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Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Husker Recruiting Targets Take Field This Weekend in Texas 7-on-7 State Tournament

June 22, 2023

Matt Rhule and his coaching staff’s Texas ties extend well into recruiting. When Rhule accepted the job he asked current tight ends coach Bob Wager if he could get Texas kids to come to Nebraska. They ultimately thought they could. As a result, the Huskers are pounding pavement from El Paso to Jasper in search for high-potential recruits willing to come to Lincoln.

Nebraska is recruiting Texans at any position but especially at the skill positions. The Huskers just secured a commitment from defender Braylen Prude, who stood out at a satellite camp earlier this month. Cornerback Mario Buford also committed earlier this month. Defensive back William Nettles, safety Dontae Carter and safety Peyton Morgan all visited earlier this month. Safety commit Roger Gradney, receiver recruit Ernest Campbell and running back Kewan Lacy are all set to visit this weekend. Also this weekend, the Texas 7-on-7 State Tournament, where several Nebraska targets will compete.

This year will be the 25th such tournament (26th 7-on-7 season overall as no tournament was played in 2020). It is not sponsored by the University Interscholastic League (Texas’ equivalent of the NSAA) and the coaches of each high school team cannot coach their respective team in the 7-on-7 season. Coaches can watch and cheer but not give coaching to their teams during the events. Which adds a wrinkle of intrigue for the 128-team tournament that begins Thursday. Action starts with the three divisions beginning pool play. Out of those pools comes two qualifiers each for bracket play, which determines the winner in each division. This provides plenty of opportunity for recruits on Nebraska’s radar to stand out.

Most eyes will probably be on DeSoto, reigning 7-on-7 Division I champion and 6A state champion. The Huskers already have a commitment out of Buford from DeSoto and are high on 2026 running back Deondrae Riden, 2026 receiver Daylon Singleton, 2026 safety Sael Reyes and 2027 receiver Ethan Feaster. Feaster is already showing his potential in the 7-on-7 season and could potentially start for the defending champions this fall. He competed at Elite 11 and will likely be one of the most coveted receivers in his class with offers already from USC, LSU, Texas A&M, TCU, Nebraska and 20 other programs. The biggest challenge to DeSoto is likely Red Oak, home of 2025 receiver Taz Williams Jr. and 2026 receiver Brayden Robinson. Williams already holds offers from over 40 programs, including Nebraska. The Huskers offered Robinson back in February, before programs like LSU and Texas.

McKinney, Texas, qualified so defensive back Zay Gentry will show his meddle. He’s a 3-star standout with growing national interest. Fort Bend Hightower 2025 athlete Kade Phillips will also be in action with his teammates. Those following Katy Jordan can watch class of 2025 running back Chad Gasper. He holds an offer from Nebraska and visited Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin earlier this month. Quanell Farrakhan Jr., a 2025 4-star receiver will be competing for The Woodlands. Nebraska offered him in April, shortly after he took his last visit to Penn State. KJ Edwards, a promising 2026 running back, competes for Carthage. Nebraska was one of his first offers, coming back in March.

Kiotti Armstrong, a 4-star 2025 athlete, and Britain Simmons, a 4-star 2024 athlete, play for Jasper. Nebraska offered both in December. McKinney will also compete with standout 2025 linebacker Riley Pettijohn. He holds an offer from Nebraska, as well as numerous SEC programs.

Rhule and his coaching staff like multi-sport athletes and spring track stars who showcase their athleticism. This weekend in College Station provides a little bit of high school football in June and it wouldn’t be far-fetched if the Nebraska scouting staff is watching intently.

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