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Nebraska Recruiting: A Look at the Huskers' In-State Recruiting Talent

July 17, 2019
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Recruiting never stops and it's easy to miss the top stories day-to-day. We’re recapping all things Nebraska recruiting news, analysis and more so you never miss a thing.


Keeping the top players in Nebraska at home has been an emphasis for Scott Frost since he took over in Lincoln. Frost, with lead in-state recruiter Barrett Ruud running point, went 5-for-5 in the 2019 class.

So far in 2020, Nebraska has gone 1-for-2 with scholarship offers to in-state targets — landing Bellevue West wide receiver Zavier Betts but missing out on Omaha Burke wide receiver Xavier Watts, who committed to Notre Dame. Are the Huskers done making in-state offers, though? That remains to be seen.

A handful of players are already off the board — Bellevue West running Back Jay Ducker to Northern Illinois, Kearney athlete Miko Maessner to Princeton, Omaha Skutt athlete Tyson Gordon to North Dakota State and Omaha Central athlete Abe Hoskins to South Dakota State to name a few. There are still some talented players out there, however.

Nebraska doesn’t have a ton of spots open in the 2020 class, but they also don’t have a ton of commits at this point. If the Huskers strike out on some of their top targets at certain positions, circling back to in-state guys could be an option. The coaches have certainly been doing their due diligence on a number of uncommitted players with walk-on coordinator Kenny Wilhite overseeing things. There could be a couple players who impress the coaches enough as the process continues to make the leap from walk-on target to a potential scholarship player.

The first player that comes to mind should be a familiar name for Huskers fans. It’s Isaac Gifford, the younger brother of former Husker linebacker Luke Gifford. The standout from Lincoln Southeast has played both safety and linebacker for the Knights. The 6-foot, 190-pound senior-to be is a good athlete and certainly hasn’t missed a day in the weight room. Injuries limited him during his junior season but he still put together a strong campaign. 

Gifford received his first offer from Oregon State, where former Nebraska linebackers coach Trent Bray ended up after the coaching change in Lincoln. He attended the Cowboys’ 2018 spring game. He’s also received offers from Army, Northern Iowa and Wyoming.

He’s been to Nebraska countless times and is fully aware of what the Huskers have to offer. If I had to guess, Nebraska’s looking at him more as a walk-on at this point, and that might be a tough pull with the other options he has. However, perhaps with a healthy, productive senior year he could move himself up their board.

Another guy to keep an eye on is eight-man stud Ty Hahn out of Johnson-Brock. Hahn is a terrific athlete who can play either wide receiver or safety at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds. He was one of the best players — regardless of class — who took the field at Memorial Stadium during the state tournament this past season, leading the Eagles to a state title.

Hahn has visited Nebraska multiple times and has taken part in various Nebraska camps. He’s also visited a number of Big Ten and other regional schools unofficially. Currently, he holds offers from North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota State, South Dakota, Northern Iowa and Western Illinois.

Beyond those two, we’re probably getting into more true walk-on targets. Kohl Herbolsheimer, the powerful lineman from Millard South who holds several FCS offers plus one from Wyoming, would likely be next on the list.

The 2020 class can’t stack up to what proved to be an outstanding 2019 class for in-state power 5 offers, but there’s still a lot of talent in that class worth continuing to monitor.

Recruit Watch

>> On the basketball front, 5-star 2021 guard and Nebraska target Kendall Brown announced that he was transferring from East Ridge in Minnesota to Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kansas. Soon after, Kansas offered him.

>> And in volleyball recruiting, 2020 Waverly setter Annika Evans decommitted from Colorado State and will walk on at Nebraska instead, as Hail Varsity confirmed on Tuesday.

ICYMI

>> Derek Petersen previewed Big Ten Media Days with some major storylines to track.

>> Michigan was picked to win the Big Ten by the conference’s writers in an unofficial poll, while the Huskers were tabbed as the top team in the Big Ten West by a collection of Nebraska media.

>> It’s Wednesday, which means it’s Hail Varsity Mailbag day.

>> Petersen also highlighted some of the things Nebraska’s skill position players are working on heading into the 2019 season.

 
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