguing athletes on the board for the Huskers who value position flexibility in their prospects. He also has a basketball background which really helps to showcase his athleticism at 6-foot-6, 275 pounds. Crownover has a top five of A&M, Baylor, Nebraska, Ohio State and Texas. He has an older brother that plays at Texas A&M.
8) RB Cam'ron Valdez (Rockdale, Texas)
Last Rank: 9
The Huskers are in an interesting place when it comes to offensive recruiting down the stretch run of this cycle. It’s not a huge need to take a second running back in the class but an exception could be made for Valdez. The 5-10, 187-pound playmaker from Texas would fit well in their offense. Valdez has racked up more than 3,000 yards from scrimmage and scored almost 50 touchdowns over the last two seasons in Texas Class 3A.
9) DL Michael Mokofisi (Woods Cross, Utah)
Last Rank: 10
The stout lineman (6-3, 300) is one of the top uncommitted players in the state of Utah. He visited Nebraska last season in November to see the Huskers take on Wisconsin. Unfortunately for the Huskers or any other school chasing him, he has been content to wait as long as possible to take visits again before deciding on a school. Mokofisi projects anywhere along the defensive line in college.
10) DL/OL Tyler Maro (Assumption, Iowa)
Last Rank: unranked
The Iowa native is a fascinating prospect to watch in the 2021 cycle. He was way under the radar without many offers outside of the Ivy League for a long time. Then his offer list exploded and he’s over 30 total offers. Things have gone quiet surrounding his recruitment but he’s a unique prospect (6-7, 260) who could play offensive or defensive line in college. The downside to his recruitment taking off during quarantine is that he hasn’t visited any of the schools that have offered him recently. His decision may go deep into the season.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.