Nebraska Recruiting: Taking a Look at the Huskers' Early Enrollees
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Taking a Look at the Huskers’ Early Enrollees

December 20, 2019

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.

We’re tehcnically not done with the early signing period, but it appears that Nebraska’s haul of recruits is locked up for the class of 2020. Nebraska had an impressive haul of prospects. They will help them immediately and in the future. One of the things we all look for in figuring out who will contribute to the team early is whether or not they are early enrolling. 

Last season was a mixed bag with the early enrollee participation. Seven players early enrolled from the 2019 class. Garrett Nelson and Wan’Dale Robinson are the only ones who burned their redshirts.

Nebraska has a number of players this cycle that will be joining the team in January. Let’s take a look at the list:

  • QB Logan Smothers
  • OT Turner Corcoran
  • OLB Blaise Gunnerson
  • DB Henry Gray
  • WR Alante Brown
  • DB Jaiden Francois
  • DB Tamon Lynum
  • JUCO ILB Eteva Mauga-Clements
  • JUCO DL Jordon Riley

There are a lot of players in that early group to be excited about. When a quarterback joins the mix, expectations can quickly become outsized. The stong Nebraska quarterback room should keep that in check with Logan Smothers. He is a great prospect in his own right but will need more time. Turner Corcoran plays at a position that is typically very hard to make an early impact on. The Big Ten is no place for a true freshman left tackle to make his mark. I’m not counting him out from cracking the two-deep though. He does have enormous potential as Nebraska’s highest-rated recruit in quite some time. 

Wide receiver Alante Brown might be in a great spot. He had a year of prep school experience and is a little more developed physically. He joins a receiver group in Lincoln that needs a jolt. Outside linebacker Blaise Gunnerson could be a big-time player down the road. What will be interesting with Gunnerson is how much he is ready to participate as he recovers fully from surgery last season. 

Defensive backs joining the team early always need an eye kept on them. In most cases, they can at least carve out a role for themselves on special teams as they get ramped up in the defense. Nebraska has a strong defensive back room. It's getting better each season under Travis Fisher. 

Junior college mid-year transfers are often counted on to be in the mix right away. That will be the case with both inside linebacker Eteva Mauga-Clements and defensive lineman Jordon Riley. Mauga-Clements could be a special teams demon immediately as he gets up to speed on the defense. Riley can provide depth on the interior of the defensive line as the Huskers replace several key players from 2019. 

All in all, Nebraska has a lot to be excited about with its early group coming to town next month. It will be a good starting point for the promising careers for the players enrolling early.

Recruit Watch

>> Something that may have gone completely under the radar yesterday was California defensive end Tuli Tuipulotu signed with USC after contemplating waiting until February. 

>> Huskers defensive back signee Ronald Delancy III released a cool video showing him getting ready for his new journey at Nebraska. 

>> Ty Keyes, a 2021 quarterback target, won Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year. 

>> Julius Coates, a JUCO defensive end target that visited Nebraska for the Iowa game, committed to Arkansas on Thursday. 

>> Walk-on offensive lineman Keegan Menning posted photos from his signing ceremony. 


>> There was big news on Thursday as we learned that 4-star wide receiver Zavier Betts will be signing his letter of intent on Friday with the Huskers. 

>> As Brandon Vogel notes, after some ‘anxious’ days, the Huskers closed strong (Premium) in early signing. 

> > I explore the notion that the combination of a strong foundation and flurry of commits make for a potent 2020 mix (Premium) for Nebraska’s class.

>> Derek Peterson ponders the question of it the wide receiver room (Premium) is a work in progress or ready for takeoff.

> > The Hail Varsity staff is back to answer your recruiting questions is a recruiting only mailbag.

>> The Huskers need big production (Premium) from their JUCO class this year, writes Jacob Padilla.

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