Business has picked up for the Huskers. Camp season is officially here and the Huskers will kick things off with Friday Night Lights on June 3. That also means that summer official visits are back. Nebraska has been building to this weekend all offseason as the team has new energy on the recruiting trail. Mickey Joseph, Bryan Applewhite and Bill Busch have given the Huskers extra top-notch recruiters.
Nebraska has expanded its recruiting department ahead of a busy summer. Three full-time employees have been hired in key roles. Summer official visits have become more important than ever as players look to pick schools before their senior seasons. Senior director of player personnel and recruiting Vince Guinta has been looking forward to this visit weekend.
“I love June official visits,” Guinta said. “I think there is more time that the coaches can be around the kids and their families and spend time with them. I think that’s huge. We’re able to be around our players because everywhere you go your current roster is gonna be there working out. A lot of them are taking summer school. So they can still be around the players. All they need to do is look out that stadium, they kind of get a feel for it. Then with something Husker Vision has put together they can get a feel for the game. But you can’t replace the amount of time you can spend with kids”
For it’s first official visit weekend of June. Nebraska will host 13 visitors. There are some really interesting trends developing with the biggest official visit weekend of the coach Scott Frost tenure.
Fans often feel like the Huskers load up on skill position players at the expense of the lines of scrimmage. This weekend shows that the trenches are a focal point for this cycle. The Huskers have a big-time group of offensive linemen coming to town this weekend. Lincoln Southeast lineman Gunnar Gottula will be busy as a peer recruiter.
“I’m probably most looking forward to getting to know the other recruits and hangout with them,” Gottula said.
He’s joined by uncommitted prospects 4-star Amir Herring and 3-star Brock Knutson. High 4-star Georgia commit Bo Hughley is returning to Lincoln for his second visit but this time for an official visit. The Huskers are trying to get squarely in the race for one of the top prospects in the country.
The Huskers have made a big impression on Herring (6-3, 280) who is making his third trip to Nebraska. He visited twice this spring so he is familiar with the new offensive staff including offensive line coach Donovan Raiola. The twist here is this is the first time he will be accompanied by his mother which is big for Nebraska. The Huskers are in a battle with Michigan for him but the Huskers are in a great spot.
Knutson (6-7, 270) was offered by the Huskers after the spring game and has kept in close contact with the staff. He has a trip lined up to Iowa State later in the month but the Huskers will try to impress enough to get the trip canceled. Knutson told Hail Varsity he is excited to get around the players on the team.
“The thing I’m looking forward to the most is spending time with the players and getting to know the program coming from them and not from just the coaches,” Knutson said.
The biggest name visiting in the offensive line group is Hughley. He was one of the surprise visitors for the spring game that was part of a large group from Georgia. He’s committed to the home state Bulldogs but the Huskers are trying. Getting him back on campus is a win but how interested he is in the Huskers remains a mystery.
The group of wide receivers coming in this weekend for Nebraska is filled with talent. The Huskers might have Lincoln East 4-star athlete Malachi Coleman at the top of the recruiting board. Coleman (6-5, 190) has the tools to play either offense or defense in college. The Huskers have been recruiting him to play wide receiver. It’s an important visit for Nebraska before Coleman checks out Michigan, Oklahoma and Oregon.
Nebraska has another longtime top target Joshua Manning (6-3, 190) coming back on campus. Manning has been to Lincoln several times with the most recent visit being for the spring game. The Huskers have locked in on him as a top target but several other teams continue to push hard for him. He has June officials lined up to Arkansas, Iowa State and Kansas State in June. A decision this summer is likely.
“I’m looking forward to learning the offense and seeing if it’s a fit for me,” Manning said.
Joseph has a long-standing relationship with Louisiana native Omarion Miller. Miller (6-2, 190) committed to Joseph at LSU 10 months ago but a lot has changed since then. There is a whole new staff at LSU and Joseph is in Nebraska. The relationship between the pair is very strong helping Nebraska get the first official visit after he decommitted from LSU.
— Omarion “O” Miller ✞ (@omarionmiller19) May 30, 2022
Georgia athlete Barry Jackson is also making his way to Lincoln this weekend. The Cedar Grove standout (5-11, 175) could play either defensive back or wideout in college but the Huskers like him as a wide receiver. Jackson was in Lincoln for the spring game so this is his second time on campus in a short period of time. The prospect told Hail Varsity what he’s looking for in a school ahead of the trip.
“What I’m looking for most is home,” Jackson said. “I need to make sure it feels like home and the environment is right for me.”
The Huskers will also host a trio of EDGE players that are high on the team’s board. Jackson will have teammate and Louisville EDGE commit Adonijah Green joining him for an official visit this weekend. Green (6-5, 205) is one of the top players in the Louisville class but the Huskers are making a strong push. He was committed to Louisville when he visited for the spring game. Nebraska has his attention but his plan is to take other visits so a quick flip is unlikely. North Carolina and Georgia Tech will get visit besides Louisville.
Elkhorn South standout Maverick Noonan (6-4, 225) will be back on campus once again. The Huskers are battling Iowa, Minnesota and Stanford. Noonan has June official visits set to check out each school.
Louisiana EDGE Ashley Williams picked up an offer from the Huskers back in March. His stock has risen quite a bit with Auburn, Colorado, Minnesota and others offering him. Williams (6-6, 220) racked up 89 tackles, 14 sacks and 22 tackles for loss as a junior so it’s easy to see why schools are pursuing him hard. The Huskers are hoping to make a strong impression with his first official visit.
The Huskers are also getting an official visit from a top running back target. Dontavius Braswell (5-11, 200) has over 20 scholarship offers but the Huskers and South Carolina are standing out above the crowd for him. Braswell is one of the fastest running backs in the country with a verified 100m dash of 10.7 seconds. Running backs coach Bryan Applewhite prefers recruits that run track. Nebraska is well positioned for the Georgia native.
Nebraska also has one of the top defensive back recruits on campus for a second time. Defensive back Kayin Lee (5-11, 185) is the third Cedar Grove prospect taking an official visit to Nebraska this weekend. The 4-star prospect also has Ohio State high on his list but defensive backs coach Travis Fisher has done a good job getting the Huskers this far with him. Getting him back on campus gives the program a shot to land him.
Stay tuned to Hail Varsity for more coverage of the huge recruiting weekend for Nebraska.
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.