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Nebraska Recruiting Tracker: First Week of Offseason for Huskers

December 02, 2021

The offseason has begun for Nebraska. There is a lot happening with new coaches needing to be hired by coach Scott Frost, current player decisions to leave Nebraska or stay and recruiting. It has been since January 2020 since the Huskers were last able to do in-home visits.

The Huskers are looking to give a jolt to a lagging 2022 recruiting class. There are currently nine members of the class, which is ranked last overall in the Big Ten in class rank. The class is currently 10th in the conference based on average star rating. Weโ€™ll see how much movement there is with high school prospects down the stretch run before the early signing period opens on Dec. 15. The Huskers plan to go heavy into the transfer portal for more immediate help this offseason.

Letโ€™s keep track here of all the activity from the Husker coaching staff during week one of the offseason.

Monday morning update:

>> Sunday was a quiet day for the Huskers. Frost did not go out on the road to recruit. Instead he focused on the assistant coaching search. It will be fascinating to see when he goes on the road and who he goes to visit this week. Those will be the first big clues on who priority targets are for the Huskers.

>> I did confirm with Nebraska 2022 linebacker commit Ernest Hausmann that Barrett Ruud came to his house. The early enrollee said that Frost is coming by his house Sunday, Dec. 5.

>> Lincoln Southeast outside linebacker commit Jake Appleget said that his in-home visit with Frost is next Saturday, Dec. 4. At this time, he believes that defensive coordinator Erik Chinander will join Frost for that visit.

>> Minnesota tight end commit Chase Androff told me that tight ends coach Sean Beckton will out to see him on Tuesday. He was unsure of when Frost is coming to see him but was told sometime next week.

>> Milliard South defensive back commit Gage Stenger did say that he expects Ruud in-home on Monday. Stenger was in Lincoln on Friday for an official visit to check out the Iowa game.

>> It’s not expected at this time that any of the analysts that filled in for the fired offensive coaches will be on the road recruiting. It’s possible if the team files for waivers but that is not the plan at this time. That means that is unlikely that the coaches who filled are will stay on board as new full-time coaches. That could shift if Frost’s search for new hires lingers.

Monday night update:

>> The Huskers made a pair of transfer offers today. The first was made to Cornell grad transfer Hunter Nourzad. The lineman plans to take official visits in January.

>> Nebraska also made an offer to transfer defensive back Ryan Stapp out of Albilene Christian. The Huskers are in an interesting spot with defensive backs in 2022 so it makes sense to go after someone to add to defensive backs coach Travis Fisher’s room.

>> Ruud was out in the Omaha Metro on Monday talking to local coaches and players. I can confirm that he stopped at both Omaha Burke and Bellevue West on Monday. Each school has a number of future targets. Omaha Burke 2025 linebacker Christian Jones and Bellevue West 2024 wide receiver Dae’vonn Hall are just a couple.

>> A familiar name entered the portal on Monday when Alabama linebacker Jackson Bratton put his name in. Bratton came to Lincoln in 2019 for the Ohio State game which was an official visit. He is close friends with quarterback Logan Smothers. Sources tell Hail Varsity that the Huskers will be in pursuit of the former 4-star prospect. I’m also told that right now the Huskers are looking at taking up to nine players from the portal.

Tuesday morning update:

>> I was able to do a little more digging on the Cornell offensive line graduate transfer Nourzad. He currently plays tackle for Cornell but also has the size to slide inside to guard if needed. The Huskers love his mean streak, ability to move his feet and use his hands. Nourzad has quickly become a priority target for the Huskers. Competition is heating up as Purdue and Syracuse have offered so far on Tuesday morning.

>> The Huskers will head to Minnesota for an in-home visit with 2022 running back Emmett Johnson. The top running back in Minnesota told me that he is expecting Ron Brown and Steve Cooper at his house this afternoon. That is notable for many reasons. The Huskers are sending the interim coaches out on the road to help manage recruiting as Frost hires his staff. Johnson does play defense too so he could be a player that the Huskers take as an ‘athlete’ if he joins the class. The prospect does not hold an offer yet but this is a lot of attention with an in-home visit so an offer should be coming. He visited Lincoln for the game against Iowa.

