The February edition of Greg’s Guys is here!
The 2022 recruiting class is officially in the books. The Huskers finished that class with a flurry of activity. It looks much different than we expected after the season ended for the Huskers. Now it is time to turn the page completely to the 2023 cycle. This year is going to be dominated by talk of the 500-mile radius. Only two of the players on the initial list for 2023 are from outside the radius. You’ll also notice many of these prospects have been to campus already. That’s a pretty good sign for the Huskers given the board shake up with the new coaches coming on board.
We are also back to the full list of 10 players now that the cycle has been reset. The Greg’s Guys list is always fluid and that’s what makes it fun.
1) QB JJ Kohl (Ankeny, Iowa)
Kolh (6-6, 220) had a great junior season and was named MVP of the Under Armour camp in Ohio. The Iowa native also helped his team win a seven-on-seven tournament in front of Husker coaches in last summer. That’s when he got on the Huskers/ radar. He has skyrocketed up the big board with offensive coordinator Mark Whipple on the staff. When Kohl was in Lincoln in January he enjoyed his time watching film with Whipple.
“We actually had a good 15-minute session where he was just breaking down Pitt film from last year,” Kohl said. “Just going over his offense and his schemes and how he likes to take shots downfield. It was really good. It was really impressive to see all the concepts they had. They just had receivers open all over the field. He was really impressive.”
The Huskers will fight hard to stay in the mix as Kohl continues to raise his profile. Indiana and Penn State are a pair of his most recent offers. The pocket-passer will be a hot prospect among Big Ten schools this cycle.
2) WR Malachi Coleman (Lincoln, Nebraska)
There was no bigger riser in the recruiting scene in Nebraska last year than Coleman. He went from unknown prospect to double-digit offers. Coleman (6-5, 180) starred on defense as an edge rusher for Lincoln East his junior season. He also put up plenty of touchdowns at wide receiver. That’s where the Huskers currently see him playing. Wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph has taken over his recruitment and the pair have hit it off.
“He was straight to the point of nobody is going to have a better relationship with me and nobody is going to be as open and honest as him,” Coleman said. “I loved that. He said that I’m a priority to them. He’s going to make sure everything is fine and I come to Nebraska. He was personable and easy to talk to and made me feel even more wanted at Nebraska, even though we don’t know what I’m going to play yet.”
The Huskers have made Coleman a major priority. He’s a centerpiece of the potential 2023 recruiting class.
3) DE Maverick Noonan (Omaha, Nebraska)
The Elkhorn South standout (6-4, 225) was one of the Huskers’ earliest offers in-state for the 2023 class. He’s got a great frame to end up playing with his hand in the dirt at defensive end in college. Noonan could also blossom into a stand-up 3-4 outside linebacker. Noonan is a really good pass rusher and is only getting better. He didn’t come to Lincoln during January for Junior Day but expect the Huskers to push hard for a March visit. He recently picked up an offer from Stanford.
4) RB Dylan Edwards (Derby, Kansas)
Edwards (5-9, 165) is one of the top running backs in the region for the 2023 recruiting class. His recruitment has blown up over the last month. He’s up to 28 scholarship offers from all over the country. Edwards was prolific during his junior season. He tallied 2,603 rushing yards with 38 touchdowns. The Huskers did get him on campus for a Junior Day visit but many schools are pushing hard. That includes Oklahoma, which recently offered.
5) QB Avery Johnson (Maize, Kansas)
Johnson (6-2, 170) is a player that popped onto the radar after the Huskers reshuffled the quarterback board. Once Whipple evaluated the 2023 class for the team, Johnson shot up the big board. The Huskers visited him the maximum times allowed during the contact period in January. Johnson is a true dual-threat athlete that excels in three sports. If the Huskers were not too late to party, he would be a major player to land. Johnson has indicated that he will visit Nebraska in March for spring practice. He’s visited Arkansas several times, so that’s the team everyone is chasing for the Kansas native.
6) WR Joshua Manning (Lee’s Summit, Missouri)
The wide receiver talent in the region this cycle is good. One of the best is the Lee’s Summit pass catcher. Manning (6-3, 190) is up to double-digit offers that are from Power Five schools around the region. Nebraska has hosted Manning a couple times, including a game day last season. He remains a top target after Mickey Joseph took over the wide receivers position. Manning 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.
7) OLB Blake Purchase (Englewood, Colorado)
The Huskers seem to be pushing into Colorado more during the 2023 cycle. The top target for the team from the state is Purchase (6-3, 210), an edge rusher from Cherry Creek High School. He’s been a hot prospect lately but the Huskers got on him early enough to get a Junior Day visit. Iowa State and USC are in the mix here in addition to many Pac-12 schools. The Huskers need to recruit Colorado given it’s proximity, and Purchase plays a position of need.
8) LB Denzel Moore (Lawrenceville, Georgia)
The Huskers did a pretty good job of getting future prospects on campus last season. That’s helpful to see them in person to verify size and get to know them. The search is always on for edge rushers. The Huskers have made a good impression on Georgia outside linebacker Denzel Moore. Moore (6-2, 225) is viewed by Nebraska as more of a stand-up outside linebacker in its scheme. Moore liked that pitch in November when he spoke with Hail Varsity.
“I feel like that matches with my skills,” Moore said. “I feel like I’ve been working and grinding all my life to end up playing stand up linebacker that rushes. I love to rush the quarterback and get them under pressure. I’m going to always bring the pressure.”
Moore has been active on social media with Nebraska fans and recruits. There is a good chance you’ll see Moore take a spring or summer official visit to Nebraska.
9) RB Dontavius Braswell (Sandersville, Georgia)
The Huskers have dipped into Georgia for many players under coach Scott Frost. Braswell (5-11, 190) is one of the latest players the team likes from the Peach State. His offer list is light with four teams. That list includes Florida State, Georgia Tech and Minnesota to go along with the Huskers. That’s likely to change as more teams see him in person. He did visit Nebraska for Junior Day and is already planning a return trip. Braswell may also run track in college. He had a personal best with a 10.75 in the 100-meter and almost 22 flat in the 200-meter at the Georgia state championships.
10) OL Cayden Green (Lee’s Summit, Missouri)
If you are looking for a prospect that the Huskers are doing better with than people realize, it might be Green. The lineman (6-5, 310) is an early 4-star prospect out of Missouri. Special teams coach Bill Busch has quietly gone to work recruiting Green. There are some heavy hitters in offensive line recruiting that are also after him. Michigan, Oklahoma and Iowa are three of his top choices at the moment. New teams are also getting in the mix as Green is up to 32 scholarship offers. The Huskers need to get him on campus soon but Green is an important Kansas City metro target.
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.