Greg's Guys | Huskers 2020
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Greg’s Guys: Waiting Game Continues For Huskers’ Top Defensive Targets

December 02, 2020

The December edition of Greg’s Guys is here.

This is the first time since I’ve started doing the list that none of the players from last month’s list committed. That is remarkable considering the pace of commitments during the 2021 recruiting class. Also, the NCAA extended the dead period through the year so you’d expect another run of commitments. It appears that a lot of targets are waiting until this month to make announcements.

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) OLB Wynden Ho’ohuli (Mililani, Hawaii)

Last Rank: 1

The number one player on the Greg’s Guys list remains unchanged once again. Ho’ohuli is a terrific linebacker prospect standing at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds. The Huskers have been recruiting him hard since they offered him in May of 2019. The wildcard in this recruitment is that despite many prospects speeding up timetables due to the extended dead period, the Hawaii native has taken the opposite approach. He could announce his college in early January during the All-American Bowl television special. Washington and Kansas State are also heavily involved.

2) DE Tiaoalii Savea (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Last Rank: 2

In a theme you’ll find with some of the defensive linemen on this list, Savea has flexibility to play on the offensive or defensive line. It appears his heart is set on playing defensive line in college and the Huskers are just fine with that. Savea was set to announce his college choice at the Under Armour All-America Game but now that the event is canceled we’ll see if he announces and signs during the early signing period. Defensive line coachTony Tuioti is leading the charge for the Huskers who are battling USC for his pledge.

3) DE Ru’Quan Buckley (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Last Rank: 6

The Michigan defender released a freshly updated top five schools. The list includes Cincinnati, Nebraska, Florida State, Minnesota and Michigan State. Buckley (6-6, 280) is being recruited by schools at both offensive and defensive line. The Huskers like him along the defensive line where he hasn’t played as much before this season. He has gotten more comfortable playing defensive end during this year.

“From my junior to senior season, I think my game improved the most with me gaining speed at defensive end,” Buckley said. “Plus using my hands. I say that because my junior year, I played a lot at defensive end but I didn’t really have that much experience. I only did it a little but my freshman and sophomore year.

“So I think getting my better at defensive end with my hands and speed I feel like I just improved a lot.”

Buckley will commit to his future school on Dec. 5.

4) DB Ceyair Wright (Los Angeles, California)

Last Rank: 4

Wright is one of the top players out west who remains uncommitted. He recently took a very unofficial to Michigan to check Ann Arbor out on his own. Michigan, USC, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon and Utah remain in the mix for the talented cornerback. It feels like the Los Angeles native is leaning toward the Trojans. It would be huge if the Huskers could get Wright to visit Lincoln on his own to shake things up.

5) DE Mandela Tobin (San Diego, California)

Last Rank: 5

Tobin has always been an interesting target for the Huskers this cycle. He’s not a big name nationally but his recruitment has been steadily gaining ground. That’s despite the state of California not playing high school football this fall which would have helped him a lot. He will be committing on Dec. 4. Duke, Nevada and the Huskers are the main contenders for his commitment.

6) DL Josh Simmons (La Mesa, California)

Last Rank: 3

Throughout most of this cycle Simmons has been linked to USC. The Trojans were recruiting him as an offensive lineman but he has stated his preference to play defensive line in college. Now the question is if the Trojans share that opinion. If they don’t, the Huskers are in prime position to land a nice player from the west coast. Tuioti is working hard to convince Simmons that Nebraska is the place for him.

7) DE/OLB Kason Boston (Birmingham, Alabama)

Last Rank: 8

Boston is a really intriguing athlete (6-4, 245) that had a monster senior season. More ACC schools are getting in the mix for him. Syracuse was the latest to offer the versatile defender. He can play defensive end, outside linebacker or even some defensive tackle in college.

8) DL Michael Mokofisi (Woods Cross, Utah)

Last Rank: 9

One of the top defensive linemen in the state, Mokofisi’s recruitment has been rather quiet. It’s hard to tell if that means good things for the Huskers or not. He is on the recruiting radar since he holds offers from USC, BYU and Utah in addition to Nebraska. However, it’s going to be difficult for others to overcome the Utes in his recruitment. He did visit Nebraska for a game last season so that could help Nebraska.

9) DL/OL Tyler Maro (Assumption, Iowa)

Last Rank: 10

Maro is the last of the top Iowa prospects for the class of 2021 recruits to announce his college choice. The big (6-7, 260) lineman has been recruited by most schools to play offensive line. However, he is being recruited by the Huskers to play on the defensive line. He closing in on a decision that could come anytime. Iowa State and Stanford are the main schools to watch here besides the Huskers.

10) WR Titus Mokiao-Atimalala (Ewa Beach, Hawaii)

Last Rank: 7

The Huskers could be done recruiting offensive players this cycle, but if they were going to add a “best available player” type? It would be someone like the Hawaii native. He’s a dynamic two-way standout but would fit well at receiver for the Huskers. It’s tough with him not being able to take visits this year. The odds are he ends up on the west coast but Nebraska and Notre Dame are Midwest sleepers here.

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