Nebraska Football Coaches Scott Frost and Erik Chinander Smiling on Sidelines
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Prospects to Watch as the National Coaching Carousel Heats Up

December 03, 2019

The coaching carousel is fully spinning around in the college football world. It started during the season when the Rutgers, Florida State and Arkansas jobs all came open. It continued shortly after the season ended.

Here is a list of jobs currently open:

  • Arkansas
  • Boston College
  • Florida State
  • Ole Miss
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico
  • South Florida
  • UTSA
  • UNLV

The Rutgers job has since been filled by Greg Schiano, who is making his return to the school. Washington announced that Chris Petersen would be stepping down Monday and rising defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake was immediately hired there. With all the coaching turmoil happening (and yet to come), how can the Huskers benefit in recruiting? 

Arkansas had almost its entire class leave since it was rumored that Chad Morris would be fired. The one player that Nebraska had a lot of interest in from that class—defensive end Blayne Toll—has stayed strong with his commitment. Boston College and Nebraska didn’t have much overlap in recruits this cycle. South Florida did have a couple of commits that were interested in Nebraska. It will be interesting to see if the Huskers circle back to linebacker Tyler Berrong (6-2, 220) or defensive back Chris Townsel (6-2, 176). 

Here are some key prospects to watch. 

4-Star Wide Receiver Javian Hester (Missouri Commit)

Hester is a player that it made sense for the Huskers to target regardless of a coaching change at Missouri. They recruited him prior to his commitment and he fills a big need since he is 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds.

I heard from Hester after Barry Odom was let go. Hester told me that he will definitely take an official visit to Nebraska. He is close with Nebraska commit Sevion Morrison who will be trying hard to peer recruit him. 

3-Star Outside Linebacker De’Rickey Wright (Ole Miss Commit)

The Huskers have made it a point to recruit the South hard since Coach Scott Frost and his staff have taken over the program. Prior to his commitment to Ole Miss, the staff had good communication with the defender. He stands at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds.

Could the staff swing through on one of the many stops through the area over the next couple of weeks? Wright has tweeted that he is still committed but keeping his options open right now. 

Florida State Commits

Nebraska has enough interest in Seminole commits that they needed their own section. Offensive lineman Zane Herring and outside linebacker Josh Griffis were scheduled to take official visits to Lincoln at the end of the season. Neither visit ended up happening. Outside linebacker Morven Joseph, inside linebacker Jayion McCluster and running back Lawrance Toafili are all players the Huskers like but there doesn’t seem to be much traction. The latest target to watch is 4-star outside linebacker Keyshawn Greene. The Florida native confirmed that he has been hearing from Nebraska and is expecting a visit from the Huskers this week. 

Keep in mind that the Huskers only have two full weeks until the early signing period. They have to divide resources wisely. Nebraska can’t afford to waste time chasing new prospects that don’t have much interest. It would also be wise to find out up front which prospects will wait until February to sign. That gives more time to build the relationship. There is also bound to be a surprise or two with prospects having new interest. 

Every new target matters with the number of slots left to fill and the board keeps shifting. We are in for a fun ride to Dec. 18. 

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