For most of the era of wall-to-wall television coverage of national signing day, Nebraska has been but a bit player in college football’s most maddening drama. It is a day dominated by big recruiting stars — Alabama, Florida State, LSU, USC — but a couple of schools like Ole Miss, Auburn and Tennessee have had surprising star turns, all of it televised and hyped on ESPNU.
Nebraska is still waiting for its turn. For example: In 2013 all eyes were on Robert Nkemdiche, and he picked Ole Miss live on ESPNU. Nebraska’s biggest drama that day came from a live stream of Jacquille Vei’s selection ceremony. He chose Maryland and that signing day went down like most others — the Huskers’ class at the end of the day was the basic class people had been evaluating at the start of the day.
Signing day 2017 has a chance to be different. These things can always change in a flash, but as of right now Nebraska could be involved in about a half-dozen signing-day decisions. Not minor ones, either. Defensive backs Elijah Blades and Deommodore Lenoir, wide receiver Joseph Lewis and athlete Greg Johnson are all 4-star prospects. Defensive tackle Damion Daniels, athlete Michael Onyemaobi and wide receiver Bryan Thompson are all high 3-stars.
If those decisions simply break the way they’re currently trending, I think Nebraska would end up with four of those players and a class that ranked in the top 15 nationally. Anything more than that and the Huskers are likely flirting with the top 10, assuming no defections.
We posted a new poll question late last night. We chose the four top-rated players from that group along with one (Daniels) that fills a big need for the Huskers, and asked which one you would pick if Nebraska could only land one of those players on signing day. You can go vote and see the results of what looks like a pretty close race.
As of this morning, Blades and Daniels were neck-and-neck for the lead while Lewis (the top-rated player in the group) running third. Should make for a fun agonizing interesting Wednesday.
Huskers Get Had-to-Have-It Win
Nebraska was about an 8-point underdog on its home floor to Purdue yesterday. I didn’t get home to watch it until there were 15 minutes left in the second half and Nebraska was still very much in the game. Even though the Huskers weren’t favorites and nobody probably expected Nebraska to get a win in that game, when it was close down the stretch that all went out the window. It became a game I thought the Huskers had to have. To come up short in that one would have felt like the ultimate gut punch, which is saying something considering two of the Huskers’ previous three losses came on baskets with less than 2 seconds left.
Nebraska didn’t come up short. Two bench players — Jack McVeigh and Jeriah Horne — led the Huskers in scoring. Michael Jacobson needed an IV at halftime. It all looked like this (at least through the lens of Aaron Babcock).
The Grab Bag
- ICYMI: Nebraska landed a commitment from 3-star tight end Kurt Rafdal. Jake Jensen broke down his film here (Premium).
- Tulsa AD Derrick Gragg shoots down the idea of a Group of 5 playoff, mostly because his conference (the AAC) feels like it’s already knocking on the door of the Power 5.
- Current Arizona commit, cornerback Tony Wallace, says he’s sticking with the Wildcats despite a recent push from Nebraska.
- A Miami fan makes up a fake story about recruiting violations at Florida, which promptly gets picked up by other outlets.
Today’s Song of 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.