Each month, Land of 10 will take a look at the Cornhuskers’ recruiting to-do list for the upcoming month. This outlook focuses on three priorities for the program in the weeks ahead. We now move on to January.
1. Beef up the lines
A majority of Nebraska fans found the team’s line play on both sides of the ball this season disheartening at best. Fans have also complained about what is perceived as a failure to recruit quality linemen. First of all, it’s not like the position groups have been completely ignored. There’s plenty of young depth, especially on the offensive line. That’s why the new staff, and the former coaches as well, prioritized other position groups while recruiting the 2018 class, and that’s OK.
Will Farniok is the only offensive lineman signed in the class. Tate Wildeman and David Alston were recruited as defensive ends, although both may move to outside linebacker. Masry Mapieu, one of two commits who has not yet signed, will play somewhere on the defensive line.
With at least one interior lineman in Farniok, it would make sense to add a tackle. Recent offers to 3-star prospects Hamilton Hall and Ryan Winkel are something to keep an eye on. Jarrett Bell is listed as a guard but may be able to play on the outside. An offer from Nebraska early last week caught his interest and he’s planning a visit in January. Hall is also set to take an official visit. The Huskers also offered another 3-star tackle, Joshua Ezeudu.
On the defensive line, Daniel Carson remains a top target. He’s expected to be on campus at some point in January. Another recent offer is Jaevon Becton, a former Georgia commit. If those primary plans fall through, Nebraska may push for Moro Ojomo or Casey Rogers.
2. Shore up back end of defense
Early in the recruiting cycle, it looked like the cornerbacks position group would be the strongest in the class. With commitments from 4-star prospects Brendan Radley-Hiles, Chase Williams and Mario Goodrich, the Huskers looked like they were bringing in a generation of shutdown corners in one class. All three backed off their Nebraska pledges due to the coaching change.
Nebraska signed one safety — junior college prospect Deontai Williams — and has another committed at the position, C.J. Smith. However, what was once a class with three cornerbacks is currently a class with zero. Scott Frost has said the depth in the secondary concerns him, and the staff will surely add to it on National Signing Day.
Williams can play all secondary spots, according to his JUCO coach, and excels at the nickel spot. Nebraska is currently the leader for 4-star safety Cam’Ron Jones, and he’d be a solid addition to the class with Smith. But there remains a need for at least one more cornerback. Expect the Huskers to go hard after 4-star corner Taiyon Palmer. He has the Huskers high on his list, but if that plan falls through, the Huskers could woo 3-star athlete Miles Jones or 3-star cornerback Braxton Clark.
Cam Taylor and Kendrick Torain also received Nebraska offers last week.
3. Continue recruiting to new scheme at WR, RB
Frost and Nebraska will run an up-tempo, run-first, spread option attack. The Huskers have already added some skill players by signing 3-star running back Greg Bell and 3-star receivers Jaron Woodyard and Justin McGriff. But this is another position group that underwent attrition due to the coaching change, as 4-star receivers Cameron Brown and Joshua Moore both de-committed in December.
Nebraska could afford to use one of its remaining spots on an all-purpose back who can contribute in the running and passing games. Louisville commit Javian Hawkins did not sign during the early signing period and the Huskers would love to host him for an official visit this month. Ta’Zhawn Henry just picked up a Nebraska offer and seems interested. Four-star back Jashaun Corbin was one of the first prospects to receive an offer when the staff moved to Nebraska, but he is the long shot of the group.
At receiver, Tommy Bush remains the top target, but there are several blue-blood programs in the mix for him and the Huskers may be on the outside right now. A recent set of offers went out to a crop of receivers, including Chris Olave, Andre Hunt and John Jackson. Nebraska will be trying to get visits from all three of those receivers with the hope of landing at least one of them.