Nebraska has signed five junior college players in its 2020 class so far. A potential sixth addition, verbal commit Junior Aho from New Mexico Military Academy, announced he was reopening his recruitment over the weekend. Assuming the Huskers don't make another JUCO addition to the class, it will be the second time in three classes that Scott Frost and staff have brought in five junior college players.
Prior to 2018, the other time it happened under Frost, the Huskers hadn't brought in five or more since 2007. Bill Callahan added six JUCO players before what would be his final season in Lincoln. That was about par for the course for him. With just a few weeks to cobble together a class, Callahan brought in four junior college transfers in 2004 but then added 12 for 2005 and seven more in 2006. Of those 25 junior college players added to the roster between 2005 and 2007, 22 of them combined to earn 37 letters at Nebraska per a tally by Mike Babcock.
While Frost's addition of 11 junior college players over three seasons has spurred some low-level "what are we, Kansas State?" rumblings, it's far from the JUCO infusion Callahan engineered. He may have leaned on those schools the hardest, but junior college players have always been part of the picture at Nebraska. Starting with Tom Osborne's first recruiting class in 1973, 60 junior colleges have sent 108 players to Nebraska.
Is this the complete history of junior college recruiting in Lincoln? No, but it's a good chunk of it.
So, which school has produced the most Huskers since 1973? Here's the top 10.
Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College (9): The Red Raven program has been pretty good to Nebraska in both quantity and quality. Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier is the most famous example, but Coffeyville also sent Larry Asante, Wali Muhammad, Bryan Carpenter, Tim jackson and Bruce Pickens too Lincoln. All were multi-year letter winners.
Garden City (Kan.) Community College (6): Yes, there's a strong Jayhawk Conference presence on this top-10 list, as you'd expect given the proximity. Kareem Moss and Eric Alfrod first connected the Broncbuster-to-Husker pipeline in the early 1990s. Shukree Barfield and Kevin Dixon, a pair of defensive tackles, kept it running during the 2000s. Nebraska's leading rusher this year, Dedrick Mills, is the latest from Garden City.
Butler (Kan.) Community College (5): Nebraska's first Butler transfer was a good one–quarterback Zac Taylor in 2005. Running back Kenny Wilson followed a year later. Will Honas, the Huskers' second-leading tackler in 2019, is also a former Grizzly.
Dodge City (Kan.) Community College (4): Another Kansas school, another great nickname. Four Huskers were former Conquistadors (a.k.a Conqs) starting with Nebraska's current director of high school relations, Kenny Wilhite. Barry Cryer, a two-year letter winner under Callahan, also played at Dodge City.
Arizona Western College (4): The Matador football program is no more as of the end of the 2018 season, but it was a frequent stop for Nebraska. Most notably, Randy Gregory came to Lincoln via Yuma. Frost and staff added two players from Arizona Western in 2018, Jaron Woodyard and Greg Bell. Both have since transferred elsewhere.
City College of San Francisco (4): The Rams have been playing football since 1935, but Nebraska didn't pluck one of their players until 2004. The first real impact recruit from CCSF was wide receiver Maurice Purify in 2006. Quarterback Zac Lee followed in 2007, then defensive back Dejon Gomes in 2008.
Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College (4): Nebraska's entire Fort Scott run came early in the Bo Pelini era. Wide receiver Brandon Kinnie (2009), linebacker Lavonte David, offensive lineman Jermarcus Hardrick and defensive back Stanley Jean-Baptiste (2010) were all former Greyhounds.
Mt. San Antonio (Calif.) College (3): Just being honest here, but the most exciting piece of this entry is learning that Mt. San Antonio's mascot is the Mounties. Kevin Biggers (1982), Darren DeLeone (2003) and Jordan Picou are the Huskers who played there.
Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College (3): The "Hutch" line was revived at Nebraska in 2020 with the addition of linebacker Niko Cooper. Rodney Burgess and Clifford Brye were Blue Dragons (man, the mascot game in the Jayhawk Conference is really strong) in the 2001 Nebraska class.
Fresno (Calif.) City College (3): This was another Callahan-era California connection. Defensive back Andre Jones was a big-time get from Fresno for the Huskers in the 2006 class. Offensive lineman Chongo Kondolo joined in 2013 and earned two letters for the Huskers.
The Grab Bag
- Derek Peterson writes that the Huskers’ 2020 class offers some proof of the progress happening in Lincoln.
- Really good read from Erin Sorensen, offering some additional detail on how Zavier Betts joined the Nebraska class early. (Premium)
- Ashtyn Verbeek is a heckuva basketball player, but she still holds a deep passion for volleyball, too. There’s a good reason for that. (Also, the Huskers topped Manhattan on Sunday.)
- Greg Smith caught up with 2020 signee Tamon Lynum. (Premium)
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