Recruiting activity is in full swing currently for Nebraska. It’s always busy during this time, but there is a new wrinkle that has been very beneficial for players and schools. In response to the pandemic, the NCAA is allowing schools to have one-on-one workouts with prospects for one hour this month. There were a handful of offers that Nebraska extended last week after the first batch. After the second week of workouts, could more players pop up on the radar?
Missouri prospect Caleb Merritt made the drive to Lincoln on Friday to work out for the team. The speedy wideout (6-0, 180) did a vertical jump, 40-yard dash and a pro agility drill for Nebraska. He also ran a lot of routes on air to see how easy he got in and out of breaks.
“The workout was awesome,” Merritt said. “I had a great talk with Coach [Matt] Lubick and while there was no offer yet, he said if nobody commits at wide receiver by next Saturday, then I’d be first up for the offer.”
Merritt holds offers from Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Wyoming and Navy. He also has every Ivy League school except Harvard and Yale. From here he will visit and workout for Notre Dame, Missouri, Purdue, Vanderbilt and Northwestern.
The Huskers have brought in several specialists this month. It was a focus in spring and now in the offseason to continue improving special teams. Kickoffs have been a big problem for the team. Former Morningside kicker Brendan Franke came down for a workout on Friday. He entered the transfer portal after one year at the school. The former Gretna player thinks the work out went well.
“I did kickoffs and field goals, that was about it,” Franke said. “Just the essentials to my job. I did superb on kickoffs. I hit some really nice balls through the end zone right in front of Coach Frost.”
Franke is hopeful that he will get good news soon about a walk-on opportunity with the Huskers. He’d be an interesting option to fix the kickoff woes that have plagued Nebraska for years.
One of the most intriguing players in Nebraska for the 2022 class is Grand Island defender Vince Genatone. Standing at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, Genatone is quickly going from sleeper to player to watch. He felt like he performed well during his time in Lincoln.
“It went really well,” Genatone said. “I ran a 4.45 40, jumped a 38.5 vertical and went through an extensive workout with the defensive staff. It was great finally getting to meet everybody. I had a really long visit with Coach Frost and my family.
“They need to meet as a staff because they want to figure out how they’re going to bring me in. They talked to me about playing safety and depending on how much weight I put on they’d move me down to linebacker.”
That sounds an awful lot like JoJo Domann’s role. Or the type of role the team envisions for Isaac Gifford during his time in Lincoln. Nebraska is quietly developing a nice pipeline of players to play that unique role in its defense. We’ll see soon if the Huskers come through with an offer for Genatone.