The Janury issue of Hail Varsity, featuring 2019 wide receiver signee and early enrollee Jamie Nance on the cover, went to press this morning. It’s a recruiting-focused issue with a special emphasis on Nebraska’s seven early enrollees. Each one is featured in the issue in some unique ways.
You can find out more about what’s in the latest issue in my Letter from the Managing Editor below. Make sure you don’t miss an issue by subscribing today.
What is life like for the highly touted and hotly pursued football recruit once all the pomp of offer letters, camp evaluations, endless interview requests, official visits and signing-day ceremonies is over? Trying to answer that question became something of a signpost for us in this issue.
The football recruiting calendar has changed. With the addition of an early signing period in December, schools are now signing three-fourths of their classes before the calendar even flips to the new year. That means a more subdued ceremony on the first Wednesday in February, which in the past had been close to a national holiday for the truly football obsessed. The ability to end the recruiting process early has also meant a rise in January enrollees.
Nebraska has seven in this 2019 class, the most it has ever had. We have interviews with all seven of them in this issue. Greg Smith spoke with Wandale Robinson, perhaps the most high-profile recruit in the class, for an enlightening Q&A.
Derek Peterson went to Blanchard, Oklahoma, to visit Jamie Nance and found a town in the heart of Sooner country rooting hard for the homegrown receiver’s success in a different shade of red.
MORE: Deleted Scenes from Our Jamie Nance Feature
Erin Sorensen spent time talking with Nick Henrich, Chris Hickman, Luke McCaffrey Garrett Nelson and Brant Banks over the first week of classes as they moved into their dorms and got used to their new lives. She also touched base with all of their parents to get a unique look at the age-old tradition of sending a kid off to college. In this case, however, the kids in question are high-level athletes now carrying at least a share of an entire fan base’s hopes for the future. It’s different in that way, but maybe more remarkable in how it fits the mold in others.
If there’s something linking all those stories, I think it’s the sense of excitement for the journey ahead. All of the early enrollees could have to waited to begin the next phase of their lives, but in many cases they didn’t want to wait.
That’s probably always the case in a perfect world. Getting the opportunity to participate in college athletics is a big deal no matter where it is, but in this case that anticipation dovetails nicely with the enthusiasm that’s already building for the next Nebraska football team.
It seems everything happens more quickly these days.
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.