>> I have confirmed that the Huskers have two official visitors on the docket for the weekend. California defensive end got a visit from defensive line coach Tony Tuioti on Monday night. The Huskers set up and official visit with him. The Huskers were also out in Mississippi to visit Malcolm Hartzog. The defender has been seen his stock rise some after his senior film made the rounds. He’s a defensive back and the Huskers like his upside. Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander saw him and set up an official visit this weekend. I’m told that will not be it for official visitors this weekend and to expect more to lock in visits through the week.

Tuesday evening update:ย 

>> As Hail Varsity reported earlier today Nebraska was in Minnesota to see 2022 running back Emmett Johnson. The playmaker had a great time hosting the coaches on Tuesday afternoon.

“It went great Iโ€™m coming on an official visit next weekend,” Johnson said. “It should be a fun time. I feel like Coach Frost will offer me on the visit once he meets my family. That is what itโ€™s sounding like.”

Johnson said that many other schools are trying to get him to visit but he will definitely visit Lincoln on an official. He was at the Iowa game as an unofficial visitor and he loved the game day environment. The Minnesota native also loves his fit in the offense and the ability to play as a true freshman.

>> Nebraska 2022 running back commit Ashton Hayes was also listed by the Huskers on Tuesday. Defensive line coach Tony Tuioti was out in Nevada to see him.

“It was great,” Hayes said. “We talked about everything thatโ€™s in the works for Nebraska such as the coaching staff and Coach Frost’s visit with me.”

Frost is scheduled to visit Hayes next week. That visit could come with the new running backs coach. Hayes said that the team is hoping to have a new coach in place sometime this week.

Thursday morning update:

>> The biggest recruiting job Frost has to do right now is with two players on his own team. The Huskers are in danger of losing both defensive tackle Damion Daniels and center Cam Jurgens early to the NFL Draft. The big question is if both players feel their draft stocks are as high as they can get right now. Itโ€™s worth remembering that both players have been in college for many years now. They were in the 2017 and 2018 recruiting classes. I donโ€™t like the Huskersโ€™ chances of keeping either for 2022.

>> The Huskers made a new 2023 offer on Wednesday evening. California linebacker Leviticus Suโ€™a (6-2, 220) was offered by the Huskers. His uncle is former Nebraska lineman Toniu Fonoti. Thatโ€™s an interesting twist that should help the Huskers.

>> Nebraska picked up itโ€™s first portal addition on Wednesday night. Georgetown transfer long snapper Brady Weas announced his intentions to join the team. Weas is joining as a preferred walk on. He visited Lincoln for the game against Iowa. The Huskers will need a new long snapper next season. This is one of those under-the-radar pick-ups that can go overlooked but will end up being important for the special teams.

Friday morning update:

>> The Huskers made a new 2022 defensive line offer in Florida. Brendan Flakes (6-4, 260) was offered by the Huskers on Thursday.

The defender told me that Nebraska wants him to take an official visit next weekend. As of now, he believes he will take that trip. Flakes could be one to keep an eye on.

>> The Huskers made their first wide receiver offer to a player from the portal. Florida international transfer Tyrese Chambers was offered by the team after having over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns this season.

>> Nebraska also made an intriguing 2022 offer to Missouri athlete Elijah Griffin. The playmaker (6-4, 200) attends powerhouse Chaminade High School in the St. Louis area. Griffin was thrilled to be offered by Nebraska.

“When they offered me, I was grateful because of the opportunity to play college ball,” Griffin said. “I know that Nebraska has a great program and wouldn’t just offer anybody.”

The Huskers didn’t specify a position for Griffin but he plays wide receiver and defensive back. Defensive backs coach Travis Fisher was the one to offer him the scholarship.

Keep it locked on Hail Varsity for the latest updates from the recruiting trail.

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