Back on Jan. 9, I took a stab at predicting how the 2018 Nebraska recruiting class would finish up coming out of the dead period. Since that point, Nebraska has added six commits and a transfer to the class. The Huskers currently sit at 20 known commitments. There have been a lot of other developments around Huskers recruiting in the last 20 days so it’s time to do some updated predictions for how the class will finish. Let’s call it predictions 2.0.
Version 1.0 targets: 4-star James Foster, 3-star Jamarye Joiner, 3-star Matthew Tago
Version 2.0 targets: 3-star Matthew Tago
Quarterback prediction: Joiner re-confirmed his pledge to Arizona after Kevin Sumlin took over the program and Nebraska was unable to set up a visit with Foster. Nebraska already has Adrian Martinez on campus and it appeared Tago was a lock to end up as the second quarterback in the class. Tago just took an official visit to Nebraska last weekend, but with limited spots available, I don’t see him as a slam-dunk to join the class. Tago could be leaning Oregon State at this point.
Version 1.0 targets: 4-star Jashaun Corbin, 3-star Ta’Zhawn Henry, 3-star Maurice Washington
Running back prediction: Corbin released a final three that did not include Nebraska, so he drops off the list even though he was one of the staff’s favorite backs this cycle. This is a huge week for Nebraska and Maurice Washington as Scott Frost is scheduled to drop by his school and do an in-home visit with him. Washington and his mother are scheduled to visit Lincoln Feb. 2 weekend for his final official visit. Henry has always felt like the backup plan to Washington, and at some point he may feel the love a bit more from other schools. He took a trip last weekend to Texas Tech and visited Oregon State before that. He is currently scheduled to visit Nebraska Feb. 2 as well but don’t be surprised if that gets canceled. The Huskers are all in on Washington, and I still believe he ends up in the class.
Version 1.0 targets: 4-star Tommy Bush, 4-star Solomon Enis, 4-star Andre Hunt, 4-star John Jackson, 3-star Chris Olave, 3-star Geordon Porter, 3-star Dominick Watt, JUCO Mike Williams
Wide receiver prediction: There has been a lot of movement at the wideout spot. Bush eliminated Nebraska from contention, Olave committed to Ohio State, Enis and Porter never set up an official visit and Watt and Williams committed to the Huskers. Coming fresh off a trip to Oregon State, Hunt received an in-home last night from offensive coordinator Troy Walters and will visit this weekend. Nebraska really likes Hunt, and he is a burner. I don’t think he or any other receivers end up joining the class though.
Nebraska is also finished at tight end this cycle after adding 4-star Cameron Jurgens.
Version 1.0 targets: 3-star OG Jarrett Bell, 3-star OG Joshua Ezeudu, 3-star OG Jalen Goss, 3-star OG Joshua Gray, 3-star OG Hamilton Hall, 3-star OT Doug Johnson, 3-star OT Blake McDonald, 4-star C Tyrone Sampson
Offensive line prediction: Offensive line has been very fluid this cycle and hasn’t slowed down as we reach the end. Ezeudu committed to North Carolina, Hall to Ole Miss. Goss, Gray, Johnson and McDonald all saw Nebraska “cool” on them. Nebraska’s number-one priority here is Jarrett Bell but the longer he waits to commit following his official visit a couple weeks ago, the worse it looks for Nebraska. Lawrence was just offered last night and has the size (6-8, 300) to make him an intriguing tackle prospect. Canty is scheduled to visit on Feb. 2 currently and is a true tackle. Right now, I’d say Bobby Lawrence ends up being the final offensive lineman for 2018.
Version 1.0 targets: DT Otito Ogbonnia, 3-star DT Moro Ojomo, 4-star DT Michael Thompson, 3-star DE Daniel Carson, JUCO 3-star DE Dorian Gerald, 3-star DE Casey Rogers
Version 2.0 targets: DT Tito Ogbonnia
Defensive line prediction: Ojomo, Thompson and Gerald never set up official visits to Nebraska. Carson did take an official visit but had a bad visit, and committed to Texas. Rogers committed to Nebraska after a terrific visit that same weekend with Carson. Ogbonnia is still left on the board, and Nebraska would love to land him. He has sky-high potential and could be a replacement for Masry Mapieu should Mapieu not qualify. Nebraska is set to host Ogbonnia Feb. 2 for his final official visit but I do not see them landing him.
Version 1.0 targets: 3-star OLB Javontae Jean-Baptiste, Ole Miss transfer Breon Dixon
Linebacker prediction: Dixon decided to transfer to Nebraska as expected heading into his visit earlier this month. Tannor visited Nebraska and had a good visit, but he looks to be staying south. What has happened with this position is one of the biggest surprises of the short Frost era as it appears Nebraska has all the momentum with Jean-Baptiste. He and his family’s relationship with Frost and his staff looks like it will win the day for the Huskers over Ohio State and Virginia Tech. I now expect him to join the class.
Version 1.0 targets: 3-star CB Braxton Clark JUCO DB Kenneth George Jr, 3-star CB Ken Montgomery, 3-star CB Taiyon Palmer, 4-star safety Cam Jones, 3-star safety Tyrese Ross
Defensive back prediction: Clark and Jones both committed to Nebraska. George, Montgomery and Ross never made it to campus for an official visit. The two remaining targets at defensive back are players Nebraska would like to add. Palmer is target number one for remaining corners, and Taylor is now being recruited as a corner by the Huskers. Palmer has a final three of Nebraska, North Carolina State and Tennessee that he will decided between on signing day. Taylor visited this past weekend and has the green light to commit, but is currently scheduled to visit Missouri this weekend. I see Taylor joining Nebraska’s class as a corner.
Athlete targets: 4-star Nikko Hall, 3-star Miles Jones, 3-star Cam Taylor
Version 2.0 athlete targets: None
Athlete prediction: Nebraska added Jones on Jan. 18 and Taylor was moved to defensive backs. Hall has fallen off the Huskers board.
I now have Nebraska adding conerback Cam Taylor, linebacker Javontae Jean-Baptiste, offensive lineman Bobby Lawrence and running back Maurice Washington to finish the recruiting class with 24 players. However, I don’t believe Masry Mapieu will qualify, taking the class total down to 23.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.