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.
Special teams has been a bit of a mixed bag for Nebraska so far during the 2019 season. There have been big highlights—like punt returns and blocked punts—but there have been some lows as well with Nebraska producing its own share of special teams miscues. In addition to all of that, the Huskers have multiple kickers dealing with injuries.
It makes sense for Nebraska to kick the tires on kickers for the class of 2020. I mentioned in Big Red Recon on Friday that Nebraska had its eye on a couple of prospects. One was a late addition to the visit list for the Northern Illinois game. Bixby High School standout Reis Vernon made the trip to Lincoln and picked up a preferred walk-on offer.
— Reis Vernon (@reis_vernon) September 15, 2019
“I was super pumped to get the offer,” Vernon told Hail Varsity. “I loved going down to the game. I’m just overall really excited about the offer. I plan on going back. I’m super pumped about the offer.”
The Oklahoma native has been in contact with the staff since the end of his sophomore year. Vernon thinks that the relationship is going well. In fact, he got the chance to speak with a lot of the coaches during his visit to Lincoln.
“I spent the most time with Coach [Zach] Crespo,” Vernon explained. “He’s the special teams analyst for Nebraska. He works [with] the kickers, punters and snappers. I talked to Coach [Colby] Ellis. He’s actually from Oklahoma so I talked to him a lot. Coach [Ryan] Held is the recruiting coordinator down in Oklahoma. We talked a lot. There were a ton of coaches that came up to me.
“Coach [Jovan] Dewitt, the head special teams coach, came over and talked to me on the field. Oh, and Sean Dillon the Director of Player Personnel came over and talked to me. When we were eating all those guys came over and talked to me and my mom. They were really nice guys.”
Vernon loved being out on the field, saying that it was a great environment at Memorial Stadium. He had never been to a Nebraska game before but it blew him away seeing how energetic the fans were. His mom came with him on the trip and was quite familiar with the Huskers.
“My mom’s whole side of the family is from Nebraska,” he said. “She grew up in Grand Island. She was born in Hastings. She and my grandparents and my uncle grew up going to Nebraska with season tickets. She knew what the experience was like before I did. It was my first game. When the Nebraska coaches texted me to come to a game, she told me we have to go. She knew the environment would be unreal. She kept talking about it but I didn’t know exactly what to expect. She loved it. She was really pumped about it.”
Vernon also holds preferred walk-on offers from Oklahoma State, Army and Air Force. Those are the main schools that he is considering now but he did admit he loves Nebraska. The kicker will take part in the 2020 All-American Bowl in San Antonio.
He has some clear ideas of what he is looking for in a future school.
“The main thing I’m looking for is that I want to develop as a football player, student and a man,” Vernon said. “I feel like wherever I feel comfortable at, it doesn’t matter if its far away or close. I’d like for my parents to make all my home games to see me play. The biggest thing is I want to become a great student and get better at football. I want to become better as a man as well.”
Overall, he had a great first trip to a game at Memorial Stadium and has one specific moment he’ll take home with him.
“I would say walking out of the tunnel for the first time onto the field,” Vernon said. “I don’t think I’ll forget that. The fans, it was probably 45 minutes before kickoff and the fans were already super loud. I’ll never forget that feeling. They were all energetic before the game started. It was very memorable feeling that energy.”
>> Husker legacy and 2021 lineman Isaac Zatechka enjoyed his trip to Lincoln this weekend.
— Isaac Zatechka (@isaacjzat) September 15, 2019
>> Fellow Oklahoman and Husker commit Sevion Morrison knows which school Vernon should pick.
You know what to do.
— Sevion morrison ⚡️ (@SevyMorrison28) September 15, 2019
>> Speaking of Morrison, he broke Spencer Tillman’s school rushing record over the weekend. What a great accomplishment.
— Tony Daniels (@Coach_TDaniels) September 14, 2019
Great job and congrats Savion! I’m in East Lansing preparing for my call tomorrow. I got wind that you broke the record on a 44 yard run. That’s what I’m talking about. Make them hear you & thank your linemen! pic.twitter.com/6Im88GOLox
— Spencer Tillman (@SpenceTillman) September 14, 2019
>> The Huskers made the top five for 2020 Georgia pass rusher Jared Ivey.
Respect it🤫 pic.twitter.com/5uQiCBA1pz
— Jared Ivey (@jared_ivey1595) September 15, 2019
>> Derek Peterson dove into how the Huskers have ‘turned a corner’ in the 44-8 win over Northern Illinois. (Premium)
>> The Blackshirts are making a compelling case for a new way to win in 2019, writes Brandon Vogel. (Premium)
>> Hail Varsity has your covered with recruit interviews. 2021 QB Peter Costelli, JUCO pass catcher DeShawn Hanika, JUCO DB Darius Moore, 2021 lineman Carson Pelton and 2020 Kansas lineman Aaron Kurth all spoke about their trips. Keep it locked to Hail Varsity for more recruit reaction. (Premium)
>> Walk-on Lane McCallum is making the most of his kicking opportunity this season. (Premium)
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.