Photo by Quentin Lueninghoener
Nebraska Football Recruiting

Greg's Guys: New Prospects Make a Move For Huskers

July 21, 2020
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The July edition of Greg’s Guys is here and there has been some movement since the last list. Three of the 10 players listed in the June edition have come off the board. Wideout Latrell Neville and running back Gabe Ervin committed to Nebraska, while tight end Erik Olsen elected to stay home and committed to Colorado. We have some new prospects debuting on the list, while others moved their way up it.

If you aren’t familiar with the Greg’s Guys list, it’s my top 10 players in the class based on Nebraska’s needs, how a player fits in the scheme and talent. The list is always fluid and that’s what makes it fun.  

1) TE Thomas Fidone‍ (Council Bluffs, Iowa)

Last Rank: 1

The reigning No. 1 player on my big board still remains unchanged. It feels like Nebraska’s recruiting class is cruising along steadily at this point, adding solid prospects but waiting on the “big one.” Fidone is the highest-rated prospect the Huskers are most closely linked with. The problem is that the Huskers are battling some heavyweight programs to land him.

Fidone is content to wait things out as long as there is hope for official visits in the fall.  Nothing will change with his plans to wait until a decision is made on if official visits will happen. His relationship is great with Nebraska’s staff, players and prospects. He wants to see other schools like LSU and Michigan. 

2) DE Tobechi Okoli‍ (Kansas City, Missouri)

Last Rank: 2

Things have been quiet around the Lincoln College Prep standout recently. That’s not necessarily out of the ordinary for Okoli though. He’s a quieter kid who just goes about his business of working out and trying to prepare for his senior season. The Huskers do have an advantage right now having hosted him. He hasn’t been to all his top choices yet and has good feel for the Nebraska program. Okoli is poised for a huge senior season that could push him to national recruit status. 

3) DE Ru'Quan Buckley‍ (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Last Rank: 5

The Huskers are still in the driver’s seat for the Michigan defender. Buckley (6-6, 260) has told me that Nebraska is his leader. The team made a huge impression on him back in January when he attended Junior Day. His relationship with defensive line coach Tony Tuioti is very strong. Nebraska is battling Michigan State the most for his commitment. New coach Mel Tucker has put increased focus on keeping him home since taking the job. 

4) RB Tavierre Dunlap‍ (Del Valle, Texas)

Last Rank: 4

Dunlap has been very productive for Del Valle High School the last two seasons. He's racked up almost 3,000 yards and 37 touchdowns. He also catches the ball well out of the backfield, hauling in 20 receptions as a junior. Nebraska made the cut recently in Dunlap’s top eight schools. 

It seems like a speedster would be in order for the second running back in class. Dunlap fits the mold and plays faster than his track times. He’s a decisive one-cut back who would fit in well into Nebraska’s offensive plans. 

5) OLB Christian Burkhalter‍ (Spanish Fort, Alabama)

Last Rank: 6

Burkhalter has emerged through the extended dead period as a prospect the Huskers like a lot. It’s easy to see why. Standing at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, he’s tough to handle off the edge. His high motor makes him a player that is always around the football making plays. The Huskers were the leader here but there are plenty of schools making a push for him. Most notably is Oregon right now. Nebraska needed to get him on campus to gain his commitment, especially now that the secret is out on the talented defender from Alabama. 

6) DE Mandela Tobin (San Diego, California)

Last Rank: Unranked

Tuioti has quietly done well with the California native. Tobin (6-4, 270) has the size and length that the defensive staff at Nebraska covets. It remains to be seen how California’s decision to play football in the spring will impact his recruitment. For now, Tobin has flown a bit under the radar nationally as a prospect but has good tools to make an impact in college. 

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7) TE AJ Rollins‍ (Omaha, Nebraska)

Last Rank: Unranked

Rollins has been a target for the Huskers at tight end for a couple of years now. The Creighton Prep star has a high ceiling as he continues to focus on football full-time. Rollins (6-6, 220) is the new style of hybrid tight end that many spread offenses would love to add. The pitch Nebraska is making to him seems to resonate. 

“They really see me playing everywhere,” Rollins said. “H-Back, slot, everywhere. That type of position. It's cool with me. I like doing those type of things and not just staying in one position. I like that type of stuff.”

Rollins wants to make a decision midway through senior season but Huskers are likely out in front right now.

via GIPHY

8) DB Malik Williams‍ (Buford, Georgia)

Last Rank: Unranked

Williams (5-11, 171) has been relatively unknown to Husker fans but that is how Travis Fisher operates. The Georgia native has been a Husker target for some time now quietly building a solid relationship with the staff. He attends the same high school as running back commit Gabe Ervin. Williams was scheduled to visit Nebraska in the spring before the dead period hit. Nebraska has made Georgia a major priority under Scott Frost and the Huskers continue to be successful in the Peach State.

via GIPHY

9) RB Audric Estime‍ (Montvale, New Jersey)

Last Rank: 9

There is a long tradition of New Jersey running backs being successful in college. Wisconsin has made a habit of landing players from the state and turning them into All-Conference selections. Estime (6-1, 215) has the look of a player that can impact a college program from day one. Nebraska wants a second running back in the class. Estime makes a great choice if the Huskers elect to go with more of a power back. Still, it will be tough to get him away from Rutgers. 

10) OL Marcus Mbow‍ (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) 

Last Rank: 10

The Wisconsin native has been a longtime target on the offensive line for Nebraska. He’s had awful luck trying to make it out to Lincoln for a visit. With three linemen in the class already and a smaller class coming for 2021, it might be tough for Mbow to get in the class. He’s a talented prospect though so it could work out down the road if he stays patient. The toughest competition right now for Mbow comes from Arizona State. The Sun Devils have momentum with him right now.

 
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