Previewing Week 4 for Nebraska's In-State Commits
Photo Credit: Greg Smith

Previewing Week 4 for Nebraska’s In-State Commits

September 13, 2018

Friday night lights are back for Week 4.

The recruiting class of 2019 is a special group in Nebraska as many of the top in-state players will go on to play college football at the Division I level. Nebraska currently has verbal commitments from four of the states’ top five players.

Throughout the fall, we'll chronicle what you need to know about each player and their season so far. 

Linebacker Nick Henrich‍‍

Omaha Burke Schedule  

Aug. 24 Lincoln Southeast (H) – 49-28 W
Aug. 31 Millard West (H) – 31-14 W
Sept. 7 Omaha Central (A) – 35-7 W
Sept. 14 Omaha North (A)
Sept. 21 Elkhorn (H)
Sept. 28 Gretna (A)
Oct. 4 Fremont (H)
Oct. 12 Millard North (A)
Oct. 19 Papillion LaVista (H)


What you need to know about Henrich

Nick Henrich represented a huge recruiting win for Nebraska when he announced that he was joining the 2019 class in July. Not only is he the best player in the state of Nebraska, but he is one of the best inside linebacker prospects in the country. It was especially important for the new staff to land him to show they meant business about keeping the best talent home. Henrich is an excellent prospect with good leadership qualities. 

Game to watch 

On Sept. 14, Burke takes on Omaha North in one of the best rivalry games in the state. The games between these two schools are always highly competitive and there will be lots of future college talent on display. Burke will be looking for revenge as North won 29-28 last season in the playoffs, going on to win the Class A state title. 

What to know this week

The Bulldogs went to 3-0 on the season after taking down Omaha Central 35-7 last week. Henrich starred in the game against Central, racking up 16 tackles including 4 for loss. This week Burke takes on Omaha North in a rivalry game in which they will be out for revenge. 


Athlete Garrett Snodgrass‍‍ ‍

York Schedule

Aug. 24 Alliance (A) – 55-14 W
Aug. 31 Blair (H) – 50-28 W
Sept. 7 McCook (H) – 20-13 L
Sept. 14 Skutt Catholic (A)
Sept. 21 Beatrice (A)
Sept. 28 Hastings (H)
Oct. 4 Northwest (A)
Oct. 12 Seward (A)
Oct. 19 Crete (H)


What you need to know about Snodgrass

Snodgrass is a do-everything player for his York team. He has potential at multiple positions but his ultimate college spot is unclear. Last season on defense he recorded 90 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, three pass breakups, one interception and blocked three field goal attempts.

Game to watch

Sept. 14 is a busy day for rematch games around the state. That day features Omaha North-Omaha Burke but York also takes on Skutt Catholic that night. Last season, York beat Skutt 31-0 to win the Class B state title. This year, the Dukes have to travel to Omaha to take on Skyhawks.

What to know this week

Snodgrass rushed for 118 yards and two scores last week. He also threw for 122 in the Dukes' first loss of the season to McCook. This week, York is travelling to Omaha to take on Skutt Catholic in what should be an excellent matchup.


Defensive Lineman Ethan Piper‍‍

Norfolk Catholic Schedule

Aug. 24 Pierce (A) – 48-29 L
Aug. 31 David City Aquinas (H) – 31-7 W
Sept. 7 St. Paul (H) – 49-20 W
Sept. 14 BDS (A)
Sept. 21 Crofton (H)
Sept. 28 Hartington Cedar Catholic (A)
Oct. 5 Battle Creek (H)
Oct. 12 Stanton (A)
Oct. 19 Ponca (A)


What you need to know about Piper

Piper is a good prospect who stars on both the offensive and defensive line for Norfolk Catholic. He projects as a defensive lineman right now for Nebraska. His quotes to me after he committed to Nebraska will make him an instant fan favorite. 

"It sounds cliché to say that it is every Nebraska kids' dream to wear the [scarlet] and white, but it is," Piper said in March. "I grew up idolizing [Ndamukong] Suh and had Blackshirt posters all over my room. In fact, to be honest, I still have one up. Our family never had season tickets but would scratch up enough money to go to at least one game every year. I'd sit next to old ladies who I [had] never met who would give me their leftover popcorn and we'd leave as friends. It's not just a game or a sport here in Nebraska but the lifeblood of so many.” 

Game to watch

The Knights will face five playoff teams from last season. Their toughest game is against Ponca, which finished 2017 at 10-1. That game will be a tough road test late in the season before the state playoffs begin.  

What to know this week

Norfolk Catholic got a big victory over St. Paul last Friday night, 49-20. I was at the game and came away impressed with both Ethan Piper and his teammate Dylan Kautz. I provided my thoughts here, but it will be fun to see which side of the ball Piper plays at Nebraska. This week they have a road game against BDS.


Outside Linebacker Garrett Nelson‍‍

Scottsbluff Schedule

Aug. 24 North Platte (A) – 41-20 W
Aug. 31 Hastings (H) – 48-14 W
Sept. 7 Northwest (H) – 25-10 W
Sept. 14 Sterling (A)
Sept. 21 Gering (H)
Sept. 28 Sidney (H)
Oct. 5 Lexington (A)
Oct. 12 Alliance (A)
Oct. 19 McCook (H)


What you need to know about Nelson

Nelson was the first player to commit to the class of 2019 for Nebraska. He did so back on June 24, 2017. Nelson is a Husker legacy as both of his parents are Nebraska alumni. His father, Chris Nelson, was an All-American wrestler for the Huskers in the early 1990s. His grandfather, Ken Parish, was the head football coach at Cozad during the 1960s and 1970s and has been a big part of Nelson’s life on and off the field. 

Game to watch

Last season, the Bearcats’ only regular season loss was to McCook in a nail-biter, 17-14 at home. This year Scottsbluff will look to avenge that loss when they face off against McCook on Oct. 19. 

What to know this week

The Bearcats went to 3-0 last Friday after beaing Grand Island Northwest 25-10. Nebraska defensive end/outside linebacker committ Garrett Nelson had a pair of tackles in the game. This week they take on Sterling on the road.


Tight End Chris Hickman


Aaron Babcock
Omaha Burke tight end Chris Hickman during a visit to Nebraska last October.


What you need to know about Hickman

Hickman is the only prospect of the top five in the state who has not already verbally committed to Nebraska. The Huskers are recruiting him hard and he has made multiple trips to Lincoln. Hickman is a versatile player who could play either tight end or defensive end in college. 

What to know this week

The Bulldogs went to 3-0 on the season after taking down Omaha Central 35-7 last week. Hickman did not play in the game. Hickman did make his official visit to Nebraska for the Colorado game and based off talking to the other commits at the game, he had a great time. This week Burke takes on Omaha North in a rivalry game in which they will be out for revenge. 


Game I’ll be attending this week:

This week, I’ll be taking in Omaha Burke against Omaha North. I've had this game circled all my calendar all summer and if there was only one high school game I could attend this season, this would be it. The revenge factor will be high for Burke in this one, plus North has already lost twice on the season. 

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