Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Which Teams Hurt Nebraska Most in 2022 Recruiting Battles?

December 23, 2021

The cycle isn’t officially over but its been a strange ride for Nebraska and the 2022 recruiting class. It was always going to be a smaller class with spots being at a premium. Because of that, there aren’t a lot of high school names that have surfaced on the radar since the season started. The transfer portal and late flurry of recruiting activitiy did make for exciting times leading to the early signing period. Nebraska was locked in battles with several schools throughout the cycle. Which school hurt Nebraska the most on the trail this year?

Let’s kick things off with a team that you might not immediately think of. Notre Dame has become a team that routinely recruits in a way that Nebraska would love to emulate. The Irish recruit big-time skill players, maulers in the trenches and good quarterbacks. This cycle was no different. Even as the program went through an unexpected coaching change. Brian Kelly leaving for LSU and Marcus Freeman taking over hasn’t slowed them down. There are two players in particular that the Huskers liked this cycle who are heading to South Bend. Offensive lineman Ashton Craig took an official visit to Nebraska over the summer. At that point Craig was an under the radar prospect. Notre Dame offered him shortly after and he quickly committed to the program. Quarterback Steve Angeli was an early favorite of former quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco. The Bergen Catholic star never made it to campus but the Huskers did offer him early.

Missouri did some damage to the Huskers this cycle particularly in the trenches. Nebraska had a commitment from Illinois offensive lineman Valen Erickson over the summer. That faded quickly and he flipped to Missouri. Missouri also got a commitment from Omaha Central offensive lineman Deshawn Woods. The lineman ruled the Huskers out early and did not sign with the Tigers. He looks to be headed to junior college. Defensive lineman Jalen Marshall took a summer official visit to Nebraska. The Huskers looked to be his leader but he committed to Missouri and signed with them. Nebraska also liked interior offensive lineman Armand Membou but never got him on campus.

If you want a sneaky team that the Huskers seemed to be doing battle with a lot in the 2022 cycle it’s West Virginia. The Huskers and the Mountaineers seemed to be in a lot of top five lists together this cycle. Running back Justin Williams was the first big battle the Huskers lost to West Virginia, then they also lost Williams to Tennessee. Quarterback Nicco Marchiol was an early target for the Huskers. They didn’t get much traction before he selected West Virginia. Grayson High School defensive back Mumu Bin-Wahad had strong interest in Nebraska. He could never quite make the visit dates line up. He signed with West Virginia.

One team in the conference that hurt the Huskers in conference is Michigan State. The Spartans have several players on their commit list that the Huskers liked. That will make for fun times playing the Spartans in upcoming seasons. Three offensive lineman that signed with Michigan State held Nebraska offers. Gavin Broscious, Braden Miller and Alex VanSumeren were all players the Huskers hoped to land at one point. Athlete Jaden Mangham took a summer official visit to Nebraska. The four-star is staying home in Michigan. The Huskers were an early offer for wide receiver Antonio Gates Jr too. Buford High School in Georgia has been good to the Huskers under Frost. One of its players defensive back Malik Spencer is going to East Lansing. The Huskers worked to flip him during the season but was unsuccessful.

Oregon ended up hurting Nebraska at the end of the cycle. The Huskers never had a shot with Omaha Burke linebacker Devon Jackson who picked the Ducks. Nebraska did have a chance with defensive lineman Ben Roberts. He stuck with his pledge to Oregon after taking an official visit to Nebraska in December. The Ducks also lured away defensive line coach Tony Tuioti.

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