Huskers Recruiting – Updating the Huskers Big Board
Welcome to HC’s Thirsty Thursday (okay, it’s Friday…again) where we turn off the Big Ten soap opera and pull out your of the 24/7 fall season news cycle to bring you up to speed on all the things going on behind the scenes with the Huskers.
But first, we need to address the recent behavior of Husker Corner editor Danny Jaillet and his Gatorade bottle image theft. Danny has pilfered the “fresh” Thirsty Thursday Gatorade bottle image choice for several of his non-thirsty Thursday articles this week and I’m a bit upset about it. Maybe it’s a shot across my bow about publishing these late on a Thursday and not getting to press until Friday. We will likely never know the reason for such brazen theft.
Instead, I give you legendary actor and all around great guy, Bill Murray. He’s got on a set of green and orange golf gloves so we will have to pretend those are this week’s Gatorade bottle for the story.
“The best way to teach your kids about taxes is by eating 30 percent of their ice cream.” – Bill Murray
Football Team Ranking Check-in: Huskers remain steadfast at 18th in the Rivals top 25
Quick recruiting bytes from the last week:
- The Huskers added local tight end AJ Rollins to the 2021 recruiting class.
- Westside S Koby Bretz commits to Nebraska
- Husker baseball has landed 5 of the top 6 players in the state of Nebraska
- Will Bolt has also secured a commitment from Jaden Arakaki out of Hawaii
- Don’t forget about the cornerstone commit of Thomas Fidone from two weeks ago as well
- Need to up your Husker shoe game this season? Pick up a pair of the all-read 2020 Nebraska Ultraboost’s from Adidas starting Friday (no ad, they’re just super cool)
Nebraska Recruiting – Movers and Shakers –
Kudos to the Husker coaching staff for finding a way to “move” some recruits from all across the country into Lincoln. The Huskers have hosted unofficial visits from 2021 cornerback John Howse IV and 2021 inside linebacker Mikai Gbayor over the last week both whom are set to make a decision soon.
Gbayor should be announcing his decision on Friday and the Huskers have picked up recent crystal balls alluding to a commitment but only one of them is from a local recruiting analyst (Michael Bruntz) so there could be a surprise later today.
Let’s hope the magic eight ball reads “Lincoln” when his announcement comes out later today. You can track Mikai’s twitter feed here if you want to be one of the first to know.
Scott Frost solidified the tight end position last week when he picked up a verbal from AJ Rollings out of Creighton Prep in Omaha. Rollins is the Huskers fourth in-state commitment and the second tight end in less than a week for the Big Red.
Rollings brings a nice 6’4 220lbs frame with a quick 4.8s 40 yard dash to the Huskers recruiting class. With his commitment Nebraska coaches can turn their eyes to the defensive side of the ball where they’re still on the prowl for defensive linemen and linebackers to round out the class before the early signing day is upon us.
Who is the next commit for the Big Red?
Nebraska is hoping to land a commitment from inside linebacker Mikai Gbayor later today. Mikai is an underrated 3-star linebacker out of Irvington, NJ and would be the second player from New Jersey to pick the Huskers in the last two years if he joins Rahmir Johnson in Lincoln.
Looking at Gbaylor’s film, one of his biggest assets that jumps out on films is his ability to read the quarterback and play in zone coverage. At the :28s mark in his film, you can see his pass coverage skill as he reads the QB and sees the TE slipping out past the LOS. He flashes terrific anticipation and breaks on the ball for a clean interception. It’s easy to see why he’s landed 15+ offers and had early interest from powerhouse teams such as Alabama and LSU.
I will feel a lot better about the shape of this linebacker class if defensive coordinator Erik Chinander can pull Gbayor into the mix and keep the rest of the guys locked in this season.
Huskers Recruiting Most Wanted
By now you must have gotten the message. Nabbing Fidone and Rollins was a big over the last week and a half but “whats next!?!”. The Huskers are going to look at taking a possible 3rd tight end in the class since they have 0 underclassmen on the roster right now.
I know I know, Chris Hickman is still at Nebraska. But listen, he’s practicing at WR and nothing appears to be changing at tight end anytime soon with a room full of upperclassmen. I could see Hickman slipping back to the TE position once the Huskers young WR corps matures in 2021 but for now, he’s not there and they have a distinct lack of options starting in 2022 outside of Fidone.
Tight End – 0
James Carnie– I’m not pulling him off the board as his recruitment bears watching as he plays his senior season. If the staff sees him flash potential to go along with his blazing 4.6s 40 speed then I see him getting a late offer or even a grey shirt offer from the Big Red.
The recent recruiting rating bump Carnie received will still draw attention towards Carnie as the year goes on. I think K-State and a few others are snooping around to see if there is something worth trying to steal out of the Cornhusker state this year.
Defensive Line – 2
Madela Tobin – I continue to feature Tobin in my updates and think he’s still at the top of the Huskers list right now. In fact, he recently put out a top 10 featuring Nebraska, Kansas, K-State, Nevada, and Fresno State. I continue to push that this is a KU/Nebraska top 2 but with K-State in the picture you never know as Chris Kliemen seems to have a bit of a thing going on in Manhattan after an 8-5 start to his career there.
Tobin carries a 6’4 270lb frame but maintains a terrific burst at the LOS. He’s very is similar to former Husker DE Khalil Davis who is turning heads this week in Tampa Bay’s preseason camp in that he could rush the passer while still having the bulk to control the LOS against the run.
Inside Linebacker – 1
Wynden Ho’ohuli – This might be the mole hill I drive my flag into this season. I really like Ho’ohuli out of Hawaii and hope the Huskers can pull off a “Joe vs the Volcano” type of win here. Distance is definitely a factor with his recruitment but through the early summertime period the Huskers continue to be in the hunt.
The Huskers are primarily battling Virginia, Washington, and Utah for Ho’ohuli but LSU is keeping a close tabs on him as well. If he cannot take any visits this fall, I think he may choose to stay closer to home on the West Coast.
Wild Cards – 1
Every week I struggle with who to put here and if there is enough smoke to the fire to warrant including an extra player. I’m going to throw Cam’Ron out there as I really like what he brings to the table as a running back and think he’s vastly underrated as a 3-star kid our of Texas.
Do the Huskers need ANOTHER running back? Honestly, probably not in this class. But I love sowing chaos and his talent can’t be dismissed. With so many young scholarship backs on the roster plus walk-on John Bivens arriving in Lincoln this offseason its hard to justify taking another running back unless your counting on some attrition after this year. I don’t see this happening but I’m still trying to sift the tea leaves elsewhere before I start throwing defensive players into this slot each week and this is what I’ve got.
So chime in on twitter and tell me this week who you want to see next week in this slot as the position is up for grabs. For now I’m sticking with Valdez and I’ll leave his film below so you can see why.
Huskers Recruiting Board- Current Commits
QB – Heinrich Haarberg
RB – Gabe Ervin
WR- Shawn Hardy
WR – Latrell Neville
ATH – Kamonté Grimes
TE – Thomas Fidone
TE – AJ Rollins
OT – Teddy Prochazka
OT- Branson Yager
OG – Henry Lutovsky
OLB – Randolph Kpai
OLB – Patrick Payton
OLB – Seth Malcom
DB – Marques Buford
DB – Lardarius Webb Jr.
DB – Malik Williams
S – Koby Bretz