There are no breaks aboard the recruiting express. Mike Riley said that he and his staff spent the night before signing day 2017 polishing their plan for the 2018 class. Nebraska will be after a slew of defensive backs in this new recruiting cycle. Riley said it looks like a strong year for players in the 500-mile radius around Lincoln, and that will be supplemented with more players from far-flung locales who the staff thinks might have an adventurous spirit.
“We were earlier last year than the year before and we are earlier today than we were last year going onto ’18,” Riley said. “As we know that, we are getting a better picture earlier of where to really pinpoint. ‘Is this guy an explorer? Does he want to reach out and try something new?’ The more we can find that out earlier, the better.”
Nebraska found some explorers in the 2017 class, too. The Huskers landed perhaps the first player in program history from Delaware in linebacker Avery Roberts. The Huskers landed three players from its old stomping grounds in Texas and plucked players from Big Ten strongholds Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. And, yes, Nebraska kept the “Calibraska Express” rolling with four signees from the Golden State.
That theme highlights the cover of this issue, drawing on timeless train-travel advertisements and beautifully illustrated by design director Quentin Lueninghoener. Highlights from the issue include:
>>Jake Jensen takes readers down to Texas for a Q&A with offensive lineman Brenden Jaimes.
>>Mike Babcock and Brandon Vogel offer some historical context for Nebraska recruiting in their columns. The issue also includes Big Ten quarterback signee rankings, the conference’s increasing recruiting profile and more.
The latest issue of Hail Varsity arrives on newsstands and in mailboxes this week. Subscribe today.
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.