It’s less than 24 hours until National Signing Day, and the Nebraska football program soon will have its 2018 class wrapped up.
With 12 players signed and seven hard commits, the Huskers are expected to add from four to six more prospects in this class. Below, we’ve done our best to predict who those prospects will be and how the numbers will shake out.
Wednesday will be an important day for Nebraska. Depending on how the Huskers close, Scott Frost and his staff will have a chance to not only salvage the 2018 class after the coaching change, but they could have one of the best classes in the Big Ten and perhaps even break into the top 20 nationally.
Without further ado, here is the final Land of 10 2018 mock class for Nebraska.
Quarterback: Adrian Martinez
Adrian Martinez is the gem of the class for Nebraska. He enrolled early on campus and will be competing for the starting quarterback job throughout offseason workouts and spring ball. Nebraska wanted to add another quarterback in the class, but came up short in its effort to court post-early signing period targets Jamarye Joiner and Matthew Tago, who picked Oregon State over the weekend.
Running back: Greg Bell, Maurice Washington
This wasn’t a huge position of need for Nebraska in this class, but it’s still a nice haul of talent. Greg Bell is a junior-college product who can make an immediate impact. He is an early enrollee. Maurice Washington is one of the Huskers’ top targets remaining on the board, and they seem to be in great position with him heading into his Signing Day announcement. To the staff, he can be a game changer with the ball in his hands.
Tight end: Cameron Jurgens, Katerian Legrone
A pair of early signees, neither Cameron Jurgens nor Katerian Legrone are on campus yet. Legrone can be an athletic tight end who basically is used as a wide receiver. Jurgens might not play tight end for the Huskers. He could switch to the offensive line or outside linebacker, but he was recruited at tight end and hopes to play there.
Wide receiver: Andre Hunt, Miles Jones, Justin McGriff, Dominick Watt, Mike Williams, Jaron Woodyard
Frost and offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Troy Walters made it a priority to bring in receivers who can quickly make an impact. Justin McGriff and Mike Williams are on campus as early enrollees, with McGriff coming out of high school and Williams a junior college transfer. Jaron Woodyard signed during the early period but will not be on campus until June. Miles Jones and Dominick Watt committed in January and will sign Wednesday. Jones is expected to play some running back.
The lone unknown here heading into Signing Day is Andre Hunt. He is coming off a strong official visit. The momentum from the weekend could help Nebraska land him.
Offensive line: Willie Canty, Will Farniok
Will Farniok is an early enrollee and will use the extra time on campus to prepare his body for the college game. Nebraska is expected to miss on its top offensive line target, Jarrett Bell, but Willie Canty would fill a need at tackle. Canty is 6-foot-6 and Nebraska recruited him as a left tackle. The Huskers just hosted him for an official visit, and they have all the momentum with him heading into his Signing Day announcement. Louisville is his other finalist.
Another player to keep an eye on if things fall through with both Canty and Bell — or if the staff can work the numbers — is Jalan Robinson. The Lawrence, Kan., high school player took an unofficial visit last week.
Defensive tackle: Otito Ogbonnia
For the first time in this cycle, this category does not include Masry Mapieu. The staff did not want to take the risk with the York (Neb.) standout over fear of his ability to academically qualify. This had been in the works for a while, but it became official Friday.
That leaves a significant hole in the class. If Nebraska cannot land Otito Ogbonnia, who took his official visit to Nebraska last weekend, then it will be left empty-handed at the position. The question is whether the visit was enough to coerce a commit from Ogbonnia.
Defensive end: Casey Rogers, Tate Wildeman
Perhaps Nebraska’s most underrated group in the class. Tate Wildeman signed with Nebraska during the early signing period after assessing other options when Mike Riley and his staff were fired. Casey Rogers is a prep school standout who can be a difference maker as a down lineman in the Huskers’ 3-4 defense with his athleticism, both against the run and in the pass rush.
Outside linebacker: David Alston, Javontae Jean-Baptiste
David Alston’s recruitment was especially quiet, but the top player in Minnesota signed with Nebraska in December. The Huskers likely will receive a bonus if Javontae Jean-Baptiste signs. The Huskers are the favorites to land him, but stay tuned for his Signing Day announcement. Landing Jean-Baptiste would be a big-time get for the staff, which has recruited him for more than a year.
Inside linebacker: Will Honas
Signing Will Honas was the Huskers’ biggest win of the early signing period. He’s an early enrollee and is a candidate for playing time right away.
Safety: Cam’ron Jones, C.J. Smith
Nebraska will have two rangy and athletic safeties in this class who can make plays on the back end. C.J. Smith was Nebraska’s first commit of the Frost era and will sign Wednesday. The staff identified Cam Jones as a top target soon after they took over. Their work resulted in a commitment on Jan. 27. This is another extremely strong group.
Cornerback: Braxton Clark, Cam Taylor, Deontai Williams
Deontai Williams was another junior-college signee during the early signing period and is an early enrollee. Cornerback was a position to address in January, and the Huskers might miss on some of their top 4-star targets, such as Taiyon Palmer and Ken Montgomery (although don’t be surprised if he pops for Nebraska). Landing Braxton Clark and Cam Taylor is not much of a downgrade, though.
Clark is a lengthy corner at 6-3 and Taylor is an athletic prospect who played quarterback in high school but is excited to move to defense.
Kicker: Barret Pickering
Barret Pickering is enrolled and is expected to compete for the starting kicking job.