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.
Junior college recruiting has picked up in a big way for Nebraska over the last week. This time of yea, is typically when JUCO prospects really start to see their recruitments take off. In a lot of cases it takes a full season of film for colleges to evaluate you. At the same time, schools are moving through their seasons helping to uncover needs that may be more pressing now than before the start of the season.
Running backs coach and JUCO recruiting coordinator Ryan Held recently gave a blueprint for what was to come.
“I think we're looking kind of the best player out there mentality, if there's a guy we feel like can upgrade a position,” Held said. “This year there’s a little more unconventional four-for-three guys that are out there that might have opportunities and aren’t just the regular two-for-two that are qualifiers.”
Over the last week the Huskers have made several JUCO offers. Each offer lines up with a different area of need.
Here’s a breakdown of who the Huskers have offered and where things stand:
- Junior Aho (6-3, 255)
- Julius Coates (6-7, 270)
A pair of intriguing prospects have been offered at defensive end. Aho hasn’t played football long and is a native of France. He has eight tackles for loss and three sacks at New Mexico Military Institute this fall. Aho is a four for three December graduate. Coates is committed to Colorado but has expressed interest in keeping his options open. He’d be a nice rotational piece for the Huskers who need to replace some departing seniors. Coates is a three-for-two December graduate.
- Tyrus Wheat (6-3, 240)
- Lavar Gardner (5-11, 210)
The thing I take away from the inside linebacker JUCO offers is that Nebraska realizes it must get more athletic at inside linebacker. Coverage and playing in space have been major issues all season long. Wheat is committed to Mississippi State but is a three-for-two December graduate. Gardner liked Nebraska coming out of high school and has played well at Hutchinson Community College where Nebraska has multiple offers out at.
- Eteva Mauga (6-1, 215)
- Jamoi Hodge (6-2, 225)
- DeVere Levelston (6-4, 250)
There is a good mix of size and athleticism in this outside linebacker group. Levelston and Hodge have already told Hail Varsity they will visit Lincoln. Levelston will come to town in December while Hodge is planning a trip for the Wisconsin game. Both are rare four for three December graduates. Mauga is a new name to the list having picked up his offer on Saturday. The Diablo Valley College outside linebacker shows good speed and insticts on film.
- Jakorian Bennett (6-0, 195)
Nebraska has offered three defensive backs at Hutchinson with Bennett being the most recent one. It makes some sense to look at adding a junior college defensive back to be a bridge between the upperclassmen and the freshmen who are currently redshirting. Bennett is a three for two December graduate.
Nebraska has needs to fill as we wind down the 2020 recruiting cycle. The greater need for JUCO players looks to be in the front seven on defense where the Huskers could use depth next season. The next few weeks we should see a steady flow of JUCO players on campus for visits.
>> Maryland commit and 4-star 2020 linebacker Ruben Hyppolite II received an offer from Nebraska. The Florida native does have interest in visiting Lincoln before the end of the season.
>> Priority 2021 outside linebacker target Seth Malcom was in Minnesota this weekend where he was offered by PJ Fleck.
After a great gameday visit I am happy to announce I have received a scholarship offer from the University of Minnesota! Thank you @Coach_Fleck and the rest of the coaching staff for an amazing day. #Gophers #RowTheBoat pic.twitter.com/SPbN5NHzmj
— Seth Malcom (@SMalcom8) November 9, 2019
>> Jimari Butler, a recent Huskers defensive end offer, committed to Tennessee.
>> Hail Varsity has confirmed a pair of visitors (Premium) for the matchup with Wisconsin. The total number of official visitors sits at five currently.
>> As Derek Peterson notes, thankfully the Huskers have been using JD Spielman as a slot receiver (Premium) lately.
>> Husker volleyball swept Iowa in three sets on Saturday.
>> Nebraska basketball is off to a rough start after dropping a double overtime game to Southern Utah.
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.