The regular season in Nebraska high school football has come and gone very quickly with the playoffs kicking off today and tomorrow across the state. So, what better time to take a review of some of the players that stood out to me while I took in all the action each Friday night? The list isn’t meant to rank players but just highlight the standouts.
Cameron Jurgens TE (Beatrice)
Let’s start with the first in-state player I saw this season, 2018 4-star Nebraska commit Cameron Jurgens. The versatile player stands out when you see him on the field and I was struck right away by how many positions he played well in the game I saw. Jurgens lined up a tight end, running back, quarterback, middle linebacker and punted for his team that night. He will be a real asset for Nebraska in the future.
Justin Holm WR (Lincoln Southwest)
Holm, a 2018 preferred walk-on for Nebraska, had a monster game when I saw him earlier in the season with nine catches for 153 yards and a touchdown. He’s a good route runner with very good hands as well. The other thing I noticed about Justin Holm in this game was his competitiveness and blocking ability. When it's his time to block, he takes that seriously and looks to do damage. Nebraska fans will love that about his game.
Milton Sargbah RB (Omaha North)
The senior running has simply been sensational each time I’ve seen him play. What Milton Sargbah lacks in size (5-7, 160) he makes up for in quickness, balance and pure speed. He rarely goes down on first contact and displays great vision and patience. Nebraska has kept close tabs on him and I’m told he could be close to a scholarship offer from the Huskers.
Zander Gray RB (Omaha North)
The junior running back at Omaha North is quite the talent as well. Zander Gray’s size, speed and balance make him a nightmare to tackle and he surprises me each time I see him with his quick feet and wiggle. He wants to play running back in college so it’ll be interesting to see what if any changes he makes to make that happen and how he continues to grow as a player. Count me as a fan of his style.
Masry Mapieu DT (York)
The 2018 3-star Huskers commit has tremendous size (6-3, 295) and surprising quickness for a player his size. Mapieu’s pass-rush technique is improving and catching up to his natural abilities as he continues to apply the tips that he told me Huskers defensive line coach John Parrella gives him. I’m told there is a clear difference in his conditioning from his junior to senior year. Masry Mapieu has enormous potential.
Chris Hickman TE (Omaha Burke)
Chris Hickman has a great frame (6-6, 195) that keeps his ultimate college position a mystery for now but there is no doubt at all that he is a Division I football player. If he stays at tight end in college, he will be a great weapon as a hybrid player that can split out wide or stay in-line to block. He showed good hands and developing route-running skills the games I’ve seen him play.
Nick Henrich LB (Omaha Burke)
The Burke junior is a tackling machine. Nick Henrich is completely unafraid to mix it up and runs very well sideline to sideline at the linebacker spot. I think he has Big Ten 3-4 outside linebacker written all over him that can play in space and tackle well. He will continue to bulk up (6-3, 195) and be in contention with his teammate Chris Hickman for best player in the state next year.
I have to mention a pair of out-of-state players that I saw this year as well. Four-star Nebraska commit Mario Goodrich is a great athlete who could play wide receiver or cornerback at the college level. He has great size and speed plus shows the willingness to tackle. Last but not least, if you’ve read my recap of 2019 4-star QB Max Duggan from Council Bluffs, Iowa, you know I believe he should be the top target on Nebraska’s board in 2019. Duggan is a true dual-threat quarterback who can excel in a number of offenses. He wants to commit in the spring and will be a big get for whichever school lands him.
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.