The March edition of Greg’s Guys is here!
The Huskers are off and running with the 2023 recruiting class. There is currently a much different level of activity with building this class than in years past, and it is paying off. Each Junior Day the Huskers have hosted has been well attended. This month we had some big changes. Since the Huskers landed quarterback William “Pop” Watson, I removed the other two signal-callers from the list. More linemen have been added to the group as the Huskers lock in on some top prospects in the trenches.
Greg’s Guys list is always fluid and that’s what makes it fun.
1) WR Malachi Coleman (Lincoln, Nebraska)
Last Rank: 2
The new No. 1 Greg’s Guy has emerged as a very important target for the Huskers. Different schools see him playing all over the place in college. The athlete (6-5, 185) is being recruited as a wide receiver, tight end, defensive end or outside linebacker. Nebraska is recruiting him as a wide receiver. Wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph is leading the charge on his recruitment. Coleman was back in Lincoln March 5 for the team’s Junior Day event. The Lincoln East standout intends on visiting a lot of schools this spring and summer so the Huskers will have to battle hard to maintain a good position.
2) DE Maverick Noonan (Omaha, Nebraska)
Last Rank: 3
Noonan is a player the Huskers have recruited hard from the start of his recruitment. The Elkhorn South standout (6-4, 225) was one of the Huskers’ earliest offers in-state for the 2023 class. He profiles as a prospect that could end up playing defensive end or outside linebacker. Since the Huskers are leaning toward playing outside linebackers as more traditional defensive ends Noonan could fit that role perfectly. There are a lot of regional teams interested in the legacy prospect. Iowa, Iowa State and Minnesota are pursuing him but Nebraska is recruiting him the hardest. The Huskers are hoping to land him soon and a summer decision could be looming.
3) WR Joshua Manning (Lee’s Summit, Missouri)
Last Rank: 6
Manning (6-3, 190) was an All-State and All-Conference selection as a receiver and return man as a junior. He was also his conference’s Offensive Player of the Year. He had 1,194 all-purpose yards and 12 touchdowns. It’s easy to see why Joseph has been recruiting him hard since arriving in Lincoln. The Huskers aren’t the only Big Ten team after Manning. He took a visit to Iowa on March 5 for a Junior Day event. Manning has been to Lincoln several times and the Huskers have made him a priority.
4) RB Dontavius Braswell (Sandersville, Georgia)
Last Rank: 9
The secret is out on the running back from Georgia. Braswell (5-11, 190) has been a target for the Huskers going back to the previous offensive staff. The current group has continued to recruit him hard getting him on campus in January. We’ll see if that visit and the previous relationship is enough to keep the Huskers in the mix. Braswell visited Alabama on March 5 after the Tide offered him a scholarship. The Huskers need to get him back to Lincoln for a spring game visit.
5) DL Riley Van Poppel (Argyle, Texas)
Last Rank: NR
The Huskers have a big need for young defensive linemen in the 2023 recruiting class. One of prospects the team is building a great relationship with is the Texas native Van Poppel. The lineman (6-4, 270) came to Lincoln for the March Junior Day and was very impressed with what he saw in Lincoln.
“It was great, I loved getting to finally come up and see everything,” Van Poppel said. “What stood out was the culture of Nebraska football and just the intensity of practice. But also, how the staff is, they are very family feeling and good people, which I liked.”
Baylor, Arkansas and TCU are a few of the other schools that are pursuing the defender hard. The Huskers are in a good spot but there is still more work to be done.
6) OLB Blake Purchase (Englewood, Colorado)
Last Rank: 7
The No. 1 player in Colorado for the 2023 class, Purchase (6-3, 210) is an edge rusher from Cherry Creek High School. The Huskers did well to get a Junior Day visit from him in January. Iowa State and USC are in the picture for the talented defensive athlete. One thing to keep in mind here is that he has a brother that plays defensive back for Iowa State already. That and the Cyclones solid recruiting of him could be big factors. The Huskers need dynamic pass rushers and Purchase fits the bill and is from the region.
7) DL David Borchers (Eldridge, Iowa)
Last Rank: NR
Every recruiting cycle under coach Scott Frost, the Huskers have locked in on a few Iowa prospects. This year is no different. One of the key Iowa targets for Nebraska is the defensive lineman from Eldridge, Iowa. Borchers (6-3, 260) made it a priority to get to Lincoln for the March 5 Junior Day event. Borchers told Hail Varsity that the trip went really well. What stood out to him the most was the atmosphere at practice and the Nebraska coaching staff. The Iowa native feels like a priority for the Huskers and the team is pushing hard to land him.
Thanks for amazing junior day nebraska!!! pic.twitter.com/0VcLhjuOV8
— David Borchers (@DavidBorchers3) March 6, 2022
8) LB Denzel Moore (Lawrenceville, Georgia)
Last Rank: 8
The Huskers remain in a good spot with Georgia outside linebacker Denzel Moore. Moore (6-2, 240) is viewed by Nebraska as more of a stand-up outside linebacker in its scheme. He’d be able to learn the position that Caleb Tannor currently plays for the Huskers. Moore has developed a good relationship with several Nebraska commits and targets. It would be surprising if he didn’t make it up to Lincoln for the spring game this April. Mississippi State and East Carolina are a couple of schools that are also after Moore at this point.
9) OL Paris Patterson (East St. Louis, Illinois)
Last Rank: NR
One thing that the Huskers’ coaching staff focused on during the contact period is getting out to St. Louis high schools. The school was rewarded with those efforts when Patterson (6-6, 345) made a trip to Lincoln for Junior Day on March 5. He told Hail Varsity that the visit went very well.
“I just instantly fell in love with it,” Patterson said. “From the coaching staff to the facilities.”
Patterson is hoping to take more visits this spring and summer. Northern Alabama, Western Michigan, Missouri and Louisville are spots he’d like to visit. It’s safe to say that the Huskers will be in the thick of this recruitment for a while.
10) OL Cayden Green (Lee’s Summit, Missouri)
Last Rank: 10
Green (6-5, 310) is an early 4-star prospect out of Missouri. Special teams coach Bill Busch has been focused on recruiting Green. There are some big-time schools among his 32 scholarship offers. Michigan, Oklahoma and Iowa are three of his top choices. He was in Norman, Oklahoma, on March 5 to check out the Sooners and their new staff. It’s important that Nebraska get back into the Kansas City area and Green would be a great place to start.
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.