Welcome to the Nebraska recruiting mailbag. Each Tuesday, Land of 10 Nebraska recruiting reporter Chris Bumbaca will tackle the latest recruiting questions from readers. Ask your question for a chance to be featured in the next mailbag by tweeting him @BOOMbaca. As always, thank you for the questions.
We’re a little more than two weeks from National Signing Day. Sure, some of the allure is taken away and most of the recruits are out of the picture because of the early signing period, but there’s still something powerful about National Signing Day. For Nebraska, this date still holds plenty of weight since it still has to sign approximately 10-12 more members to its 2018 recruiting class.
Let’s see what questions came in this week.
With only 4-6 scholarships still available for 2018 will Nebraska rescind scholarships to athletes already offered if they have filled the positions for that class and are still waiting to hear from others on positions of need?
— Janet Busse (@busse_janet) January 22, 2018
Nebraska has received 19 commitments in the class (not counting Ole Miss defensive back transfer Breon Dixon). With only 25 spots available per class (this goes for all FBS teams), that means Nebraska has six more spots remaining. Obviously, the Huskers have more offers out than spots available. That’s OK — normal, in fact.
The way Nebraska has juggled this — we talked about it in last week’s mailbag too — is to try and backload scheduled official visits. Usually, recruits do not commit blind to a school, but as we saw in the case of 3-star receiver Dominick Watt, that’s not always the case. But by doing that, the Huskers have a chance to bring in their priority recruits first, giving them a chance to commit, and then bringing in the backup plans if their top choices either: 1) are taking too long to commit or 2) appear to be headed elsewhere.
Recruits also see the writing on the wall. They know who is being recruited for what position at which school.
Here’s a hypothetical. If I’m a receiver, and there’s four total spots open in a class and I know the staff is really only looking to use one of those spots on a receiver, that’s pretty useful information. If the team wants me to take my visit until after a guy ranked higher than me, or won’t take my commitment right away, that’s a pretty clear indication there’s someone on their board higher than me.
Now, I may wait it out if I am particularly high on this school. Or, I may commit to a different school where I’m the top priority.
This is common in recruiting. Nebraska, with many slots to fill leading up to National Signing Day, is one of the few big-time programs in this situation right now.
Can you tell us about how oversigning works? Can sign up to 88 schollies but need to be down to 85 by when? Etc. Thanks.
— David (@thawildbunch) January 22, 2018
David, you are correct. Programs can have up to 88 scholarships during the spring. If Nebraska goes that route, and it’s becoming increasingly likely it will, it needs to submit a proposal to the Big Ten on how the school intends on being down to 85 scholarships by the time summer camp begins.
That proposal needs to include a specific plan of getting to 85 or under. Whether that would be through players transferring, stepping away from football or some other reason, that needs to be written up and submitted.
Basically, don’t worry too much about oversigning. The staff won’t let it happen.
— Anthony L. (@WeDemBoyz89) January 22, 2018
I absolutely love this question. So succinct, and we all know exactly what he means.
Last week, we wrote about how 3-star running back Maurice Washington appears to be academically eligible. This is a good thing, obviously.
With 4-star back Jashaun Corbin likely off the Huskers’ board (he did not take his scheduled official visit to Nebraska last weekend), Washington now occupies the top spot on the running backs board. Fellow Texas native and 3-star back Ta’Zhawn Henry is also right there with him.
Both will be on campus for their official visits the weekend of Feb. 2-4. At least, that’s what is scheduled for now. As we know, these visits are extremely fluid.
Washington will check out Ohio State first. If the Buckeyes convince him to join their class, then Washington probably would give his commitment at some point this weekend. Taking both Washington and Henry right now doesn’t seem like an option for Nebraska. With limited official visits remaining, the coaching staff will have to make some tough decisions.
I’ve watched the tape on both Washington and Henry. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with either. The one stark difference is height: Washington is 6-foot-1 and Henry is 5-8. Even that, though, is really pulling at nothing.
Do you foresee any big surprises between now and signing day, or do we just take 4-5 of the guys we already know about?
— David (@thawildbunch) January 22, 2018
It’s probably the latter. The one “surprise” I could see is Nebraska landing 4-star outside linebacker Javontae Jean-Baptiste, but even that wouldn’t be too much of a surprise. The Huskers have impressed him and have a shot with him.
But there’s two weeks left. A lot can happen in that time.