The early portion of Nebraska’s 2021 recruiting class is in the books. The Huskers received all 19 letters of intent on Wednesday that they were expecting to sign. During his signing day Zoom call, Scott Frost announced that his team is expecting 13 early enrollees.
“The way high schools are and (with) COVID, I might be ready to get out of there right now too,” Frost said. “That’s a good number. That’s going to help our depth and talent pool in the spring.”
Hail Varsity caught up with a number of those players making their way to Lincoln in January. The two central questions for each was why they wanted to enroll early and what they’ll miss about being home.
Here are the responses.
Offensive Lineman Teddy Prochazka
Why: “Well, it gets me into the system early and I get a full spring ball to learn the playbook and get used to playing at this next level. As well as getting into the weight room.”
What he’ll miss: “Hanging out with the guys on my team every weekend.”
Offensive Lineman Branson Yager
Why: “It was important for me to enroll early because I wanted to take advantage of the extra training time and schooling. This gives me the opportunity to complete an entire semester before some people even get to school. I wanted to take advantage of my scholarship and be able to further my education quicker. I also am ready to move on to the next part of my life and want to leave home and grow up. I am also not involved in a whole lot at school and I don’t care about dances or things like that so there is nothing keeping me here. The benefits far outweigh the negatives.”
What he’ll miss: “I will miss my coaching staff here at Grantsville High. I have developed incredible friendships with most of my coaches and they are also my mentors. The people I can go to about anything. I will also miss my family a lot. I am the last to leave home so both of my parents will be empty nesters now. Then lastly, I will miss being able to go out my back door with my dad and spend time bonding and shooting or hunting.”
Defensive Lineman Ru’Quan Buckley
Why: “I want to start my career fast and see what it’s like. If I didn’t early enroll it would take me more time to develop. I want to develop fast by watching the guys ahead of me so I can learn from them and be the best.”
What he’ll miss: “I will miss family. I’ll just miss the nights and days I stayed up with them just eating and enjoying time with them. One of the things my dad told me is, ‘You ain’t die so keep on going. So, keep on going.’ He likes to push me like that. That’s how I became a hard worker. I will miss my grandma and everybody. All those moments where I snuck in the kitchen and ate some food because I was hungry. All that type of stuff.”
Offensive Lineman Henry Lutovsky
Why: “To me, you can’t make progress without competition and I feel like going against better competition for the next four months is the best decision. It will be a great opportunity to get competing and start learning the playbook.”
What he’ll miss: “Seeing friends and family. It will be hard to leave my old life behind but I’m ready to start this new chapter.”
Tight End James Carnie
Why: “I’d say the main reason I chose to go early is to be able to get in there and get a head start. So, I’m learning the playbook and developing my body so whenever my name is called I’m ready to go. And with the uncertainty of track with COVID, it’s a no-brainer to go early.”
What he’ll miss: “Fortunately, I am only 30 minutes away from home so missing my family won’t be a big issue but the one thing I miss from high school is my friends.”
Quarterback Heinrich Haarberg
Why: “Just to get a jump on development physically and mentally.”
What he’ll miss: “Definitely the people, They’ve been so supportive and kind to me ever since we moved here.”
Linebacker Seth Malcom
Why: “I wanted to understand the 11-man game more and try and compete.”
What he’ll miss: “I will miss being around my family the most. Coming from a small community everyone is very close and it’s going to be tough but I am ready for the next chapter.”
Tight End Thomas Fidone
Why: “It was extremely important for me to enroll early because number one, the coaches have been wanting me to since my commitment so I can get adjusted and be able to have that impact early on. Number two, like I said before it will help me get adjusted and get used to the plays and practices. Plus, just get into the swing of things with the team and coaches!”
What he’ll miss: “Definitely my family, my dog and friends. I’m a big dog guy.”
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.