Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Looking Into How and When Nebraska Used its Official Visits for 2022 Recruiting Class

December 21, 2021

The early signing period is in the books for college football this year. Nebraska finished off the class with a flurry of activity landing a handful of 2022 signees and transfers. This recruiting cycle was a unique one for the Huskers when it came to official visits. The team hosted several visitors during the summer. There was a big slowdown during the season and then things picked up during the offseason.

So where did the players who Nebraska hosted for official visits sign? Let’s take a look.

The Huskers hosted eight official visitors the weekend of June 4. Two of those visitors signed with Nebraska. Quarterback Richard Torres and tight end Chase Androff are in the 2022 class. Defensive lineman Jalen Marshall and offensive lineman Valen Erickson signed with Missouri. Erickson did give a verbal pledge to Nebraska before flipping to Missouri. Defensive end Nico Davillier signed with home state Arkansas. Wide receiver Landon Samson signed with South Carolina. Fast-rising offensive lineman Ashton Craig signed with Notre Dame. Running back Justin Williams is headed to Tennessee after leaving West Virginia’s class.

It’s turns out the June 11 weekend was even less productive for the Huskers. None of the six official visitors that weekend signed with Nebraska. Defensive back Markeith Williams signed with Miami. Defensive end Hayden Schwartz was committed to Nebraska but backed off that pledge and signed with Minnesota. Wide receiver Grant Page was encouraged to look around after being a Husker commit. Page signed with Colorado. Arizona signed linebacker Tyler Martin. Running back Ashton Hayes committed to Nebraska after that weekend. He was also given the green light to look around at the end of the cycle. He signed with Cal. Defensive back Avery Powell remains uncommitted to any college. That weekend was viewed very differently during the summer than it is now.

The following weekend saw the Huskers host a smaller group of visitors. The Huskers did sign Lincoln Southeast outside linebacker Jake Appleget. The team also signed Columbus linebacker Ernest Hausmann, but he was already committed when he took his official visit. The Huskers led for much of the recruitment for James Monds III. The Huskers did not come away with a signature from the defensive back and he signed with Indiana instead. The Huskers tried to flip defensive back Nathan Vail late in the cycle but it didn’t work and he later signed with Duke. The Huskers hosted two other late June official visitors that signed elsewhere. Offensive lineman Jake Maikkula came in for a midweek visit but signed with Stanford. Athlete Jaden Mangham elected to stay home and signed with Michigan State.

The summer was a mixed bag of results for the Huskers. It looked better until recently. The team got three new commitments out of the 19 official visits used. Wide receiver Victor Jones Jr. used his official visit during the season but he was already committed to the team. He did sign with the Huskers and is set to enroll in January. The Huskers took a shot at hosting then Boise State outside linebacker commit Ka’eo Akana. He didn’t flip to Nebraska but he did end up flipping and signing with Utah.

The only uncommitted player the Huskers hosted during the season was Illinois defensive back Jalil Martin. The Huskers did well with him and he committed during that trip. He signed with Nebraska. The offseason has seen the Huskers pick things up with official visits hosted.

Nebraska hosted five visitors the first visit week of the offseason. Gage Stenger was committed before the visit and signed with the Huskers. Defensive back Malcolm Hartzog came away from the weekend committed to Nebraska. The Huskers top signee for the 2022 class Jaeden Gould also visited that weekend. California defensive end Brodie Tagaloa was in Lincoln that weekend and he also signed with the team. Only one player visited that weekend and didn’t sign with Nebraska. That was transfer defensive back Ryan Trabb who instead signed with Minnesota.

Nebraska hosted a midweek official visitor ahead of the final visit weekend. Junior college defensive back DeShon Singleton visited and signed with the Huskers. The final visit weekend was also productive for the Huskers. They brought eight official visitors to town and one unofficial visitor. Offensive lineman Kevin Williams Jr. was the unofficial visitor and he is transferring to Nebraska. Kicker Timmy Bleekrode visited that weekend and quickly committed to Nebraska. New Jersey offensive lineman Justin Evans-Jenkins took an official visit and he signed with Nebraska on signing day. Wide receiver transfer Isaiah Garcia-Cataneda was in town. He also elected to transfer to Nebraska, as well as Arizona State transfer defensive back Tommi Hill after one season in Tempe.

Nebraska landed running back Emmett Johnson from that weekend too. He announced his decision on signing day. The Huskers did not flip Utah defensive lineman Ben Roberts after his visit and he stuck with his pledge to Oregon. There are two undecided prospects that visited that weekend. JUCO defensive lineman Saleti Fevaleaki will take his recruitment into February and Oklahoma State transfer offensive lineman Hunter Anthony has not made his decision yet. He intends to finish the bowl game with Oklahoma State before announcing his next move.

The offseason was much more productive for gaining commitments for the Huskers. Nebraska hosted 15 visitors and only four of those did not sign with the Huskers. Two of those four remain uncommitted so the Huskers haven’t lost out on them yet. I don’t expect it to be a trend for the Huskers to be so visit heavy in the offseason. The game day experience is a major selling point for the program. It is worth noting how the Huskers went about using visits to build the 2022 recruiting class.

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