A lot is written about the stars of Nebraska’s 2017 class, players such as 4-star quarterback Tristan Gebbia or 3-star wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson Jr.
But beyond the current top commits or potential 5-star recruits who haven’t committed yet, Nebraska has a pretty decent supporting cast of recruits who don’t get as many headlines but could make a tremendous impact in Lincoln.
Here are three of Nebraska’s most underrated recruits in the 2017 class.
Hometown: Columbia, Mo.
Position: Wide receiver
Rankings: 4-star 247sports, 4-star Rivals.com
Why: There’s no doubt Jaevon McQuitty is already a highly rated recruit. He’s got a 4-star ranking from both 247sports and Rivals.
But he could very well be a 5-star.
McQuitty finished this season at Battle High School with 39 receptions for 854 yards and 12 touchdowns. He averaged more than 20 yards per catch and more than one touchdown per game.
McQuitty is 5-foot-11, 191 pounds and has said he plans to enroll early.
With the graduation of three wide receivers (Jordan Westerkamp, Brandon Reilly, Alonzo Moore) McQuitty will certainly be thrown onto the field to be a playmaker. He and junior De’Mornay Pierson-El will likely split time at the slot receiver position.
He’s underrated mostly because his potential is not quantifiable. He’s a speedy, quick, athletic wide receiver with great hands, and he could show people soon enough he should have been considered as a 5-star recruit.
Robert Porcher IV
Hometown: Orlando, Fla.
Position: Defensive end
Rankings: 3-star 247sports, 4-star Rivals
Why: Porcher was a 2-star on Rivals.com for more than four months before the website revisited Porcher’s game tape and bumped him up to a 4-star prospect. 247sports still has Porcher as a 3-star defensive end, but the Rivals 2-star bump shows there isn’t a true consensus on how good Porcher could become.
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive end is the son of Robert Porcher, who was a three-time All-Pro defensive end for the Detroit Lions.
Nebraska is in dire need of a pass rusher from the outside, and Porcher has the skills and body type to make a difference soon after he gets to Lincoln. One summer of weights with strength coach Mark Philipp could easily put Porcher in the 265 to 275 range, which would make him even more lethal.
Nebraska’s lead sacker, Ross Dzuris, will graduate after this season and the opportunity for Porcher to make an impact immediately is very real.
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Position: Left tackle
Rankings: 3-star from 247sports, 3-star Rivals
Why: Nebraska’s offensive line struggles are about to get much easier.
Senior center Dylan Utter, senior tackle David Knevel and senior guard Sam Hahn are all leaving, but there is a wealth of healthy young linemen behind them, Jaimes included.
Jaimes is a 6-foot-5, 250-pound tackle from Austin, Texas, and the No. 57 lineman in the 2017 class. He’s the No. 72 recruit from Texas and had 13 offers, including from California, Colorado, Iowa State and Texas Tech.
The reason why Jaimes is on this list is primarily because he could get overlooked in the shuffle of young lineman Nebraska is bringing in. The Huskers have two other offensive lineman commits, plus they have five lineman currently on the roster who will be sophomores or younger next season.
But Jaimes might be the best lineman recruit of this class. He has great footwork and is a tremendous pass blocker. He could be a starter in no time.