Stay updated with Nebraska Cornhuskers football recruiting in the latest edition of The Harvest, which posts at 7:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. Be sure to check out previous editions of The Harvest here.
Camren McDonald de-commits from USC, opening door for Cornhuskers
Camren McDonald, a 4-star tight end, announced Monday on Twitter that he has de-committed from USC, which had held a verbal pledge from the Long Beach, Calif., native for almost five months. The news may have not been welcome in Trojans recruiting circles, but it was a good sign for the Huskers.
Nebraska will work to secure a commitment from McDonald, who took an official visit to campus for the Northwestern game on Nov. 4. McDonald is the No. 270 prospect in the 2018 class and the No. 13 tight end, according to the 247Sports composite.
I have decided that I want to reopen my recruiting process and decommit from The University of Southern California. No interviews 🗣 pic.twitter.com/Q4hwbkqLgA
— Camm🏅 (@CaamMcd) November 13, 2017
A combination of factors led to McDonald’s de-commitment from USC. He desires to see the field early in his college career, and it dawned on him that the chances of that happening were slim if he stayed committed to USC. Additionally, the Trojans recently offered Dominick Wood-Anderson, the No. 1 JUCO tight end in the country.
“I haven’t set anything up but I’m open to everyone,” McDonald told Greg Biggins of 247Sports. “With USC, I just didn’t think I fit their offensive scheme that well. Plus they have a lot of tight ends right now on the roster and I was never really sure how I would be used and fit in that offense, so I think this is the best move for me going forward.”
During his official visit to Nebraska, the coaching staff provided McDonald with a clear vision for how he would be used in the offense and an assurance that he could play early in his career. McDonald envisions himself in the mold of a new-age, hybrid tight end who basically plays as an extra receiver. He recounted his visit to 247Sports’ Mike Schaefer.
“It was good I saw I have the opportunity to come in and play right away at Nebraska,” McDonald said.
“Nebraska thinks it would play me a lot as the X receiver on the backside of the formation, or as a big slot receiver at the inside of the formation,” he said. “It absolutely fits what I like to do. That’s the type of football player I want to be — a new modern, hybrid-type tight end kind of guy.”
McDonald took in a 31-24 loss to the Wildcats, but he liked the tone of the conversations he had with current players. He sees a bright future for the Cornhuskers.
“I was talking with the players and I said it feels like there’s opportunities all over the field,” he said. “I was telling them, ‘I think you guys have a lot of potential. You’re going to be good next year.’ At least I believe so.”
With USC out of the picture, the two teams currently making the strongest plays for McDonald are Nebraska and Texas A&M. McDonald took an official visit with the Aggies on Oct. 6. Huskers receivers coach Keith Williams is McDonald’s primary recruiter and the two have built a nice relationship, McDonald said.
“Coach Williams is a great coach, outstanding coach,” McDonald said. “He’s one of the best at building a relationship. He makes you feel like you’re family. That’s another reason why I really like Nebraska.”
If Williams is no longer at Nebraska after this season — and there’s a decent chance he won’t be — it will be interesting to see how high McDonald keeps the Huskers on his list.
On top of everything else, McDonald said he liked Lincoln as a city and the school in general.
“I was surprised Lincoln wasn’t all cornfields,” he said. “I really thought it wasn’t like a city, but it’s like a city. It’s regular. It’s a regular city.”
The Huskers already have one tight end commit in their 2018 recruiting class in Cameron Jurgens, a 4-star prospect from Beatrice, Neb., who is the longest-standing commit to Nebraska, pledging to the Huskers on Aug. 6, 2015.
For his Long Beach Poly High School team this season, McDonald has caught 35 passes for 602 yards and 8 touchdowns, according to Maxpreps.com. Check out his senior-season tape through the first 10 games.
McDonald is 6-foot-4, 210 pounds and, according to Biggins, his strengths are his size, hands, body control and athleticism. He may not be a traditional tight end, but he certainly serves as an offensive weapon, especially in the red zone. Here’s some more from Biggins:
His frame could hold an additional 25-30 pounds without losing much athleticism and we see him as a matchup nightmare in college, being too big for a safety/corner to handle, too athletic for a linebacker to stay with.
Christian Tutt picks Auburn
Longtime Nebraska lean Christian Tutt (Thomson, Ga.) will not be joining the Huskers.
Tutt, a 4-star cornerback, revealed that his decision came down to Ohio State and Auburn, where he took an official visit over the weekend. As I surmised Monday, he chose Auburn.
Tutt said saw an opportunity for early playing time. Even when it looked like Tutt would go elsewhere for the majority of his recruitment, Auburn maintained its interest. At the end of the day, it was enough for Tutt to commit.
“Auburn hasn’t stopped recruiting me hard since, even when I was going other places. I really wasn’t coming here, Auburn was still in it,” Tutt told SEC Country’s Benjamin Wolk.
Proximity to home was also a deciding factor for Tutt, who is the No. 25 cornerback in this class, according to the 247Sports composite.
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