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.
Putting together the 2022 recruiting class for Nebraska was as unique as any cycle. We thought the group would be very small throughout the entire cycle. The common thought was that the Huskers would add 12-15 players. The team had so few seniors but were waiting on super seniors to make decisions.
The Huskers ended up signing 18 scholarship players for last year’s recruiting cycle. Where it gets tricky is that no one is really judging the Huskers based on the high school and JUCO signees. That’s because Nebraska went out and added 13 transfers to the program. That number could continue growing.
That’s 31 new scholarship additions to the team since the end of last season.
A whopping 15 of those 31 enrolled at Nebraska in time for spring football. Nebraska’s last three portal commits are Ochaun Mathis, Devin Drew and Kaine Williams. Each will be in search of heavy playing time this season. We’ve talked at length about these additions and the potential impact they could have on the team.
What about the other players that haven’t arrived in Lincoln yet? Who are a few players that haven’t gotten to campus yet that could be seen by fans this fall?
The first name I want to mention is the easiest one to pick.
Everyone involved with or watching Nebraska football knows special teams has to improve. The addition of Timmy Bleekrode to the Huskers’ roster might end up being the biggest one this offseason. Mathis, Casey Thompson and Bleekrode will have a lot of pressure. He’ll arrive this summer after spending the last three seasons at Furman. He was 21-for-25 on field goals last season with a long of 51 yards in 2021. We saw the Huskers struggle with field goals in the spring game. Bleekrode can’t arrive fast enough.
Running back is a tricky position to hit the ground running with in college. It’s helpful if you can enroll early but it’s not mandatory to make an early impact. Louisiana native Ajay Allen will enter a crowded room this summer but has a chance to crack the rotation. Coach Scott Frost learned about him from running backs coach Bryan Applewhite. Allen came up during the interview process as a former TCU commit.
“He was one of my favorite guys that I watched all year,” Frost said on signing day. “There’s a lot of backs that can do some things. I think he’s a back that can potentially do everything for a running back to do. I’m really impressed with his quickness and ability to make someone miss in short spaces in the hole.”
Wide receiver Janiran Bonner was another late addition to Nebraska’s 2022 signing class. Standing at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, he has a great frame to come in and play early. Bonner might have been one of the steals of the class for the Huskers. He had 50 catches for 816 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior.
More talent is on the way for the Huskers this summer. There are a lot of new faces in Lincoln with more likely to come. Husker fans should be prepared to have a program nearby when watching games this fall.
>> Nebraska 2023 defensive back commit Dwight Bootle has been making plays this spring.
— IG: @SleeperAthletes (@SleeperAth1etes) May 15, 2022
>> The Huskers made the top 10 for Kansas 2023 running back Dylan Edwards.
Through this process I was blessed enough to build great relationships with coaches, and I am forever grateful of that. These are my top 10 schools that i will focus on. I will take my 5 official visits In the months of June, and plan to commit shortly after that. 🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/l5CBlKnoKX
— 𝒟𝓎𝓁𝒶𝓃 𝐸𝒹𝓌𝒶𝓇𝒹𝓈 (@dylan_edwards02) May 13, 2022
>> Kansas City 2023 EDGE target Williams Nwaneri was offered by Alabama.
— ✞ Williams Nwaneri 🇳🇬 (@NwaneriWilliams) May 13, 2022
>> Nebraska softball won its first Big Ten Tournament title on Saturday.
>> Jacob Padilla has your NFL outlook on Samori Touré in Green Bay.
>> I took a look at the projected class of 2023 offensive needs for Nebraska.
>> Drake’s Takes take a look at the Big Ten softball tournament and the NBA Playoffs.
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.