Recruiting never stops and it's easy to miss the top stories day-to-day. Recruiting analyst Greg Smith recaps all things Nebraska recruiting news, analysis and more so you never miss a thing.
We have seen the Huskers continue to evaluate prospects as they move toward offers during the NCAA-imposed dead period in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The circumstances are less than ideal for everyone but this time can be used to continue film evaluations. Nebraska has shown no hesitation in offering players the staff likes early, so it’s not a surprise that class of 2022 offers are heating up for the Big Red.
Nebraska offered a number players for both the 2021 and 2022 classes on Monday. Several of those offers went out in Michigan, which is a state to watch for the Huskers recently. Texas prospects also saw a lot of offers from Nebraska on Monday as well. The Lone Star state is still a place that I think Nebraska could have more success in if the effort is put in.
One of the offers that went on Monday and stood out to me wasn’t to either state. It went to 2022 4-star (HV Rating: 90.0) running back Gi'Bran Payne from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Blessed to receive an offer from the University of Nebraska.🙏🏾#AGTG @CoachRHeld pic.twitter.com/56UNHSDQsQ
— Gi’Bran Payne🧸 (@upnexxt03) April 6, 2020
The 5-foot-9, 190-pound back had a sophomore season where he rushed for nearly 800 yards on over 10 yards per carry. Payne finished the season strong rushing for 133 yards and a touchdown to help his team to a state championship.
“I was just so excited to have been given the opportunity to play at a school like Nebraska,” Payne said. “[You] can’t go wrong with Big Ten football.”
The only coach the back has had contact with is running backs coach Ryan Held. Payne’s coach and Held have been talking for a while about the prospect. However, the first time that Payne got to interact with Held was Monday when he received his offer. The Ohio native believes that his relationship with Held will continue to grow stronger as they continue to talk.
Payne now holds 15 scholarship offers. Nebraska is the latest to enter the race for his signature. Michigan, Penn State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Indiana and Purdue have offered from the conference. The in-state Buckeyes have yet to make an offer. Payne could be a player to watch and seems poised to become a national recruit. As he sifts through the offers coming in he does have some criteria that he is looking for in a future school.
“The most important thing to me is the education,” Payne said. “I’m big on that. Also, the current team success, history especially with running backs and just a good environment to be in for the time I spend there in my career.”
>> Lackawanna Community College defensive back De’Jahn Warren was feeling the love from the Huskers on Monday.
Nebraska Luv🤍 @CoachRHeld #GBR pic.twitter.com/D99crPV9ZW
— De’Jahn “Nugget” Warren (@Ayoooo_daeee) April 6, 2020
>> Class of 2022 Texas defensive back Cristian Driver picked up an offer from Nebraska on Monday. Driver is the son of former Packers wideout Donald Driver.
I am extremely grateful and blessed to receive an offer from The University of Nebraska!!! Thanks to my Family coaches and teammates. @car20ruiz @RossRoby1 @StevenGreek1 @Donald_Driver80 @CoachRHeld @NEB_Recruiting @HuskerFBNation @coach_frost pic.twitter.com/NPdCsH8aOC
— Mr. Driver (@CristianDriver_) April 6, 2020
>> Another famous son picked up an offer from Nebraska on Monday when wide receiver Antonio Gates Jr. was offered.
Very humbled and blessed to be offered by the University of Nebraska @HuskerFBNation pic.twitter.com/Tbj2Ket7rJ
— AntonioGatesJr‼️‼️‼️ (@AntoniogatesJr1) April 6, 2020
>> Incoming walk-on specialist Tyler Crawford is still getting work in so he can show what he can do in the fall.
Can’t wait to be doing this in Memorial Stadium! #GBR pic.twitter.com/akAz8GsT5e
— Tyler Crawford (@TylerCr81) April 6, 2020
>> Derek Peterson is taking a look at recruiting wins, football controversies and transfer hits in his latest column.
>> Husker pitcher Shane Komine was a ‘freak of nature’ and Mike Babcock looks back at his time in Lincoln in his baseball series.
>> Former Husker assistant Craig Bowl had a very generous show of support at Wyoming as Brandon Vogel wrote about in Hot Reads.
>> The Moore To It Podcast is back with ‘Bad Dude’ Bo Ruud as a guest this week. The close friends had an interesting conversation including a talk through the 2007 season.
>> Christian Gaylord is getting a second chance to complete his senior season for the Huskers. (Premium)
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.