As we rapidly approach closing time for the 2018 recruiting class, we are in for a fun or stressful ride depending on your patience level. Nebraska currently sits at 19 commits for the class with only one of those being in danger of not ending up in the class. There are most likely 4 or 5 spots left and a lot of quality still on the board.
With all the twists and turns just so far this week, lets step back and take a look at the recruiting picture right now. Normally, I like to take a look at the big picture on Friday ahead of visits but there's just too much going on. Things are still very fluid and Nebraska is waiting on a couple of commitments that can alter the course of the class.
>>One new but old name that has resurfaced in the recent days is 4-star athlete Nikko Hall. The talented athlete from Calabasas High School can fill a need on the team at either wide receiver or cornerback, but right now it appears the staff is recruiting him as a receiver. Most people assumed Nebraska was done at the position this cycle after landing Dominick Watt last week, but I think if they can add a quality player like Hall, they will do it. Nothing is official yet, but word is that Hall and Nebraska are discussing moving his visit up from Feb. 2 to this weekend. If that happens, I expect Hall to be part of the class.
>>The longer the Jarrett Bell situation plays out without him committing to Nebraska, the worse things look for the Big Red. Bell was set to make his decision on Monday evening after an in-home with Scott Frost but something gave him pause coming off a trip to Arizona State. My understanding is that he asked Frost and Greg Austin for more time to make his decision so Nebraska is in a holding pattern with him. That does not mean that they are just sitting around waiting on him to decide. Yesterday, Frost, Austin and Sean Beckton all went in home with 3-star offensive lineman Hamilton Hall who is scheduled to visit Feb. 2. I also received confirmation that Willie Canty, a 3-star offensive lineman from Florida, is scheduled to visit next weekend on February 2nd with a trip to Louisville set for this weekend. He is a true tackle (6-6, 290) and an intriguing player.
>>Fluid is always the name of the game in recruiting especially at this stage in the cycle, but there is not better word to describe what’s going on with running back recruiting. Last week, 4-star Jashaun Corbin was set to take an official visit with 3-star Maurice Washington and 3-star Ta'Zhawn Henry on deck. Now, Corbin looks to be out of the picture and is taking a trip to Texas A&M this week, Nebraska is in a fight with Arizona State and Ohio State for Washington, and it seems Henry wants to be part of the Big Red Revival. Expect a bit more clarity on this in the coming days as this week the staff is scheduled to swing through Texas where Washington and Henry reside.
>>Nebraska is still squarely in the mix for their top two defensive targets left on the board. Caleb Tannor and Javontae Jean-Baptiste, a pair of 4-star edge ruhers, both visited Nebraska the weekend of Jan. 12. Each of them left without committing to Nebraska but both left with terrific impressions of the opportunity in Lincoln. Nebraska looks to have survived the Jean-Baptiste visit to Ohio State since he didn’t commit over the weekend to them. I’m cautiously optimistic about the Huskers' chances with him. Tannor is a bit harder to read. He has really shut down doing interviews and picked up a Florida State offer this week, and the Seminoles will try to get an official visit. Tannor’s recruitment will come down to how much he likes Nebraska's staff versus playing closer to home. He’s from Georgia and the other finalists (Auburn, Florida and Florida State) are all close.
>>I mentioned earlier that the staff was expected in Texas this week. They will see some of their top targets like Maurice Washington and Ta’Zhawn Henry, butHuskers fans should also be on the lookout for a lot of new offers for 2019 and 2020 in the Lone Star State. Offensive line coach Greg Austin is from Texas, so that will likely be one of his areas of emphasis in recruiting. We have already seen some offensive line offers go out this morning including to 2019 4-star tackle Kenyon Green.
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.