Stay updated with Nebraska Cornhuskers football recruiting in the latest edition of The Harvest, which posts at 7:30 p.m. ET Sunday through Thursday. Don’t miss out on Nebraska recruiting news and check out previous editions of The Harvest here.
Hunter Rayburn excited about Nebraska offer
Mike Mincy and Erik Chinander have a solid relationship, stemming from the Nebraska defensive coordinator’s days at UCF. Now with the Huskers, Chinander is in charge of recruiting the Florida Panhandle and Alabama. So when Mincy told Chinander about a recent transfer into his Pensacola (Fla.) program, Hunter Rayburn, Chinander watched the recruit’s film, checked in with offensive line coach Greg Austin and offered the 6-foot-4 Rayburn.
The offer was the latest in a string of opportunities from big-time programs. Florida and Texas A&M had offered in the week leading up to Nebraska’s offer. Rayburn, who is not yet rated in the 247Sports composite rankings, will have a lot to think about as spring begins.
“It’s still really early,” Rayburn told Land of 10. “All of the offers that I’ve gotten have pretty much come in the last two weeks. It’s just been crazy, these last couple of weeks.”
Rayburn admitted to not knowing a lot about Nebraska, although one of his teachers attended the school. But he is familiar with Scott Frost and the coaches from their time at UCF.
“They’re traditionally very good, and I think the new staff is going to bring them back to where they used to be,” Rayburn said.
In a self-evaluation, Rayburn said he excels in the zone run game but says he could improve on his pass blocking.
Rayburn, who transferred to Pensacola in January, credits Mincy for the uptick in offers. Mincy is connected with college coaches and has helped his new pupil get his name out there.
“I didn’t have much technique once I transferred over,” Rayburn said. “He’s been getting my technique right. I don’t know. He’s been pushing my name out there, and they’re just all starting to jump on, I guess.”
When asked what criteria he will consider when committing to a school, Rayburn said he desires a place where he can win, a friendly campus, a good relationship with the coaches and a university that will offer him valuable educational opportunities.
“It’s actually easy when it comes to Hunter,” Mincy told Land of 10. “You got a kid that’s 6-4, 320 pounds that is just athletic as heck. I mean, he can really move, super student in the classroom. It makes it easy. All I tell the coaches is ‘Hey, I’m working with him.’ ”
At Pensacola, Rayburn will play guard for the first time this season. Mincy sees him as someone who could play center in college because he is smart enough, can process information as he sees it and, above all, is coachable. Big things await Rayburn wherever he winds up, Mincy said.
“There’s no doubt in my mind,” Mincy said. “When you say an offensive lineman can play center, that’s about as big a compliment as you can give.”
Rayburn began playing football his freshman year. Since then, he has become a student of the game.
“The game has just slowed down,” he said. “I’ve learned it. I understand it more.”
He plans to attend one of the Huskers’ camps during the summer but isn’t sure which one yet.
Nebraska recruiting pair of Pensacola teammates
Rayburn isn’t the only Pensacola offensive lineman Nebraska is recruiting. Adrian Medley, a 3-star tackle, holds a Huskers offer, and Mincy said he has Nebraska high on his list thanks to his relationship with the coaches.
“Medley just fell in love with them,” Mincy said. “Still, to this day, one of his top-5 teams is going to be Nebraska because of the coaching staff. He really likes those guys.”
Medley’s 247Sports Crystal Ball has six predictions, with five in favor of Florida State. Clemson holds the other forecast.
Medley is athletic for his size, Mincy said. The coach hasn’t seen someone that size get off the ball like Medley does.
“If you watch his film, he just demolishes folks with his punch on pass-protection stuff,” Mincy said. “He’s just so athletic. Now, with these 3-4 defenses guys are coming up with, you’re having to block, basically, outside linebackers that are down linemen. So you better be athletic if you’re going to catch up with them.”
Medley is the 70th-ranked tackle and No. 806 overall prospect.
The thing to remember with Medley, Mincy says, is that he is only 16 years old. He is not even shaving yet, but is 6-4 and 300 pounds. Like Rayburn, he never played junior football. Mincy encountered him in the hallway his first year back as head coach. Medley was hesitant, but Mincy was persistent in getting him on the field. He hasn’t missed a snap or practice since the first time he put on the pads.
“He would fit in great [at Nebraska],” Mincy said.
How Huskers staff stands out on recruiting trail
Mincy knows Nebraska’s staff better than most high school coaches in the country. The staff picked up a commitment from one of Mincy’s former players, Davonchae Bryant, at UCF. The 6-7 defensive end eventually signed with the Knights.
“Just dealing with them, you could just tell that, obviously, they’re great coaches, but they’re greater men,” Mincy said. “That’s where you want your players to play, for people like that. They say they’re going to do something? They do it.”
They also are enjoyable people to be around, Mincy said.
“Those guys are great,” Mincy said. “I’ve got a great relationship with Coach Chinander and Coach Frost. You can’t find better people than those guys.
“We’ve maintained contact since they left from [UCF]. I’m going to tell you, man, they’re going to do great things up there now.”
Each high school coach has a different experience with every college staff. That is the nature of recruiting. But Mincy’s relationship with Nebraska’s coaches is rooted in trust.
“They’re just very honest. I’m not saying other guys aren’t honest,” Mincy said. “They just develop very good relationships with the kids and the coaches.”
Missing out on Nebraska recruiting? Check out previous editions of The Harvest here.