The Huskers are in a great spot when it comes to offensive line recruiting. Two of the first four commits of the 2021 recruiting class are offensive linemen. Teddy Prochazka and Henry Lutovsky were the first two commitments of the class. Nebraska is looking to add one more prospect to offensive line coach Greg Austin’s group this cycle.
Competition for that final spot is tough but a player near the top of the list is Utah lineman Branson Yager.
I would like to announce that I have received a scholarship offer from The University of Nebraska! Thank you @CoachTuioti92 and @GregAustin2717 for the opportunity! Go Cornhuskers! #BIG10 pic.twitter.com/Mk2fxYPIja
— Branson Yager (@BransonYager) March 16, 2020
The 6-foot-7, 320-pound lineman had been talking over text with defensive line coach Tony Tuioti (his area recruiter). After that, the recruiting department put him in contact with Austin. The pair started talking frequently to build the relationship. Yager was supposed to visit Lincoln on March 20 and was expecting to get his offer then but that couldn’t happen due to COVID-19 restrictions and he received his offer over the phone.
“I was super excited about the offer,” Yager told Hail Varsity. “I love the Midwest. I was born and raised in Utah but I’ve spent a lot of time on my grandpa’s farm in Kansas hunting. So, I love the Midwest and so I’m really excited to get out there and visit once this is all over.”
Being in high school as states have varying degrees of quarantine is difficult. Yager can’t work out at his school and all the gyms are closing. It’s definitely made it harder for him to get a good workout in. Luckily he has a creative solution.
“I try to stay active though,” Yager said. “I work for a moving company so I’m running in and out of houses lifting boxes so that helps. I put in 11 miles on the move yesterday. That was a long day. It was the longest move I’ve done. It was 10 hours. The house was gigantic and they had a ton of stuff. They live up in the mountain. The driveway was too steep to get the truck up. We had to walk down the hill that was 20 yards down the hill every time we moved something. My watch says that I climbed 61 floors yesterday.”
His job and online school have kept him plenty busy over the last few weeks. Yager has also noticed how active Nebraska fans are on social media. He noted that his posts about the Huskers get much more interaction than any other school. He’s been learning about Husker history like the sellout streak, so he's excited to experience Lincoln for himself.
He’s also excited to get to meet Austin in person. He enjoys their conversations about football and life over the phone. That makes him eager to see if it translates in-person. For Yager, it’s all about the people and atmosphere at his future school.
“The biggest thing for me is the football isn’t as big to me as the area that I’m living in,” Yager said. Division I football is going to be good wherever you go. All school have the fancy facilities and all that stuff. I come from a small town and school. Wherever I go is going to be insane to me. So, the biggest thing for me is the atmosphere of the area.
“How the people are. The culture there and how they will treat me. If I can get along with the staff and the players. Those are the people I want to be able to be around and experience. Football won’t be fun if school sucks and I’m not happy living where I am.”
Yager planned on making a college choice before his senior year in early August. He won’t commit before seeing the college so he will wait until recruiting is opened back up. He currently holds five scholarship offers including BYU, Cal, and Iowa State.
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.