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.
John Bivens still high on Nebraska
Even with two running backs committed in the 2019 recruiting class, Nebraska running backs coach Ryan Held is keeping close tabs on the other targets his board contained before Rahmir Johnson and Thomas Grayson pledged to the Huskers.
One such target is 3-star back John Bivens. The Dayton, Ohio native took in Nebraska and the new environment Scott Frost has constructed about a month ago during the spring game. Bivens’ visit left the Huskers, who were already in his top 6, in strong contention for his future services.
“It’s pretty nice up there,” Bivens told Land of 10’s Ryan Donnelly.
Bivens took the usual tour recruits embark on during unofficial visits and hung out in the locker room before and after the scrimmage. Nebraska impressed, but did it do enough to create any separation in his top 6?
“I would rank it one of my top schools so far,” Bivens said. “They’re all pretty equal.”
Nebraska’s historical success of running backs making it to the NFL is a draw. So is the new weight-training program Frost and his staff have implemented since their takeover in December. Bivens talked to strength and conditioning coach Zach Duval during his visit and was pleased with what he heard.
“I liked how they’re doing things in the weight room,” he said.
Bivens said he would like to commit toward the beginning of his senior season, but he doesn’t have a specific timeline set.
“Just the place that fits best for me,” will receive that commitment, Bivens said.
Other than Nebraska, Bivens has yet to take many visits. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound recruit will be going to USC, Georgia and Louisville over the summer. A visit to Cincinnati is also in the works.
Bivens is coming off a knee injury that cost him two games during his junior season and held him out of most offseason workouts until recently. Aside from regaining his health, Bivens has big goals for 2018.
“Obviously, a state ring, but mostly just getting back to normal where I was,” he said. “Getting back with the team is going to be the best part.”
Prepared for a leadership role, Bivens has used offseason training as an opportunity to assert himself.
“You hear us talking in the weight room, us seniors, ‘Get back to work,'” Bivens said. “Because you’ve got some young guys, you know, not really knowing what they’re doing yet. So we got to get them on track and stuff.”
Nebraska recruiting: Mario Verduzco evaluates Terrance Gipson
Quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco must have seen enough out of Terrance Gipson’s tape to give the 3-star quarterback an offer five weeks ago. Verduzco wanted to meet Gipson in person and, most importantly, conduct a live evaluation of the 18th-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the class.
Gipson confirmed Verduzco’s presence at his Westfield High School in Houston. The 6-foot recruit recently picked up an offer from SMU and is receiving interest from Texas A&M, but the Huskers and Virginia are his only Power 5 offers.
Nebraska recruiting: Offers out to 4-star safety, quarterback in 2020 class
The Huskers were at it again Thursday, churning out offers at an extreme rate. By this point, we know this is just how the staff operates. The two most noteworthy offers were 4-star safety Demarcco Hellams in the 2019 class and 2020 quarterback Logan Smothers.
Smothers’ offer means Nebraska has offered a quarterback in that class for the second straight day, with an offer going to Caden Rose on Wednesday. Both Smothers and Rose are Alabama natives. Smothers is an Athens High School standout and stands at 6-2 and 180 pounds. He holds six offers now, with the Huskers as his first Power 5 offer.
Hellams is one of the nation’s top athletes and is listed as both a receiver and safety, despite being primarily recruited as the latter to the 26 programs that have offered him so far. The Maryland native and DeMatha Catholic standout owns offers from some of the country’s top programs, including Alabama, Penn State, Michigan, Ohio State and Clemson. The Tigers are considered his leader, since they hold all seven predictions on his 247Sports Crystal Ball.
“It’s a program I know has a great tradition as a powerhouse program,” he told Rivals’ Adam Friedman of the Nebraska offer. “They have a loyal fan base and I think that how their seasons have been recently won’t be that way for too long. Coach Frost will change that program around in a hurry like what was done at UCF in my opinion.”
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