Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Coaches Recruiting for the Future, Targeting JUCO on the Line

October 25, 2022

When Mickey Joseph first took the reins of the Nebraska football program as its interim head coach, he said the staff would “do things the right way,” in terms of recruiting. The remaining staff wasn’t going to “sabotage the program” and instead perform their duties like they’ll be here in the long term. That involved offering scholarships and spreading assistant coaches throughout the country: California, Massachusetts, Arizona, Georgia, Florida and Texas.

“We went out as a staff, we kept the coordinators in,” Joseph said. “But we’re going to recruit the pieces that we need.”

Joseph was on the recruiting trail in Arizona and offered junior defensive back Kennedy Urlacher from Chandler High School. The son of NFL Hall of Fame defender Brian Urlacher is a 3-star prospect according to 247Sports. Iowa offered the 6-foot, 180-pound safety a scholarship in May and Arizona offered him a scholarship in March last year. He announced his offer from Nebraska on Monday. While Joseph was in Arizona he also extended a scholarship to Chandler junior running back Ca’Lil Valentine. So far this year he has 1,152 rushing yards, 335 receiving yards with 19 all-purpose touchdowns. Valentine is a composite 4-star prospect by 247Sports at 6 feet, 175 pounds and received offers from Washington and Boston College last week as well.

Nebraska’s head coach acknowledged the big commitment over the weekend with Lincoln East standout Malachi Coleman. It’s an encouraging sign for this Nebraska coaching staff going forward on the recruiting trail.

The Huskers also offered a litany of junior college players from Hutchinson CC and Coffeyville CC, in addition to existing offers to Iowa Western CC.

“We’re going to go heavy JUCO when it comes to offensive line,” Joseph said on Tuesday.

In total, Nebraska extended offers to Nikko Taylor (6-6, 245 pounds), Dezmond Schuster (6-5, 313 pounds), Larry Johnson III (6-7, 345 pounds) and Jerrell Boykins Jr. (6-3, 322 pounds) of Hutchinson. The Huskers already offered 6-foot-5, 300-pound Coffeyville offensive lineman Keyshawn Blackstock.

Joseph said there’s a benefit to recruiting junior college athletes still because those athletes are in a system. Coaches recruit junior college prospects just like they would a high school prospect. Portal entries, meanwhile, require more time commitment to see why that athlete entered the portal and if they’d be a good fit to bring onto a team.

Recruit Watch

Nebraska will host national and in-state recruits this weekend for the first time in nearly a month. Recruits already tweeted their invites and more are likely to come before the 2:30 p.m. kickoff on Saturday.

One of the typical invitees, Scottsbluff junior running back Sebastien Boyle, comes off a hot performance against rival Gering. Boyle ran for 233 yards and four touchdowns last week.

A new face will be Liberty (Iowa) High School quarterback Graham Beckman. He received invitations to both Illinois and Minnesota games. He threw for 269 yards and four touchdowns in last weekend’s win.

All-purpose running back Sergio Snider out of Arlington, Texas, still hasn’t announced a commitment after dwindling his decision down to seven schools. Nebraska, as one of the finalists, has a shot to land the 3-star senior back.

ICYMI

>> Joseph and players talked preparations for the Illinois game on Tuesday.

>> Nebraska’s women’s basketball team opens its season with an exhibition game this weekend.

>> The Nebraska volleyball team is back at No. 1 in the country going into a two-match week.

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