The Nebraska recruiting machine churns all week. Join us Sunday through Thursday nights when we recap recruiting news, and offer analysis and context.
A little lost during NFL draft weekend were a pair of offers from the Huskers — one focused on now and the other for well down the road.
The first went out to 247Sports 3-star OT Jalen Mayfield.
— Jalen Mayfield (@jay_may_11) April 28, 2017
Mayfield, from Grand Rapids (Mich.) Catholic Central, is the No. 34 offensive tackle and No. 8 player in Michigan in the 2018 class. A former Minnesota commit, Mayfield reopened his recruitment on March 26.
He holds 14 offers, including from Michigan, Michigan State, Arizona and a handful of other Big Ten schools. He recently made unofficial visits to Notre Dame, Michigan and Iowa.
The other offer went out to 2020 RB Jase McClellan.
— JM9® (@thekidjase) April 28, 2017
Despite being just a freshman at Aledo (Texas) High, McClellan holds 11 offers, including from Baylor, Georgia, Houston, Miami, Oklahoma State, Oregon and Oklahoma. He visited Texas A&M’s Friday Night Lights camp this March, and has also made an unofficial visit to Oklahoma.
About the 500-mile radius
A pretty interesting infographic emerged after the 2017 NFL Draft. Here’s a map showing where every pick in the draft came from.
Not sure how to put this delicately, but that’s a pretty barren Midwest region.
— SportSourceAnalytics (@SportSourceA) April 30, 2017
This prompted some interesting questions on Twitter.
Primarily: Why would Mike Riley and his staff want to recruit hard in the 500-mile radius around Lincoln?
It’s a pretty good question. Yet, there’s reason to believe the 500-mile radius game is a long game.
Clearly, as that graphic shows, the Nebraska/Kansas/Colorado/South Dakota/Missouri region isn’t swimming with NFL talent. But Riley understands this is a risk-reward benefit. If someone within 500 miles of Lincoln does pop up and become an NFL-caliber player, the groundwork for recruiting them to Lincoln is already laid down.
Perfect example: Cameron Jurgens, a 4-star tight end in the 2018 class. He’s been committed to Nebraska since August 2015 and won’t graduate from Beatrice (Neb.) High for another 12 months. And yet, the No. 5 tight end in the 2018 class and No. 117 player in the country is not even remotely likely to budge from his Nebraska commitment.
The 500-mile radius push from Riley’s staff isn’t due to the abundance of in-state talent as much as it is to the fact that when the talent does pop up, it won’t go elsewhere.
Whether that strategy will pay dividends will be something we probably won’t know for some time.
Tanner McKee gathering interest
One of Nebraska’s quarterback targets (a loose term at this point, but still true), 4-star prospect Tanner McKee, is garnering more interest from Texas, according to Texas 247sports.
The Corona (Calif.) Centennial star is the No. 5 pro-style passer and No. 9 player in California in the 2018 class. He holds 20 offers and will compete in the Elite 11 finals this summer. He visited Nebraska last November, during which time offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf extended an offer to the 6-foot-6, 220-pound McKee.
McKee has already made unofficial visits to Alabama and Georgia. He was offered by Texas on March 9.
Nebraska very much wants a quarterback in this class, but seems to be a little behind. McKee is being courted around the country and there are only two other quarterbacks with Nebraska offers who have not yet committed. And Nebraska doesn’t seem to be in a great place with either of those quarterbacks.
Land of 10’s Penn State recruiting writer Tyler Donohue is in New York for The Opening regional this weekend.
Some highlights for you.
First is 4-star WR Shaquon Anderson-Butts, who holds a Nebraska offer.
Penn State target Shaquon Anderson-Butts (@anderson_quon) cruises past DB for this touchdown reception.
— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) April 30, 2017
The other is recent Penn State de-commit and 5-star DE Micah Parsons. He also has an offer from Nebraska.
Final three reps of the day for 5-star edge rusher @Micah_parsons23.
Penn State definitely still in mix, but so is every school in county. pic.twitter.com/q0YHUcBHXy
— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) April 30, 2017
Our most recent Next Generation story came out on Sunday — on 3-star LB Andrew Ward’s journey out of Muskegon, Mich.
Another story worth reading is on Nebraska target and 4-star WR Joshua Moore, who is waiting until June 18 to announce his commitment … for a reason.