Nebraska Recruiting: Catching Up with a Defensive Lineman to Watch
Photo Credit: Greg Smith

Nebraska Recruiting: Catching Up with a Defensive Lineman to Watch

October 07, 2019

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.

There were many visitors in Lincoln this past weekend to see Nebraska’s conference win over Northwestern. The low-scoring 13-10 victory wasn’t a great display of offense. Yet, if you are a defensive player, you enjoyed the game quite a bit. 

One of those defensive visitors was 2021 Brookfield, Wisconsin, defensive lineman Hayden Nelson‍. The Brookfield Central standout made his first trip to Lincoln over the weekend. He was supposed to make it for the Ohio State game but his own game got moved so he couldn’t make it. 

“The trip was awesome man,” Nelson told Hail Varsity. “I had a great time. I’m glad to see they came out with the win.”

Nelson said he was impressed with the Huskers’ defense, noting that he thought they played electric football. He thought it was great how they had the offense’s back throughout the game and forced a turnover when it was needed most. There were also a few highlights that Nelson and his family experienced. 

“It was all great,” Nelson said. “I got a chance to talk with head trainer [Dave Ellis], and he took measurements and went over my frame with me. I got to go in the locker room before and after the game. It was awesome to see the atmosphere that the fans created.”

I asked Nelson what he thought about the frame testing since prospects are usually pretty blown away with the information they are given. 

“I thought it was awesome to see,” he said. “Right now I’m at 19% body fat which is where the defensive ends at the NFL combine are at. He [Ellis] said I have the frame to be about 270-280 pounds in college without losing any speed or athleticism.”

The Wisconsin native doesn’t yet hold an offer from Nebraska. He spent a lot of time talking with Director of Player Personnel Sean Dillon and Assistant Director of Player Personnel Ryan Callaghan this weekend. He also spoke with defensive line coach Tony Tuioti, who liked Nelson’s film and wants him down in Lincoln as often as possible. 

As more opportunities open up, he’s forming a list of things he wants most in a future college.

“I am looking for a school that has a great culture as well as a brotherhood among the players,” he said. “I am also looking for a staff that develops players.”

Keep an eye on the defensive end (6-4, 245) as he moves along in his recruitment. With a solid junior campaign, I can see his recruitment taking off.

Recruit Watch

>> Nebraska received a walk-on commitment from Baylor Brannen who is a defensive lineman for Millard West on Sunday evening. 

>> There was a new 2020 offer given by Nebraska on Sunday. Jimari Butler is a 6-foot-5, 210-pound defensive end/outside linebacker from Alabama who became the latest 2020 player to get an offer. 

>> Texas linebacker Derrick Lewis committed to Texas Tech over the weekend. He was slated to take an official visit to Lincoln for the Ohio State game but it was rescheduled. 


>> Lamar Jackson was in the right place at the right time which shows his progress, writes Derek Peterson. 

>> Check out the news and notes from Coach Scott Frost’s time at the podium on Monday. 

>> The Husker volleyball team looks to refocus after a defensive lapse against Wisconsin.

>> It’s a one-week season for Nebraska (Premium) in preparing for Minnesota.

>> It’s time to figure out the snapping issues (Premium) according to captain Matt Farniok.

>> Adrian Martinez and JD Spielman are still at the top of the depth chart for the Huskers. 

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