Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Coaches Look to JUCO Ranks to Fill Lineman Spots

November 03, 2022

Coming off the last bye week, Nebraska interim head coach Mickey Joseph revealed this staff’s recruiting strategy: attack. Coaches were going to go after players and recruit like they’d all return next year.

Noteworthy among his comments were that he pinpointed line recruits from junior colleges.

“I think the junior college part is really important because you get the kid coming out of the system and you get a kid coming out of the portal,” Joseph said at the podium ahead of Illinois. “He’s transferring for a reason.”

Nebraska has now extended scholarship offers to athletes at Coffeyville CC, Hutchinson CC and Iowa Western CC. Hutchinson Community College in Kansas hosted Nebraska coaches during the bye week. A handful of Blue Dragons came away with offers.

Among those offered were 6-foot-7, 345-pound offensive lineman Larry Johnson III, defensive tackle Jerrell Boykins Jr, offensive lineman Dezmond Schuster and linebacker Nikko Taylor. Hutchinson head coach Drew Dallas said Nebraska’s coaches immediately grabbed the attention of recruits. Dallas said Johnson is a young, developing recruit with “elite athleticism” for his size. Taylor also has “elite athleticism” Dallas said and has developed in the weight room to play in multiple spots. Schuster committed to Illinois the day after he received an offer from Nebraska.

“For guys in our program to get some Big Ten interest and offers, they’re always very appreciative of that,” Dallas said. “Many people refer to it as a blue blood of college programs so regardless of what happens, everybody knows there’s a little unknown up there right now, but it’s ultimately a good football program and a good offer, good opportunity for our guys and they’re excited about it.”

The Blue Dragons are undefeated this year with success on the ground and in the air. Dallas thought the amount of Power 5 offers and attention his line is receiving only validates how the team’s success starts up front.

“I think the biggest thing is you try to instill that toughness, you’ve got to have some good beef up front on the offensive and defensive lines to be successful in college football,” Dallas said. “We’ve got some long guys that have immeasurables and are producing at a high level at a winning program.”

That’s business as usual at Hutchinson, one of the midwest’s premier junior colleges. Dallas said the attention this year hasn’t been anything unusual.

Nebraska also offered 6-foot-6 defensive lineman Nnanna Anyanwu and 6-foot-2 safety Amir Renwick of Coffeyville. Former Husker Larry Asante is currently the defensive backs coach at Coffeyville.

Earlier this week, Derick Hunter Jr. at Hines CC confirmed he received an offer from Nebraska. He’s an offensive lineman who played two seasons at Texas A&M before transferring.

Recruit Watch

Friday night marks the next installment of the NSAA State Football Playoffs. Class A features a number of Nebraska targets.

Anthony Rezac, Jaylen Lloyd and Tristan Alvano of Omaha Westside host Lincoln Southwest on Friday. The Silver Hawks have some FCS pledges and potential FBS preferred walk-on standouts so far. The winner of that game faces the winner of Millard South and Grand Island. Nebraska hasn’t offered anyone involved in that game but has expressed interest.

Elkhorn South plays Creighton Prep and Husker commit Sam Sledge. The Storm is led by Husker commit Maverick Noonan and standouts Carson Rauner and Cole Ballard. Of course there’s also the game between Gretna and Bellevue West, which will feature numerous 2023 recruits for Gretna and 2024 recruits for the Thunderbirds.

ICYMI

>> The Nebraska women’s basketball team opens its season against Omaha in a few days. The Huskers are coming off a dominant win over Washburn.

>> Nebraska’s volleyball team swept Indiana during its mid-week matchup.

>> The Nebraska soccer team fell 2-1 in the Big Ten semifinal tournament today. The Huskers learn if they’ll play in the NCAA Tournament on Monday.

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