We have just one week left until the early signing period opens on Dec. 19. In yesterday’s recruiting notebook I wrote about why things feel slow and why that’s actually a good thing. Still, there is work to be done and things are always happening behind the scenes. Let’s take a look some things that the Huskers need to accomplish during this final week before prospects put pen to paper.
Close Two of the Three Big Fish
During this cycle Nebraska has done very well closing the highest-rated players on the board. Wandale Robinson, Nick Henrich and Bryce Benhart are examples of players identified early as top prospects that Nebraska landed. Over the next week Nebraska needs to close on two of three from this group: defensive back Noa Pola-Gates, defensive end Ty Robinson and outside linebacker Lloyd Summerall. Landing two of those three would push this class to an even higher level.
Hold On to All Current Commits
There was uncertainty about keeping players in last year’s class after the coaching change. I expected that to be less of a concern in Frost’s first full recruiting class, but it has been remarkable that there has been so little movement with players once they pledge verbally to the Huskers. Thomas Grayson and Tony Fair are the only two players Nebraska has lost and both of them were encouraged to look at other options. Still, no last-minute surprises would be a very good thing.
Continue Working Ahead on 2020
Nebraska has done well working ahead on the 2020 class. That is a deliberate strategy in the recruiting department and it could pay off in a big way for the class of 2020. Nebraska has already been through the high schools of several priority targets for that class during the contact period. Expect to see more of a presence of this final week and perhaps some new offers as well.
Keep Working to Flip Targets
There are not a lot of players Nebraska is after hard who are currently committed to other schools. However, the three we know for sure are all impact players. Linebacker Brandon Mack, who is committed to Pitt, has hosted Nebraska coaches a couple of times during the contact period. Defensive back Nehemiah Pritchett, who is committed to Auburn, has also had at least one visit from the Huskers staff. Then there is offensive lineman Jeremy James who visited Lincoln officially for the Purdue game. James is committed to Ole Miss and took his official visit there last weekend.
Uncover a Few More Gems Waiting until February
A high percentage of prospects will sign during the early signing period. Even with that being the case, there will be quality players left on the board. Last season, Miles Jones, Caleb Tannor, Casey Rogers, Braxton Clark, Dominick Watt, Cam Taylor, Maurice Washington, Andre Hunt and Willie Canty all visited in January or February. The Huskers won’t have near as many spots to fill this year so uncovering a few key visitors could give the class another February boost. Keep an eye on wide receiver Charles Njoku as that type of player that Nebraska makes a big push with on the road to the traditional signing day.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.