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Herbie Husker at football game
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: What’s Left on Huskers’ 2021 Class Checklist?

January 04, 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.

Well, we made it. The holidays are over and everyone is getting back into the swing of things for the new year. Because of that, it’s a good time to reset where things are for the Huskers. We know that the team signed all 19 of the commits during the early signing period. There was no drama there and the letters of intent were in well before noon. The team also has an incoming graduate transfer. Northern Iowa linebacker Chris Kolarevic intends to enroll later this month.

Coach Scott Frost spoke about signing day last month. He didn’t think the Huskers were done with additions.

“I do expect to add at least one, probably more than that by February,” Frost said. “We always like to keep a spot or two in our back pocket in case a special player turns up that we might be able to get to add to the team at a position of need. Love the group we have, I don’t expect that we’re done.”

Frost has already been proven correct. Over the weekend the team picked up a verbal commitment. Landing 4-star Hawaii linebacker Wynden Ho’ohuli was big for the future defense. The versatile linebacker is now the second highest-rated recruit in the class. He’s a major recruiting win for the staff and fits the defense well.

So, what happens next?

There are very few known targets for the Huskers in the 2021 class. Omaha Westside cornerback Avante Dickerson remains committed to Minnesota. That won’t stop the Huskers or many other schools from pursuing him. He’s a great prospect and elected not to sign with the Gophers in December. If the Huskers want to pursue one more high school defensive lineman they could look towards Zhen Sotelo. The Hawaii native (6-4, 268) has been an under the radar target for most of this cycle.

Then there is the transfer portal. Each day more and more names are pouring into the portal. Nebraska is monitoring several players. Which positions they pursue from the portal is based partially on the decisions being made by seniors to return. Outside linebacker JoJo Domann is returning. That might mean the team doesn’t reach into the portal for an outside linebacker. Defensive line is an unlikely spot and becomes even more so if Ben Stille returns. Secondary might be a prime spot to get a transfer. Does that change if either Deontai Williams or Marquel Dismuke elect to return?

Running back is a position I am keeping an eye on for Nebraska to bring in a transfer. There are several quality backs in the portal. TJ Pledger, Markese Stepp and Isaiah Bowser are just a few. But would Nebraska pursue them if Dedrick Mills returns to school? Those decisions for transfers are happening quickly. The sooner Nebraska knows about its returning players the better.

There are still many puzzle pieces left to slide around into the right spots for the Huskers. Some more dominoes will fall soon as we get closer to winter conditioning.

Recruit Watch

>> The Huskers lost out on longtime defensive line target Tia Savea when he committed to UCLA.

>> Nebraska 2022 quarterback target Gavin Wimsatt released his junior highlights which show why he is a coveted signal-caller.

>> Michigan native and 2022 offensive lineman Kamarii Landers has the Huskers in his top seven.


>> The Huskers received more good news on defense when defensive back Cam Taylor-Britt announced he is returning for his senior season.

>> As Derek Peterson writes, in a trying year Nebraska’s commitment to players is commendable.

>> Jacob Padilla and Damon Benning are back to recap the Holiday tournaments in the Nebraska Preps Postgame show.

>> Nebraska got a standout defensive showing to stifle Rutgers in a 53-50 win.

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