Nebraska is back at home for the biggest game of the year. This game against Wisconsin is obviously huge for the season outlook and Big Ten West race. Nebraska has not been able to get over the hump against the Badgers the last two years, losing in overtime last year and on a last-second field goal the year before.
This is also an enormous recruiting weekend, surely the biggest in the Mike Riley era. Every 2018 commit except for 4-star cornerback Mario Goodrich will be in attendance. Garrett Nelson, a 2019 commit, will also be on campus. There will be four other highly rated prospects taking official visits in Lincoln this weekend as well: 5-star outside linebacker Micah Parsons, 4-star wide receiver Tommy Bush, 4-star wide receiver and Miami commit Brian Hightower and 4-star running back and Oklahoma commit TJ Pledger will be enjoying the night game atmosphere in Memorial Stadium.
In the immortal words of Bane from "The Dark Knight Rises," let the games begin.
Cameron Brown, 4-star wide receiver, St. Louis, Missouri
Will Farniok, 3-star offensive lineman, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Mario Goodrich, 4-star cornerback, Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Cameron Jurgens, 4-star tight end, Beatrice, Nebraska
Masry Mapieu, 3-star defensive tackle, York, Nebraska
Joshua Moore, 4-star wide receiver, Yoakum, Texas
Barret Pickering, 2-star kicker, Birmingham, Alabama
Brendan Radley-Hiles, 4-star defensive back, Bradenton, Florida
Tate Wildeman, 3-star defensive lineman, Parker, Colorado
Chase Williams, 4-star athlete, Corona, California
News from the Week
I did evaluations of a few of Nebraska's scheduled visitors.
>>5-star OLB Micah Parsons
>>4-star WR Tommy Bush
>>4-star DB Chase Williams
>>4-star RB TJ Pledger
>>Nebraska has a great chance to flip a 4-star from IMG this week but it’s not the name you have heard about a lot. Sources have indicated to me that the name to watch is Hightower. When Hightower initially committed to Miami shortly after transferring to IMG it came as a surprise to the Nebraska coaching staff. They were the first people to offer him back in 2015. Also, he attended Calabasas High School and is close with Tristan Gebbia, Keyshawn Johnson Jr, Marquel Dismuke and Brendan Radley-Hiles. Not to mention Lamar Jackson and Tyjon Lindsey. Nebraska has a plan in place to convince his mother that making the switch is the best move for Hightower.
>>Speaking of wide receivers, don’t forget Bush this weekend. The 6-5 Texan is unlike any wideout Nebraska currently has and the Huskers have a tremendous opportunity to really set the bar high in his recruitment. Bush tells me he and his parents arrive on Friday so they will get the full red-carpet treatment and all the tours. It’s his first official visit and it really seems like Baylor is the school to beat here. His family is a military family so they aren’t necessarily pulled to the Texas schools either. I spoke with his mother, Annie, and asked her what she was looking for on the trip to Nebraska.
"We are looking to see how the academics and football program work together, looking forward to meeting the coaching staff and see how our son fits into their program," she said. "I am looking forward to seeing the campus and what surrounds it such as the community outside of the campus. Looking forward to seeing the players and how they interact with each other. Most important will be looking to see if Nebraska will be a place that I can leave my child for four years.”
Having Bush and Hightower on campus with commits like Joshua Moore and Cameron Brown will be huge for Nebraska. Husker fans would be quite happy if the group of receivers on campus this weekend ends up being the four that the team signs for 2018. Moore and Radley-Hiles have been heavily involved in peer-recruiting both Bush and Hightower.
>>I’m often asked what type of chance do I think Nebraska has to land Parsons. The Huskers are a real player for Parsons. The school he was once committed to, Penn State, is now back in the picture and poses the biggest current threat to Nebraska landing him. There are a couple of logistical things working in Nebraska (and PSU’s favor). Parsons plays most of his games on Saturday meaning he can’t take many official visits. He has already taken one to Penn State and will be in Lincoln this weekend. There may not be time for another visit before the season ends. It’s significant that Parsons thought enough of Nebraska to make sure his parents came back to see it for a game day. A win on Saturday night to showcase the atmosphere and gaining a comfort level with his parents would go a long way towards Nebraska pulling off a big time recruiting win that could change the program.
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.