Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Recruiting: The Homegrown Eighth-Grader With an Offer From The Huskers

February 23, 2023

The Homegrown Huskers program started as a way for aspiring football players to see themselves playing college football. This past Sunday’s camp started with that same purpose. It ended with the Nebraska coaching staff extending a scholarship offer.

While a few football coaches attended the Huskers’ overtime win over Maryland at Pinnacle Bank Arena, the rest stayed at the Hawks Championship Center for the afternoon. They saw a promising group of middle schoolers playing 7-on-7. Among them was a 6-foot, approximately 160-pound eighth grader whose coach describes him as “a freak athlete.” Nebraska’s coaching staff decided they couldn’t let that athlete, Tory Pittman III, return to school without an offer.

Pittman stands out from his peers physically and athletically. Last summer he finished third in the nation with a 20-foot, 11.75-inch triple jump at the Junior Olympics. Not for nothing, he ran an 11.70 100 there before starting eighth grade.

“He’s a sprinter, one of the fastest kids in eighth grade,” Abdul Muhammad, a former Husker and Pittman’s 7-on-7 coach, said. “He just stands out. You see him working, you see how he moves, he’s different.”

Muhammad knew Pittman’s physical traits were special. Then Pittman returned to the homegrown program following a brief sabbatical with a new verve.

“When he came back he just took off,” Muhammad said. “Started last summer to where he just really started developing and getting the sports down. Track, football, all that.”

Pittman will be a freshman at Omaha Central in the fall.

Pittman’s another in the line of North Omaha football players that stretches back to Johnny Rodgers. At least one player from the Homegrown Huskers program went Division I in each of the last 13 years. Youth involved there, as well as with NElite 7-on-7, see a viable path to college ball. When the weather clears, they go against each other regardless of age groups. Through that competition comes better players.

“Tory’s kind of been working out with guys who have been in college already,” Muhammad said. “You get them younger guys doing that kind of stuff, their level of competition grows fast. Real fast. So that’s what happened with him.”

Muhammad’s recently asked players if their favorite team they want to play for is Nebraska, and only a few hands shot up. Then they played in the Hawks, where the Huskers train. Muhammad typically repeats the question after and all the hands go up. He didn’t do that this last weekend but he believes it would have brought a similar result. Pittman didn’t need to raise his hand. The Nebraska coaching staff raised its hand for him.

Recruit Watch

Composite 3-star athlete Tysean Griffin from Chicago announced earlier this week Nebraska is among his top 10 schools. One recruiting database lists him as a 4-star recruit while the rest rank him as a high 3-star talent in the 2024 class. He had 1,697 all-purpose yards and 14 touchdowns the last two seasons. Most of Griffin’s output comes at running back but he can catch and explode on punt returns. As a defensive back last season he made 12 tackles, three PBUs, two forced fumbles and an interception.

This Nebraska coaching staff dealt a couple new offers in recent days. One went to 2024 Philadelphia athlete Jayzen Flint, who plays on the edge and at tight end. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound athlete at West Catholic High has mobility to match his size with one high school season remaining.

Nebraska also offered 2025 athlete Kelvin Winston from Washington D.C. He’s projected to play at safety and already holds offers from other Big Ten, ACC and SEC schools. The Huskers offered his teammate at Gonzaga High School, 6-foot-6 defensive lineman Daniel Holmes. He’s a composite 4-star 2024 recruit and the No. 3 recruit from D.C. in the recruiting class.


>> Opening weekend could have gone better for the Nebraska baseball team. The pitching staff’s free passes and lineup‘s tough stretch with runners in scoring position frustrated Will Bolt. Now, the team is focused on the positives from the San Diego trip ahead of a series against South Alabama.

>> The Nebraska women’s basketball team went to ranked Illinois looking to end a losing streak. The Huskers returned with a 33-point, dominant victory against the No. 25 team in the country.

>> Local media met the final additions to Matt Rhule’s coaching staff. You can check out the videos of offensive line coach Donovan Raiola, linebackers coach Rob Dvoracek and strength and conditioning coach Corey Campbell on our YouTube page.

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