Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Recruiting: Legacy Husker Recruit Now a Texas State Champion

January 10, 2023

Legacy became a running theme to Nebraska’s 2023 recruiting class. Maverick Noonan, son of Hall of Famer and Big Eight Male Athlete of the Year Danny Noonan, signed as a long-standing commit. Same with Sam Sledge, the son of two-time All-Big Eight and Nebraska Hall of Famer Bob Sledge. Jaylen Lloyd’s mother is Dahlia Lloyd, a nine-time All-American track athlete at Nebraska. Preferred walk-on Korver Demma’s mother is three-time All-Big 12 volleyball player Megan (Korver) Demma. Dwight Bootle is the younger brother of three-time All-Big Ten defender DiCaprio Bootle.

There are more potential legacies on the way. And not just the high-profile kind in Arizona.

Mario Buford is the younger brother of current Nebraska defensive back Marques Buford. He’s also now a state champion. The composite 4-star corner held his own throughout the playoffs and one final time for DeSoto in the title game. DeSoto head coach Claude Mathis thought the younger Buford played well in that game. Not just in man-to-man coverage but in a budding leadership role.

“He’s making his teammates feel loose, making his teammates feel confident,” Mathis said. “They’re having a great time. He’s one of their main leaders.”

His height, at 5 feet, 11 inches, and speedy footwork allow him to stay step-for-step in man coverage. If he can continue working on his vision and ball skills, he could grow into his full potential. His mental preparedness is already there.

“His football savvy is really good,” Mathis said. “He understands what he’s doing in our defense, he understands the opponents we’re playing. Coaches do a great job of having him prepare so his knowledge of the game is really there.”

Mathis complimented Marques’ influence on his younger brother and the DeSoto football program. Eagles coaches and players are a reliable cheering section for the Bufords. That influence is likely playing a role in the recruiting process but Mario isn’t committing anywhere just yet. He focused on the road to the state championship and is still enjoying it. He’ll likely revisit the recruiting conversation sometime this spring or even into the summer. Nebraska stands in a good position at this point although he’s also received offers from Michigan State, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, among others. Penn State, Oklahoma, Michigan and Georgia have all been in touch but haven’t offered him yet. His state championship performance also gained the attention of Alabama coaches.

Recruit Watch

There’s no slowdown in Nebraska recruiting. The Huskers gained former Virginia wide receiver Billy Kemp IV via the transfer portal on Monday. Kemp is fourth all-time leading receiver in Virginia history and transferred for a final season of eligibility to makeup for an injury-plagued 2022 campaign. Kemp was granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA if he transferred from Virginia due to the murder of three Cavalier football players in November.

Another potential portal arrival who visited Nebraska on an official visit, former Baylor offensive lineman Micah Mazzccua, announces his decision tonight.

Nebraska coaches are also anticipating the weekend arrival of 3-star tight end Ian Flynt from Taylor High School in Katy, Texas. The son of former Nebraska track standout Darren Flynt registered his junior year at 6 feet, 5 inches and 248 pounds. He also competes in track with a near 50-foot shot put and 176-foot discus toss as a sophomore.

ICYMI

>> Amy Williams’ team has an opportunity to end a three-game losing streak on Wednesday when Penn State comes to Pinnacle Bank Arena.

>> Omaha Westside pulled away from Millard North over the weekend for a 69-52 win. Here are some takeaways from that game.

>> Monday night’s dominant performance by Georgia in the College Football Playoff laid rest to the 2022 college football season. Let’s take a deep breath and appreciate it before the 2023 ramps up.

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