The light at the end of the tunnel can be seen for Nebraska’s 2021 recruiting class. It’s odd to say that in October but the Huskers are in good shape overall with numbers in the class. As we hit the stretch run of the class look for the Huskers to go all defense the rest of the way.
Let’s take a look at who could fill the remaining spots for Nebraska.
Names to know: Mandela Tobin, Jailen Weaver, Josh Simmons, Tia Savea, Ru’Quan Buckley
Defensive line recruiting has become the position most under-the-microscope down the stretch run of this cycle. The Huskers don’t have a prospect publicly committed at the position yet, which has caused some fan angst. I don’t think that angst is matched at North Stadium right now. The Huskers are young on the current roster along the defensive line. There is just one senior projected to contribute this year. The need this class is likely for two defensive linemen.
The good news is that Nebraska has a handful of targets here to really like. Tobin and Buckley are good upside plays. Particularly Tobin (6-4, 270) who is one of the stronger players on the defensive line that the Huskers are after. Weaver (6-8, 280) is perhaps the most intriguing player on the list. He is scheduled to commit somewhere on Oct. 31. Weave will decide between Indiana, Nebraska and Tennessee. Savea announced that his recruitment is shut down. Nebraska is in good position there. Simmons (6-6, 280) has burst onto the radar as of late. It feels like a USC versus Nebraska battle for him currently for the California native. He could play on either line in college.
Names to know: OLB Kason Boston, ILB Wynden Ho’ohuli, JUCO OLB Jae’vion Gill
There has been a lot of fluctuation at this position in the 2021 recruiting cycle. Losing outside linebacker Will Schweitzer hurt, as well as missing on outside linebacker Christian Burkhalter. He picked Oregon after seeming like a Husker lock. If those two were in the class the team would likely be chasing Hawaii native Wynden Ho’ohuli to round out the group.
The picture at this spot is shaky currently. There is a lot to like about the players committed to Nebraska right now. Patrick Payton, the player with the highest upside, is someone the Huskers are going to have to keep battling to sign. There is still a need for at least one more outside linebacker and one more inside linebacker. Ho’ohuli is a good option but without getting him on campus it’s hard to feel good about Nebraska landing him. This could be a spot where senior film evaluations come in handy.
Names to know: Avante Dickerson, Ceyair Wright
If the Huskers look to take a “best available” type player, this would be a position to do it at. Dickerson, the local product from Omaha Westside, is still firm to Minnesota. The Huskers are going to keep recruiting him. He’s a good player and the Huskers have the proximity factor. Dickerson also has never visited Minnesota. Wright is an electric athlete but feels like a USC lean at this point.
It is also wise for Nebraska to save a few spots for transfers. Given how crazy 2020 has been there are going to be even more players than usual available in the transfer portal. The Huskers will want to stay flexible in case they can add an instant-impact type player down the line.
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.