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.
It was an eventful week for the Huskers on the recruiting trail. It was the busiest week for Nebraska since the country went into quarantine in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nebraska added another commit to the list on Monday. Utah offensive lineman Branson Yager joined the 2021 recruiting class. Yager is the third offensive lineman this cycle for the Huskers. Offensive line coach Greg Austin continues to reshape his room with large, athletic prospects. That should pay off for the Huskers down the road.
After all the good vibes from that commitment calmed down a bit, worry set in. Husker fans were left wondering why targets that Nebraska liked were committing elsewhere. First, St. Louis pass rusher Travion Ford elected to stay home and committed to Missouri. Ford visited Lincoln a few times and was positive about his experiences in Lincoln. Yet, the Huskers' pitch just didn’t connect.
Shortly after Ford verbally committed Thursday, Florida linebacker Terrence Lewis announced his decision for Tennessee. The Huskers had remained in the thick of things with Lewis despite not receiving a visit from him yet. This may have been the biggest example of Nebraska being hurt by the dead period that didn’t allow visits this spring. The Huskers will attempt to stay in contact so this may not be the last we hear about Lewis’ recruitment.
Then on Friday Nebraska got some great news from down in Florida. That’s when 3-star pass rushing outside linebacker Patrick Payton announced his verbal commitment to the Huskers.
— Last Backyardigan🏕 (@PatPayton6) May 1, 2020
Payton is another great pickup for Nebraska at a position of need. The pledge of Payton showed us once again that the Nebraska staff does a great job of building relationships with prospects under the radar. The Huskers are on the right track with the 2021 recruiting class. They are landing quality players in the class. It just hasn’t been at the same pace that Iowa, Minnesota or Ohio State have been adding commitments.
The lack of spring visits is going to add a level of mystery to this part of the 2021 recruiting cycle. We are seeing more prospects shutting things down if they feel comfortable with the school they went into the dead period favoring. I expect that trend to continue. The Huskers have to keep building on the strong relationships they have already built within the 2021 recruiting class.
>> Priority running back target Deshun Murrell has a timeframe in mind for making his college commitment.
Planning on making my commitment decision prior to the season ‼️🙌🏾
— Deshun Murrell (@deshun_03) May 2, 2020
>> Kansas City safety Jermaine Hamilton-Jordan committed to Arkansas on Sunday afternoon.
That’s The Tweet Enough Said.
HOG NATION LETS GET IT pic.twitter.com/CqAXuRKqRw
— Jermaine Hamilton-Jordan (@_Jermaine36) May 3, 2020
>> Defensive lineman Najee Story joined Northwestern’s 2021 recruiting class.
— Najee Story (@Najeestory85) May 3, 2020
>> As I wrote on Saturday prospects are finding ways (Premium) to stay in shape during the shutdown.
>> The latest Varsity Club podcast with Derek Peterson dove into Nebraska’s changing quarterback room.
>> Jacob Padilla looked into Chris Hickman’s limited time (Premium) on the field in 2019 for his latest film review.
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.