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2019 defensive back Jayden Russell enjoys unofficial visit
For someone whose recruiting cycle is not on the docket yet, Jayden Russell has made the most of his exposure. The 2019 safety from Lenexa, Kan., attended Nebraska’s Friday Night Lights camp over the summer. A month later, he attended Kansas’ junior camp. He followed that with two unofficial visits to Iowa State in a span of less than two months.
He eventually made his way back to Nebraska for an unofficial visit during the weekend of the Northwestern game on Nov. 4. While the Huskers hosted several high-profile prospects on official visits that weekend, the Huskers showed Russell a good time.
“I loved it,” Russell told Mike Schaefer of 247Sports. “Great atmosphere and a great tradition.”
— Jayden Russell 🏳 (@jayzaykc) November 5, 2017
Russell said the gameday atmosphere was something to behold. He also took a liking to the program’s adherence to tradition and its past players.
“The fans stood out, and how much Nebraska cares about former players of the past,” he said. “They always try to leave something of that player, somehow.”
Russell’s primary recruiter is cornerbacks coach Donte Williams, but graduate assistant Nick Smith was his primary coaching contact during the weekend because Williams was busy with game prep.
The uncertainty surrounding the future of the coaching staff in Lincoln has caused some worry for those close to Russell, he admitted.
“I’ve seen it mentioned elsewhere and it’s been brought up a lot,” he said.
Those comments have mostly come from family members or friends. At the end of the day, a coaching change would shuffle things a bit in his mind toward Nebraska. But if a new staff does indeed come in, there will already be a solid foundation for the defender.
Russell, according to the 247Sports composite, is the No. 48 safety in the country for 2019 and the No. 3 player in Kansas. He attends Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in suburban Kansas City. On Thursday, I opined about the importance of recruiting the Kansas City and St. Louis areas to unearth untapped potential, mainly from skill-position players.
That’s not to say Russell, who is 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, is some sort of hidden gem, but his physical attributes make him a potential difference-maker on the back end of any defense. But for now, the focus is for Russell to get healthy. He announced on Twitter on Thursday night that he opted to have surgery on his injured left shoulder.
I originally was not going to get surgery but after talking it over with my family I will be getting surgery tomorrow. I want to thank everyone for the amount of support I’ve received. Most importantly I wish my teammates the best tomorrow night. I wish I could be there❤️🙏🏽
— Jayden Russell 🏳 (@jayzaykc) November 17, 2017
Russell is not the only 2019 Kansas defender the Huskers are high on. The staff is already bullish on Marcus Hicks, a 4-star defensive end/outside linebacker and the top-ranked player in Kansas for the class, according to 247Sports. He is from Wichita and took an official visit to Nebraska for the Ohio State game. Hicks has stayed busy with unofficial visits. In addition to seeing Nebraska, the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Hicks saw Oklahoma the weekend before going to Nebraksa. Since then, he’s checked out Arkansas and Notre Dame, and will be at Texas this weekend.
Targets visiting elsewhere this weekend
With no home game for the second straight week, the Huskers obviously will not be hosting any prospects this weekend. But that doesn’t mean commits and targets won’t be on the road checking out other places. Here’s a quick breakdown of where some key players will be this weekend.
Wide receiver Lawrence Keys III: Official visit to Notre Dame. Time may be running out for Nebraska to land this 4-star receiver from New Orleans.
Athlete Bryan Addison: Official visit to Washington. The 6-foot-5, 180-pound 4-star prospect will be on his third official visit of the cycle.
Wide receiver Kassidy Woods: Official visit to Washington State. Woods likes Nebraska and the 3-star receiver is in the process of setting up an official visit. But he has been cautious due to the unclear future of the coaching staff.
Safety Dallas Craddieth: Unofficial visit to Iowa. His official visit with the Hawkeyes is scheduled for Dec. 8, but something must have prompted him to head to Iowa City a couple of weeks early. The 3-star safety would fill a need for the Huskers.
Cornerback Brendan Radley-Hiles: Official visit to Clemson. The one-time Nebraksa commit has had this date on his docket for a while, and it follows the 4-star prospect’s unofficial visit there in early September.
Visits from last week you should know about:
- Cameron Brown, one of two Nebraska 4-star wide-receiver commits, took an official visit to Ohio State last weekend. After he attended an Ohio State camp in June, he picked up an offer from the Buckeyes and de-committed from the Huskers the following day. He again pledged to Nebraska on Aug. 7.
- LSU hosted 5-star wide receiver Jalen Hall, who was in Nebraska for his official visit for the Northwestern game.
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