Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Recruiting: Portal Prospects Bound for Official Visits to Lincoln This Weekend

January 05, 2023

This weekend is an exception to the current recruiting dead period. The NCAA cleared this weekend for possible visits, a brief opening for programs to possibly gain transfer portal arrivals who declared after or did not sign in the Early Signing Period. That’s exactly how this Nebraska coaching staff is using this time.

As of Thursday afternoon, Nebraska expected three visitors for official visits this weekend. Former Baylor offensive guard Micah Mazzccua, former Virginia wide receiver Billy Kemp and former Stanford offensive tackle Walter Rouse are all scheduled for official visits. The coaching staff could try and squeeze in other late arrivals, as they’ve already done with recruits like Ethan Nation.

Mazzccua was already in Lincoln on Thursday. He’s a Philadelphia native who signed with Baylor as a consensus 3-star recruit following a successful high school stint at St. Francis Academy in Baltimore, Maryland. He played in the Under Armour All-America Game and chose Baylor over Michigan as the No. 51 offensive tackle in the country. Mazzccua gained scouts’ attention for his high Pro Football Focus grades in 10 starts. At one point, he was the sixth-highest graded offensive guard in the country. The 6-foot-5, 331-pound left tackle entered the portal last month and could bolster Nebraska’s run blocking immediately.

Rouse was a William V. Campbell Trophy finalist last year at Stanford and holds one year of eligibility left. He’s a former multi-sport athlete and signed with Stanford as a 4-star high school recruit. The 6-foot-6, 318-pound offensive tackle is originally from Silver Springs, Maryland, and has played in 40 collegiate games. Pro Football Focus graded his season at 67.3 overall, 71.4 in run blocking and 54.6 in pass blocking.

Kemp is an interesting case. He previously declared for the NFL Draft last month but then the transfer portal. That after the NCAA granted him another year of eligibility following the tragic fatal shooting of three Virginia football players by a former teammate. He’s compiled 1,174 receiving yards on 192 catches in five seasons. He’s fourth on the school’s all-time receptions list. Kemp’s also tallied over 1,000 more all-purpose yards as the Cavaliers’ primary punt returner. Last year, specifically, he had 16 catches for 116 yards without a touchdown in seven games.

Of course, there are other portal suitors at this point. Mazzccua has visits lined up with Florida and Auburn as well. Rouse is expected to visit Oklahoma and Iowa with interest from schools like Kentucky. Nebraska, as of now, is Kemp’s best remaining opportunity to further his NFL stock for one final season.

Recruit Watch

This weekend is the All-American Bowl on NBC. And with it comes the All-American National Combine. Nebraska signees Malachi Coleman and Princewill Umanmielen will compete in the game on Saturday, which kicks off at noon.

Umanmielen was a late addition to the roster and will get one final high school game before joining the Huskers. Coleman accepted an invitation to compete there long before either time he committed to Nebraska.

Hail Varsity will have coverage from the game and the combine.

ICYMI

>> We took a closer look at the Nebraska men’s basketball team’s road towards improvement after a difficult opening stretch of Big Ten play.

>> Tuesday’s Under Armour All-America Game brought the announcements of two new Huskers in both Cameron Lenhardt and Ethan Nation. Both signed their letters of intent in December.

>> Nebraska’s shooting woes followed them to East Lansing earlier this week when a flat stretch in the first half allowed the Spartans to take a commanding lead. The Huskers staged a second-half charge but it wasn’t enough.

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