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Scott Valentas shines under the Friday Night Lights
When a prospect is called back to the staff’s offices following a day on the field, that almost certainly means he caught some eyeballs with his performance that day.
Such was the case for Wichita, Kan., product Scott Valentas, who received that special treatment following his day at the Huskers’ camp last Friday.
Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander visited Valentas at his Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School at the end of May.
“They said they were interested,” Valentas told Land of 10. “They didn’t know what to expect or where I’d play.”
But since meeting Chinander, Valentas has tacked on 10 pounds. He still ran a solid 40-yard dash.
Valentas entered Friday with high expectations from the staff. He met them.
Nebraska needs to see how the other offers at the outside linebacker position play out before giving Valentas a committable offer, he said. But the Huskers promised him they would keep in touch throughout the summer and provide constant updates with where he stands.
“But you’re definitely at the top of our list,” were among the parting words from the staff to Valentas, he said.
“Hearing that, I felt good,” Valentas added. “I felt like I performed well after all that.”
Jovan Dewitt broke Valentas out for one-on-one work during drills. The 6-foot-2 prospect plays safety for his high school team usually, but the outside linebackers coach wanted a better idea of his hip flexibility and stop-and-go ability.
“He was saying that he just wants me to take it slow — make sure that I’m going through the motions and that I have everything down,” Valentas said. “He said it was looking good, that I knew what I was doing, that it was fast, fluid, athletic.”
It was Valentas’ first time at Nebraska, and he said he thoroughly enjoyed it.
“Being able to camp in the stadium was amazing,” he said. “They had the cameras going. Sometimes you could look up at the screen and see yourself. That was awesome. Their fan base was crazy. They had 2,000 fans out just to come watch camp. That was an amazing experience.”
Valentas holds 11 FCS offers, with most of those coming from Missouri Valley Conference programs. Two offers — Columbia and Cornell — are Ivy League options.
Valentas hasn’t gotten much of a look from in-state programs Kansas and Kansas State. That would make picking up an offer from Nebraska all the sweeter.
“Getting Nebraska to offer me would be really big,” he said. “The Nebraska offer would also be an accomplishment for all the work and time I’ve put into training to reach a goal of playing at the top tier level.”
Brison Cobbins feels good with performance at Friday Night Lights
Brison Cobbins will be an intriguing regional target in the 2020 recruiting class. The Bishop Miege (Kansas City, Kan.) prospect has been active on the camp circuit this summer and his stop Friday in Lincoln went well, he said.
“I felt like I performed really well in front of all the coaches,” Cobbins told Land of 10. “They got a chance to see me move around, do the different drills actually in person instead of just on film.”
Kenny Wilhite, the Huskers’ director of high school relations, pulled the running back recruit aside and he also had a good one-on-one chat with coach Scott Frost.
Frost asked him where he was from. Other coaches would tweak his drills a little bit, but also told him they were impressed with his speed and effort.
“That helped me out a lot because I realized it’s not an everyday thing that you get to deal with coaches face-to-face and be coached by them one-on-one,” he said.
The closest Cobbins felt to an offer was during his conversations with Frost.
“I could tell he actually knows who I am and knows my name and things about me you wouldn’t expect, for the most part,” Cobbins said.
Cobbins said it would be “amazing” if Nebraska offered. He currently does not hold an offer from any school.
“It would mean a lot because they’re a really nice school,” Cobbins said. “I could tell Coach Frost is building a really nice program. That’s something I want to be a part of if they take the chance on me.”
The schools showing him the most interest are Iowa State, Minnesota and Nebraska. He’s now camped at all three. The camps with the Cyclones and Gophers both went well, Cobbins said.
Proximity to home — and running backs coach Ryan Held’s Kansas City roots — will help the Huskers’ case with Cobbins.
“When you have that opportunity to relate to a certain coach in a different way than others, since we’re both from the same city,” he said. “I believe that will develop the relationship a lot because we can relate to each other and talk about different things more than other people may not understand if they’re not from that area. I do feel that it gives you an advantage. ”
Nebraska makes top groups for key recruits
Nebraska made the top 5 for 3-star offensive lineman Chris Akporoghene on Monday, when the IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) standout announced his list. The Tennessee native included Duke, Oregon, Texas and Arizona in the group as well.
Akporoghene is the No. 73-ranked tackle, according to the 247Sports composite, in the class. He stands at 6-4 and weighs 290 pounds.
Daniel Heimuli named the Huskers to his top 8 late Monday. The 4-star inside linebacker completed an unofficial visit to Nebraska last Thursday after a several-school swing throughout the country for the Menlo Park, Calif., prospect.
Alabama, Ole Miss, Washington, Oregon, TCU, UCLA and Utah also made the cut for the No. 12 inside linebacker in the class. Heimuli is 6-2 and 225 pounds.
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