Stay updated with Nebraska Cornhuskers football recruiting in the latest edition of The Harvest, which posts at 7:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. Be sure to check out previous editions of The Harvest here.
Maurice Washington, Adrian Martinez shine in Orlando
All week, reports from the Under Armour All-America Game practices in Orlando included some variation of praise for Adrian Martinez, the Huskers’ 4-star quarterback signee. After looking sharp all week during drills and scrimmages, Martinez backed up the acclaim with a solid performance Thursday night.
His first drive could have gone better. In just his first game action in more than a year, Martinez scampered for 2 yards and fired 2 incompletions. He rebounded later with a 6-play, 60-yard scoring drive, capped by a 14-yard screen pass for a touchdown to Penn State signee Ricky Slade.
— Derek Peterson (@DrPetey15) January 5, 2018
Martinez also showed off his scrambling ability with an 18-yard dash to set up the score. He finished 3 of 8 passing for 28 yards and a touchdown. The next time he steps on a football field it will be in a Nebraska practice jersey. Martinez was moving to Lincoln on Friday and begins classes Monday.
Martinez wasn’t the only player with a Nebraska connection to step up in the showcase game. Maurice Washington, a 3-star running back from Cedar Hill, Texas, earned game MVP honors. His 3-touchdown performance set an Under Armour All-America Game record. With two scores on the ground and one through the air, Washington became the first player to score a rushing and receiving touchdown in the game. He finished with 69 rushing yards on 8 carries.
The No. 19 running back in the class, according to the 247Sports composite, has only eight offers, with Nebraska on that list. The other schools that have offered are Ole Miss, LSU, Tennessee, Ohio State, Missouri, USC and Washington. He has yet to take an official visit, but the Huskers will have the first crack at him next weekend when he comes to campus. Washington also has an official visit scheduled with Ole Miss the following weekend.
Nebraska would like to add a running back in the class, preferably one who can make an impact in the rushing and passing games. Washington showed what he can do in both facets Thursday. But with the added exposure from his coming-out party, Nebraska will have plenty of competition in securing a commitment for him.
A couple of wide receivers familiar to Nebraska fans also took the field Thursday. Top target and 4-star prospect Tommy Bush had one target, while former commit Joshua Moore recorded 1 catch for 6 yards.
Kenneth George Jr. names Huskers his leader
One of the position groups Scott Frost and his coaching staff realized lacked numbers was defensive back. Naturally, the Huskers have focused on shoring up the back end of the defense. As National Signing Day approaches, the search for cornerbacks and safeties continues.
An under-the-radar target who has Nebraska high on his list is Kenneth George Jr. He completed his redshirt freshman season at Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College, recording 2 interceptions and 27 tackles in 11 games. The Huskers became his first Division I offer last week, George told Land of 10.
“It was pretty random,” George said of the offer. “[Running backs] Coach [Ryan] Held contacted me out of nowhere like two weeks ago. We began building a relationship and then [secondary] coach [Travis] Fisher offered me last Friday.
“It was my first [Division I] offer,” he added. “It made me feel great, knowing all my hard work paid off. I’ve talked to numerous [Division I] school but Nebraska was the first school to pull the trigger on me. It made me really feel wanted.”
Held is Nebraska’s junior college recruiting point man. He’s excelled so far, helping secure signatures during the early signing period from four of the Huskers’ 12 signees. Nebraska is clearly not done in the JUCO market, evidenced by the pursuit of George, who said the staff likes the 5-foot-11, 190-pound prospect at cornerback and safety.
That versatility is appealing to the Huskers, who need help at both spots. One of Nebraska’s JUCO signees — Deontai Williams — is a defensive back who also can play both spots.
Northwestern State, Massachusetts and Indiana are also talking to George, who said Nebraska currently sits at the top of his list.
“I like the community,” George said. “Since Day 1, when I posted my offer [on Twitter], I’ve had everlasting love. It shows me how much Lincoln loves their Huskers. It’s always good to have a place like that with a community like that. They are for sure my leader right now.”
George said members of the coaching staff are set to have an in-home visit with him sometime after next weekend. During that visit, he and the coaches will set up his official visit. Once that happens, George said, there’s a chance a commitment could follow. If not then, George likely will commit in February. He has three years of eligibility remaining.
After not being recruited in high school, the native of Lafayette, La., felt his time would come eventually, but he needed to establish himself.
“I wasn’t ready as a player,” George said. “It was all God’s plan.”
That led him to Trinity Valley, where he showed off his physical style of play. He elaborated on his identity on and off the field:
“A player that’s all about winning, doing whatever it takes to win, putting the team first, and a player who is not selfish,” George said. “A player who’s always willing to get better day-by-day, going 1-0 every day.”
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