The world turned upside down since the last Greg’s Guys list. The college football recruiting world has seen its share of adjustments as the country tries to slow the spread of COVID-19. Every player on this list was impacted by not being able to visit schools this spring. Most of the prospects on the list were planning to make decisions prior their senior seasons after a slew of visits.
Changes to the list were needed this month. There’s been some movement on the list and two players that were on the March edition have committed. Linebacker Chris Paul Jr. pledged to Nebraska, while quarterback Peter Costelli committed to Utah in a surprise.
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) TE Thomas Fidone (Council Bluffs, Iowa)
Previous Rank: 1
Fidone remains in the top slot in this edition of the list. The talented tight end dropped his top six schools on March 16. Nebraska was joined in that group by Iowa, Michigan, Notre Dame, LSU and Penn State. Fidone was supposed to see Michigan and Notre Dame for sure this spring but was unable to because of the COVID-19-related dead period. We don’t know yet what impact that will have on his timeline. The Huskers and Hawkeyes are currently the only schools in his six that he’s visited.
— Thomas Fidone II ²⁴ (@ThomasFidone) April 7, 2020
2) OLB TJ Bollers (Tiffin, Iowa)
Previous Rank: 2
Bollers just released his top six schools: Wisconsin, Iowa State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Cal and Alabama.
— TJ Bollers (@tj35ballin) April 7, 2020
That group is interesting for a number of reasons. The Huskers have recruited Bollers hard and will continue to do so. They’ve hosted him the most of any school but the Badgers are a tough challenger here. Wisconsin’s recent history, engineering school and the town of Madison are strong draws for Bollers. He has three official visits set currently with Iowa State, Cal and Wisconsin. There are three schools fighting for those final two slots and a shorter timetable to get them in.
3) ILB Terrence Lewis (Hollywood, Florida)
Previous Rank: 4
Lewis released a revised top group on April 4. It was a mild surprise when it did not include Florida, the school he was committed to at one point.
That’s a strong top group for the Florida linebacker who reminds me a lot of current Husker signee Keyshawn Greene on the football field. Lewis has yet to visit Nebraska which makes it even more impressive that the Huskers are in such a strong position in his recruitment. He did get to visit Texas A&M and has a strong relationship with the Aggies.
4) CB Avante Dickerson (Omaha, Nebraska)
Previous Rank: 3
The Huskers have been a mainstay in the Omaha Westside star’s recruitment since the start. His original final three schools have expanded at this point as some changes have happened around college football. The slowdown has allowed him to take his time with the process and see how he likes the new schools that entered the picture in recent months. Dickerson has a good relationship with Coach Scott Frost and defensive backs coach Travis Fisher but things could interesting if he ends up taking official visits during the season.
5) RB Amari Daniels (Miami, Florida)
Previous Rank: 5
The 5-foot-8, 194-pound 4-star junior holds offers from some of the top schools in the country. He has a top four of Nebraska, Georgia, Penn State and Texas A&M. The Aggies have a good connection with Daniels dating back to when Jimbo Fisher was at Florida State. The Huskers are doing their part to push into the perceived top two of Georgia and Texas A&M. He is former teammates with Husker early enrollee Henry Gray so we know Gray is doing his part to peer recruit. Nebraska will need to get the talented runner on campus to make a move.
6) DE Ru'Quan Buckley (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
Previous Rank: 5
Buckley has the ability to play either defensive end or offensive tackle in college since he stands at 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds. He still has room to add more weight to his frame but is a really good athlete from his time as a basketball player.
Buckley might be a player that would have seen his recruitment take off if there was an evaluation period or he could have visited more schools. He has an official visit set to check out Nebraska on June 19.
7) WR Keagan Johnson (Omaha, Nebraska)
Previous Rank: 10
The Bellevue West standout has an official visit on the books to Nebraska for June 12. He also has his visits set for Iowa and Kansas State in June so he is hoping things will be opened back up by then.
When I spoke with Johnson recently, he said that he’s been in constant contact with his top schools despite the uncertainty.
“I think the schools are unsure about the whole thing too,” Johnson said. “They don’t have the best idea. I don’t think anyone does. I talk to Nebraska probably every two or three days. The same with the other schools. I would say Iowa and Kansas State reach out just as much. Three or four times a week. They are still keeping in contact with me. They can still text or call me even though there are no visits right now.”
The dead period really impacted Johnson’s visit plans since he wanted to check out a practice at each of his final schools before taking his official visits. He hopes to still decide before his senior season.
8) ILB Seth Malcom (Tabor, Iowa)
Previous Rank: 9
An early evaluation, offer and jump start on the relationship building could help the Huskers in the long-run with Malcom. The eight-man football start plays a little bit of everything for his high school team but the Huskers really like him at linebacker. He’s been pretty quiet since the dead period but I’d look for him to visit Lincoln for an official visit pretty soon after visits are allowed. Malcom is a high-potential player that could see his game take off when he concentrates on football only.
9) OL Marcus Mbow (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Previous Rank: unranked
The lineman from Wisconsin has had some bad luck trying to visit Nebraska. He was supposed to visit in January but a snowstorm kept him from making the trip. Then he was scheduled to visit in March and the COVID-19 restrictions hit. Could the third time be the charm? Mbow has his official visit set to check out Nebraska in June.
— Marcus Mbow (@MarcusMbow) April 7, 2020
Mbow could be viewed as a “swing” lineman that could play either guard or tackle in college. He’s got great size (6-5, 285) and is a terrific athlete.
10) WR Jaylin Noel (Kansas City, Missouri)
Previous Rank: Unranked
The pass catcher from Missouri has an official visit set to Nebraska for June 12. That will be Noel’s third time on campus since last November. He had a good first impression of new offensive coordinator Matt Lubick when he last visited Nebraska in January for Junior Day.
“He [Lubick] was a really good guy and we connected on a lot of simple concepts about football that I appreciated,” Noel said.
Noel was another one of Nebraska’s targets hoping to make a college choice before his senior season. He also plans to take an official visit to Iowa State in June.
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.