Photo by Greg Smith

Previewing Week 8 for Nebraska's In-State Commits

October 10, 2018

Friday night lights are back for Week 8.

The recruiting class of 2019 is a special group in Nebraska as many of the top in-state players will go on to play college football at the Division I level. Nebraska currently has verbal commitments from all five of the states’ top five players.

Throughout the fall, we'll chronicle what you need to know about each player and their season so far. 

Linebacker Nick Henrich‍‍

Omaha Burke Schedule  

Aug. 24 Lincoln Southeast (H) - 49-28 W
Aug. 31 Millard West (H) - 31-14 W
Sept. 7 Omaha Central (A) - 35-7 W
Sept. 14 Omaha North (A) - 41-24 W
Sept. 21 Elkhorn (H) - 52-7 W
Sept. 28 Gretna (A) - 43-26 W 
Oct. 4 Fremont (H) - 42-7 W
Oct. 12 Millard North (A)
Oct. 19 Papillion LaVista (H)


What you need to know about Henrich

Nick Henrich represented a huge recruiting win for Nebraska when he announced that he was joining the 2019 class in July. Not only is he the best player in the state of Nebraska, but he is one of the best inside linebacker prospects in the country. It was especially important for the new staff to land him to show they meant business about keeping the best talent home. Henrich is an excellent prospect with good leadership qualities. 

Game to watch 

On Sept. 14, Burke faced Omaha North in one of the best rivalry games in the state. The games between these two schools are always highly competitive. Burke was looking for revenge as North won 29-28 last season in the playoffs, going on to win the Class A state title. 

Burke received that revenge, defeating the Vikings 41-24.

What to know this week

The Bulldogs winning streak remained alive last Thursday night when they defeated Fremont 42-7. Henrich racked up 14 tackles, 4 TFLs, a sack and a forced fumble in the game. The future Husker will lead his team this week on a road trip against Millard North. 


Athlete Garrett Snodgrass‍‍ ‍

York Schedule

Aug. 24 Alliance (A) - 55-14 W
Aug. 31 Blair (H) - 50-28 W
Sept. 7 McCook (H) - 20-13 L
Sept. 14 Skutt Catholic (A) - 42-37 L
Sept. 21 Beatrice (A) - 51-7 W
Sept. 28 Hastings (H) - 42-21 W
Oct. 4 Northwest (A) -35-19 W
Oct. 12 Seward (A)
Oct. 19 Crete (H)


What you need to know about Snodgrass

Snodgrass is a do-everything player for his York team. He has potential at multiple positions but his ultimate college spot is unclear. Last season on defense he recorded 90 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, three pass breakups, one interception and blocked three field goal attempts.

Game to watch

Sept. 14 was a busy day for rematch games around the state. Last season, York beat Skutt Catholic 31-0 to win the Class B state title. This year, the Dukes had to travel to Omaha to take on Skyhawks.

York dropped the matchup with Skutt 42-37.

What to know this week

The Dukes picked up their third win in a row, defeating Northwest on the road 35-19. Snodgrass did a little bit of everything once again. He had 134 passing yards and two TDs plus 92 yards on the ground with another two TDs. He also chipped in nine tackles in the game. This week they travel to Seward for a road game.


Defensive Lineman Ethan Piper‍‍

Norfolk Catholic Schedule

Aug. 24 Pierce (A) - 48-29 L
Aug. 31 David City Aquinas (H) - 31-7 W
Sept. 7 St. Paul (H) - 49-20 W
Sept. 14 BDS (A) - 49-14 W
Sept. 21 Crofton (H) - 49-9 W
Sept. 28 Hartington Cedar Catholic (A) - 54-20 W
Oct. 5 Battle Creek (H) -21-7 W
Oct. 12 Stanton (A)
Oct. 19 Ponca (A)


What you need to know about Piper

Piper is a good prospect who stars on both the offensive and defensive line for Norfolk Catholic. He projects as a defensive lineman right now for Nebraska. His quotes to me after he committed to Nebraska will make him an instant fan favorite. 

"It sounds cliché to say that it is every Nebraska kids' dream to wear the [scarlet] and white, but it is," Piper said in March. "I grew up idolizing [Ndamukong] Suh and had Blackshirt posters all over my room. In fact, to be honest, I still have one up. Our family never had season tickets but would scratch up enough money to go to at least one game every year. I'd sit next to old ladies who I [had] never met who would give me their leftover popcorn and we'd leave as friends. It's not just a game or a sport here in Nebraska but the lifeblood of so many.” 

Game to watch

The Knights will face five playoff teams from last season. Their toughest game is against Ponca on Oct. 19, which finished 2017 at 10-1. That game will be a tough road test late in the season before the state playoffs begin.  

What to know this week

The Knights continued their win streak as they took down nearby rival Battle Creek 21-7 in a hard fought game. It was the passing game that powered Norfolk Catholic this past week and they threw for all three of their scores. This week they face Stanton on the road. 


Outside Linebacker Garrett Nelson‍‍

Scottsbluff Schedule

Aug. 24 North Platte (A) - 41-20 W
Aug. 31 Hastings (H) - 48-14 W
Sept. 7 Northwest (H) - 25-10 W
Sept. 14 Sterling (A) - 48-18 W
Sept. 21 Gering (H) - 62-6
Sept. 28 Sidney (H) - 53-3
Oct. 5 Lexington (A) 34-7 W
Oct. 12 Alliance (A)
Oct. 19 McCook (H)


What you need to know about Nelson

Nelson was the first player to commit to the class of 2019 for Nebraska. He did so back on June 24, 2017. Nelson is a Husker legacy as both of his parents are Nebraska alumni. His father, Chris Nelson, was an All-American wrestler for the Huskers in the early 1990s. His grandfather, Ken Parish, was the head football coach at Cozad during the 1960s and 1970s and has been a big part of Nelson’s life on and off the field. 

Game to watch

Last season, the Bearcats’ only regular season loss was to McCook in a nail-biter, 17-14 at home. This year Scottsbluff will look to avenge that loss when they face off against McCook on Oct. 19. 

What to know this week

The Bearcats went to 7-0 last Friday after beating Lexington, 34-7. The defense, led by Nelson, continued their dominance and has only allowed 16 points in their last three games. Lexington didn't get a first down until late in the third quarter. This week, the team is back home against Alliance.


Tight End Chris Hickman


Aaron Babcock
Omaha Burke tight end Chris Hickman during a visit to Nebraska last October.


What you need to know about Hickman

On September 15th, Hickman became the fifth and final player that Nebraska has offered in-state to verbally committed to Nebraska. The Huskers won a tough recruiting battle for him after quickly building a relationship with the versatile athlete.

What to know this week

The Bulldogs continued to roll last Thursday night after taking down Fremont, 42-7. Hickman had a touchdown catch in the game for the second week in a row. 



Game I’ll be attending this week:

This week, I’ll be back in Omaha to check out Omaha North versus Bellevue West. This game will be a great test for North which started the season rough but has bounced back to win three straight, outscoring oppenents 104-16. Bellevue West is 7-0 for the second straight season and boasts two of the top five players in the state for the class of 2020 with WR Zavier Betts and RB Jay Ducker. 

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