Photo Credit: Greg Smith

Nebraska Recruiting: Connection With Coaches Stand out to Homegrown Prospects on Visits

March 07, 2022

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.


The Huskers hosted their third Junior Day event this weekend. The program timed it to pair with a padded practice for recruits and their families to get a chance to watch. There were prospects from 12 different states in town for the event. The Huskers did a great job of getting players from all over the country to visit. The team was also able to get in front of several players from Nebraska too.

It’s important for the program to stay connected with local prospects. The team has placed an emphasis on that this offseason. Omaha Burke 2023 athlete Mason Blakenship-Jones made the trip to Lincoln. He enjoyed himself.

Blankenship-Jones says that things went really well on the visit. He had a lot of fun and can’t wait to return to Lincoln. There were a few things about the trip that stood out above everything else.

“Definitely the facilities,” Blankenship-Jones said. “Facilities were top of the line. As well as the coaching staff. Coach Wilhite and Coach Applewhite especially.”

Another player I’ll have an eye on this season is 2023 Creighton Prep offensive lineman Rocco Marcelino. He’s teammates with current Husker commit Sam Sledge. Marcelino (6-5, 260) plays along the defensive line for Prep and has good athleticism. He was also in Lincoln this weekend.

“It was awesome,” Marcelino said. “I love everything about Nebraska. The people, the facilities and the environment.”

One thing that has come up often in talking with recruits that were at the event is getting to watch practice. Recruits have raved about being able to experience that in person. Marcelino was no different when explaining what stood out to him most about the visit.

“Watching practice for sure, it was my first time seeing one,” Marcelino said. “Being up close to the d line and seeing them work and move was cool too see.”

Aurora running back Carlos Collazo stood out when I saw the team play last season. He was second-team all-state at running back. He ran for 1,238 yards and 20 touchdowns in Class B. He was in Lincoln this weekend too.

“It was good. It was fun watching practice and meeting the coaches and just getting to know the program more,” Collazo said.

Collazo noted a few things that stood out to him about the visit. Meeting coach Applewhite to see how he coaches was nice. He also really enjoyed the presentation on the strength and conditioning program.

The Huskers seem to be hitting the right notes with local prospects these days. We’ll see how it turns out on signing day. A good foundation is being set for both scholarship additions and potential walk-ons.

Recruit Watch

>> Missouri defensive back Donovan McIntosh enjoyed his trip to Lincoln this weekend.

>> Nebraska 2023 athlete target Khalil Tate was offered by Wisconsin this weekend.

>> Millard South 2023 kicker/punter Simon McClannan had fun on his visit to Nebraska.

ICYMI

>> Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said that a ‘big chunk’ of the defensive install happened during the first week of spring ball.

>> Jacob Padilla has a 2022 Nebraska State Basketball Tournament day one round up.

>> Check out the Hail Varsity photo gallery from day two of the Big Ten Wrestling Championships.

>> Chris Kolarevic is the new guy in Erik Chinander’s nickel room. Kolarevic has been preparing all offseason for his new role.

>> Nebraska is set to take on Kansas State ahead of a long homestand as Steve Marik writes.

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