The floodgates are now open and prospects can take official visits to check out colleges. Before this, players were taking self-guided tours of schools or, in Nebraska’s case, the players also came out for the spring game. That’s what Illinois offensive lineman Valen Erickson (6-6, 280) did.
Erickson attended Nebraska’s spring game to get a look at Lincoln. That gave him good expectations of what his official visit could be like.
Had a great time in Lincoln!!!@HuskerFBNation pic.twitter.com/I9qkEoTeej
— Valen Erickson (@ValenErickson) June 7, 2021
“I never knew Lincoln was that cool of a town,” Erickson said. “I thought it would be just like cornfields, but it was a great town. I loved it and I loved the spring game. After that I thought we needed to do the official there first. Then over that time, I just built crazy good relationships with everybody in the staff. So, yeah, the official visit was unbelievable.”
While in Lincoln, Erickson had a lot of meetings for football and academics. There was the photoshoot with the uniforms too. He had dinner with his family, the recruits and staff at Memorial Stadium. There was also the dinner and game night at coach Scott Frost’s house. That’s where Erickson had ribs which he said were the best thing he ate all weekend. He went to that party with his player host Henry Lutovsky.
“Henry and I met off social media right after I got my offer so I was always in contact with him,” Erickson said. “Also, Teddy [Prochazka] is awesome. So I was always in contact with those guys. I built a really good relationships those guys and Coach Austin knew about that, so it was an easy pick for my player host.”
On the final day of the visit Erickson was able to spend almost three hours with offensive line coach Greg Austin. The pair went over film and how the Huskers would use him on the line. Austin envisions the Illinois native starting his career inside at guard. Then he can eventually move to tackle.
Next up is a trip to Michigan for an unofficial visit. Then Erickson is talking to Louisville about an official visit. He will take one to Tennessee later in June. The plan right now is for him to commit a couple weeks into his senior season. Until then, he knows what he’s looking for in a school.
“Really just the relationships I build with the staff,” Erickson said. “Plus, whoever could put me in the best position to get to the next level.”
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.