Much has been made about the in-state talent for Nebraska in the 2019 recruiting class. But the 2020 crop of prospects has the potential to be just as bountiful, with recruits such as athlete Miko Maessner already on the Huskers’ radar.
The Kearney standout at running back rushed 103 times for 986 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, adding 3 receiving scores, according to MaxPreps.com. Nebraska saw enough to invite Maessner to its first junior day of the cycle a couple weeks ago and the spring game this weekend.
Maessner’s junior day visit reaffirmed his love for Nebraska.
“That was awesome,” Maessner told Land of 10. “We got to tour the campus. We got to meet all the coaches, which was really cool, and wear the jerseys.”
Slipping on a red Nebraska uniform was a dream come true for Maessner.
“I’ve been dreaming about that since I was a little kid,” he said.
Maessner has been a Huskers fan for as long as he can remember, since elementary school. His favorite Nebraska player is Taylor Martinez.
“I don’t care what anybody says,” he said. “He was my hero.”
A reason why Maessner took a liking to Martinez is because he saw some of himself in the former Nebraska quarterback.
Maessner talks with Huskers running backs coach Ryan Held, and spoke with him toward the end of junior day.
“He said I was going to be one of the guys that they’re looking at,” he said.
Following junior day, Maessner came away with only positive views of Held after speaking with him and watching him coach a practice session.
“He seemed like he had a lot of energy and seemed like he knew what he was talking about,” Maessner said. “He looked really passionate about what he was doing.”
The level of interest from Nebraska toward Maessner somewhat surprised him, he said.
“I knew that they were kind of looking at me, obviously, because they invited me down there to junior day,” Maessner said. “But when he told me I was going to be one of the top guys they’re looking at, that got me really excited and it motivated me to work even harder.”
Scott Frost’s return has included an emphasis to recruit the best in-state prospects, and not simply via the walk-on program. Nebraska has not been afraid to offer in-state recruits, with five offers out in the 2019 class. The Huskers have only one offer out to a 2020 Nebraska prospect — Bellevue West wide receiver Zavier Betts. That is expected to change, though, opening the door for Maessner and others.
“For sure, that’s the end goal,” Maessner said of potentially earning an offer from Nebraska. “I really feel like that if I work hard enough I can get to that point.”
If an offer does eventually arrive, it will mean “everything” to Maessner.
“That’s every Nebraska boy’s dream, playing for the Huskers,” he said. “If that becomes a reality, that would really be something.”
Held has been known to favor prospects with track experience at running back. That’s another box Maessner checks. He’s run a 10.81-second 100-meter dash and a 21.74-second 200 this spring. Nebraska invited Maessner to the spring game this weekend, but a track meet will keep him from attending.
“I was pretty disappointed about that, that they had to fall on the same day,” he said.
Maessner said he has no positional preference in college. Wherever the coaches want him is where he will line up.
South Dakota State and Dakota State have offered him. Other than a couple other programs’ personnel staffers following him on Twitter, the most contact he’s had with a school has been with Nebraska.
“I’m nowhere yet,” Maessner admitted. “I haven’t gotten any offers from them yet. But it’s pretty cool to be up at the top right now.”
Track will receive most of Maessner’s attention for the rest of the school year. But as his profile rises, so will the Huskers’ interest in him.
“I didn’t get to see Scott Frost play, but I’ve watched his highlights and stuff from back in the day,” Maessner said. “I’m really excited to see what he can do with us.”