Are Priorities Shifting in Nebraska Recruiting?
Photo Credit: Greg Smith

Taking a Look at Potential 2020 Linebacker Targets

July 06, 2019

Last week in the recruiting notebook, I took a look at a handful of position groups that Nebraska needs to hit out of the park in the 2020 recruiting class. I now want to take a deeper dive into some players to watch at those positions. First up was the defensive line. Then we took a look at the wide recievers. 

Today we look at linebackers.

The Huskers currently have one commit that can play linebacker: recent addition Blaise Gunnerson. The Iowa native will start his career at outside linebacker for Nebraska but also has the versatility to play defensive end in certain situations. He was an important get that will allow Nebraska’s future defense to stay multiple but there are more linebackers needed in the 2020 class. 

There are a few players that Nebraska had its sights on who have committed to other schools. Recently, inside linebacker Malik Reed‍ committed to Wisconsin and outside linebacker Cody Simon‍ committed to Ohio State. Both players took summer official visits to Lincoln. Reed will be interesting to track because he is someone I could see the staff staying in touch with throughout the season as a flip candidate down the road. 

There are still other targets on the board too. Georgia linebacker Choe Bryant-Strother‍ also took a summer official visit to Lincoln and has the Huskers high on his list of schools. If he still wants to make a summer announcement ahead of his senior season, Nebraska is in good position to land the defender who stands at 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds. 

Another player that Nebraska is battling division rival Wisconsin for is outside linebacker Kaden Johnson‍ from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Johnson visited Lincoln this spring with a large group along with former NFL star Tyrone Carter. After that visit, he told Hail Varsity that he would like to get back to Lincoln in the fall for an official visit with his family. He took an official visit to Madison where the Badgers made a big impression before the dead period. If Nebraska can survive the summer and get him on campus for an official visit early in the season, they can make things interesting. 

Derrick Lewis‍ out of Schertz, Texas, is another prospect to keep an eye on. He took an unofficial visit to Lincoln this summer and really liked what he saw. After he left Lincoln, he told Hail Varsity that he got a good feeling for what it would take to be an elite athlete at Nebraska and is building a bond with the coaching staff. An official visit is a possibility for the Texan. 

The final name I’ll mention is Alabama commit Jackson Bratton‍. The teammate and close friend of Nebraska quarterback commit Logan Smothers has been monitoring the Huskers progress and has even talked about taking an official visit with Smothers for the Ohio State game. While Bratton and Smothers are tight, at this point Bratton is a long shot. He has been a frequent visitor in Tuscaloosa this spring and summer. Never say never though, and a player like Bratton is exactly the type of prospect who will be waiting to see how the Huskers season starts out. 

The Huskers are likely looking to take four or five linebackers in the 2020 cycle. 

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