Outside linebacker recruiting has been a focus for Nebraska. It’s especially been a priority since Coach Scott Frost took over the program. One recruit that Nebraska has been after hard since the staff arrived is 4-star (HV Rating: 92.6) outside linebacker TJ Bollers. Nebraska got him on campus several times. They were in his final group but on Thursday he announced his commitment for Wisconsin.
Glory to the man above!! pic.twitter.com/ypUpBIoeLg
— TJ Bollers (@tj35ballin) June 11, 2020
The Tiffin, Iowa, native held over 20 scholarship offers. Iowa State, Notre Dame and Alabama were the other schools in his final group. Bollers is the third linebacker in two cycles that chose to head to Madison instead of Lincoln. Inside linebacker Malik Reed and outside linebacker Kaden Johnson were Husker leans but both ended up playing for Paul Chryst last cycle. That should make for even more interesting on-field battles with the Badgers soon.
Bollers is one of 11 Iowans that hold scholarship offers from the Huskers this cycle. Six have committed to Iowa, two have committed to Nebraska, one to Wisconsin and two are uncommitted. Thomas Fidone and Tyler Maro are the last two uncommitted players.
Despite losing Bollers to a division foe, Nebraska is in great shape with linebacker recruiting for the 2021 recruiting class. While he was a top target for the Huskers this cycle, they did a good job of having other players ready once he started trending toward Wisconsin. So far, the Huskers have five linebackers in the class. The group is led by 4-star inside linebacker Randolph Kpai. It features two 3-star inside linebackers–Seth Malcom and Chris Paul. California outside linebacker Will Schweitzer joined the class on Thursday and outside linebacker Patrick Payton is already ‘N’.
Even in a smaller recruiting class, look for Nebraska to add one more linebacker to the group the already have. Nebraska continues to reshape the room for outside linebackers coach Mike Dawson but the returning coach has a big job ahead of him. The team must find a way to improve its ability to get after the passer to improve as a defense. In the two seasons under Frost, the Huskers have ranked sixth (25 sacks) in 2018 and eighth (27 sacks) in the Big Ten.
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.