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Nebraska Cornhuskers linebacker Garrett Nelson gives Nebraska Cornhuskers linebacker Pheldarius Payne a hug after blocking a pass
Photo Credit: John Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Underrated Recruits That Could Make Winter Noise for Huskers

February 25, 2021

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.

The sun has started to poke out around Nebraska this week. As far as Husker football is concerned, we are still in the dog days of winter. We are now deep into winter conditioning as the team gets prepared for the 2021 football season. This time is always important for all players on the team. For the players who haven’t played much it’s important to continue developing so that the can put themselves in the conversation to be in the two-deep.

Who are some of the players on the roster who were underrated recruits in their class who could use a big winter of development? Let’s take a look at a few players.

OL Matt Sichterman (Redshirt Junior)

In a recent interview, Coach Scott Frost gave Sichterman some praise as someone who was working hard behind the scenes. There will be fierce competition for snaps along the offensive line this spring but the class of 2017 player has a chance. The offensive line room seems to have four players locked in. Perhaps a veteran presence can make a jump this spring and compete for that fifth spot.

Defensive end Jamin Graham (Redshirt Freshman)

We have heard very little about the Alabama native since his arrival on campus as part of the 2019 class. He came to Lincoln hoping to grow into a pass rushing outside linebacker the Huskers have been missing. Now it looks like he’s potentially made a move to defensive end under Tony Tuioti. Graham needs to make a move on the depth chart soon. He risks being lost in the shuffle with other recent additions to the team. Finding a position to call home and a role to thrive in could help.

Outside linebacker Pheldarius Payne (Junior)

At first glance, Payne being on this list seems odd. He played in every game last season finishing with 21 tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and a pair of pass breakups. Payne was a pleasant surprise for fans who didn’t know what to expect from him out of JUCO. Now with a full year of Big Ten ball under his belt and another year in the weight room he could be due for a breakout in 2021. We know that JoJo Domann and Garrett Nelson have defined roles at outside linebacker but Payne provides something different. That could lead to a big opportunity this season.

Recruit Watch

>> Major Nebraska target Xavier Nwankpa was offered by Alabama on Wednesday.

>> Nebraska offered Alabama defensive back Kylon Griffin on Wednesday evening.


>> The Nebraska volleyball matches against Wisconsin have been postponed.

>> I dove into how Nebraska compares with keeping talent home (Premium) against the rest of the Big Ten.

>> Derek Peterson took a look at where things stand (Premium) with Nebraska women’s basketball and the NCAA Tournament.

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