Nebraska signed 31 new players on Wednesday, 21 from high school and junior college, six from the transfer portal and four preferred walk-ons. As of noon on Thursday, Nebraska’s recruiting class ranked No. 28 in the country and No. 5 in the Big Ten.
But the roster isn’t set. The current transfer portal window closes on January 18 and recruits can also sign on the traditional National Signing Day, February 1. That was the date most player signed but now has been largely usurped by December date. It still holds value for recruits who delay their decision. There are a few on Nebraska’s radar who have done exactly that. Here’s who those recruits are and what we know so far:
Cameron Lenhardt, edge: The former Nebraska commit is scheduled to announce his collegiate decision at the Under Armour All-American Game on January 3. He was a Husker commit for all of a month before the coaching change. Then Matt Rhule’s coaching staff made a push to bring him back into the fold. Lenhardt enjoyed his official visit to Lincoln this month and holds Nebraska in high esteem. But Maryland recently made a charge, which is closer to the IMG Academy product’s home on Staten Island. Michigan State remains an option as well.
Ben Scott, offensive line: Nebraska missed out on former Rhode Island offensive lineman Ajani Cornelius on singing day (he chose Oregon). That leaves the former Arizona State lineman, originally from Hawaii. He took an official visit almost two weeks ago. However, more recent visits to UCLA and Auburn seem to have made larger impressions. Scott hasn’t announced when he’ll make his decision but has nearly a month before the portal window closes.
Ethan Nation, cornerback: The three-star talent from Roswell, Georgia, is a testament to the tenacity and aggression with which this coaching staff approached its first recruiting class. Nation received an offer less than a week ago. Coaches offered him an official visit that same day. He didn’t share much about his conversation with Rhule’s coaching staff. But Nebraska has a good chance to land the top corner recruit in Georgia, who also holds offers from Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and Tennessee. He plays in the UA All-American Game and will announce his college decision then.
Malik Hornsby, quarterback: Nebraska’s coaching staff is still interested in Hornsby even after signing former Georgia Tech quarterback Jeff Sims. The idea to getting them all in is to drive development and competition in the quarterback room. Last year’s starting quarterback, Casey Thompson, comes off shoulder surgery in 2023 and intends to keep that starting position. Rhule and his staff believed the drop off from Thompson to second string was drastic enough they had to check the portal for depth. The former Arkansas quarterback and Mission City, Texas, native would do that.
Nebraska sent out numerous offers ahead of signing day. Composite 3-star junior edge Darien Mayo from Olney, Maryland, received an offer. At 6-foot-7, he elected to play football full time this year instead of juggling that with basketball. Junior St. Louis edge rusher Caleb Redd picked up an offer from the Huskers as well this week.
Composite junior 4-star running back James Peoples from San Antonio also received an offer. He’s a standout track athlete who received an offer from Alabama the same day. Rhule’s staff also re-offered composite 3-star junior athlete Mekhai White from King Georgia, Virginia. Composite 4-star junior defensive lineman Xadavien Sims from Durant, Oklahoma, received a Nebraska offer. He’s an exception thrower in track with considerable interest from Michigan State and Oklahoma. Defensive line coach Terrance Knighton offered two junior unranked defensive linemen, Daylen Russell (Miami) and De’Andre Cook (Washington D.C.).
Junior composite 4-star athlete Josiah Brown, the top prospect in the 2024 recruiting class out of New York, received a Nebraska offer. Composite 5-star junior athlete TJ Capers from Miami got a Nebraska offer late Tuesday. He’s a multi-sport talent with a high ceiling.
Unranked sophomore quarterback Stone Saunders from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, just named the 2022 Pennsylvania Player of the Year by MaxPreps, also received an offer from Nebraska.
>> Amid the last week in recruiting turmoil came Rhule’s emoji use that spawned a life of its own.
>> The Nebraska women’s basketball team outlasted No. 20 Kansas for a dramatic triple-overtime win on Wednesday.
>> Want to distill takeaways Early National Signing Day through the chaos? We put together a list of bullet points to decipher from the madness.