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.
Miles Jones open to possibilities heading into official visit
Miles Jones may be committed to Vanderbilt, but Nebraska certainly has a chance to change that status during Jones’ official visit to campus this weekend. Jones will be one of several priority recruits the Huskers are hosting in their first chance to bring prospects to campus following the recruiting dead period.
For Jones and Nebraska, it’s a process that has developed quickly, despite the staff knowing him from their time at UCF.
“Ever since I committed to Vanderbilt, the recruiting actually slowed down for me, so the last eight months or so,” Jones told Land of 10. “But Nebraska reached out to me about a week-and-a-half before [the early signing period] and that’s what really kept me from Vanderbilt.
“I had a relationship with the coaches from when they were at UCF, but they never really offered me because they didn’t have a need for my position. They were full at that spot.”
The interest from Nebraska was enough to discourage Jones from signing with Vanderbilt, a school he’s been committed to since March, during the early signing period. Nebraska likes Jones, a native of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and a former American Heritage standout, at either running back or slot receiver. He is the No. 49 athlete in the class, according to the 247Sports composite.
The 3-star prospect recently completed some research, comparing the stats of Vanderbilt’s offensive players to UCF’s players. What he discovered favored the Knights and, in turn, Nebraska. He noticed how UCF spread the ball to more players, and that the stats from several UCF players matched the stats of only the top players at Vanderbilt.
“That was a really big factor for me in not signing,” Jones said.
Jones said he will make a decision within a couple of days following the visit. Schools such as Utah and Notre Dame have tried to enter the picture with Jones, but at this point he is set on keeping his choice between the Huskers and Commodores.
Jones is familiar with the staff and doesn’t place much value in facilities. He’ll also want to see what going to school in a colder climate would entail.
“A place that would take care of me if I, say, get hurt or injured, that would take care of me if I have a career-ending injury,” Jones said.
Academics are important to Jones, and Nebraska has the major in which he’s interested: computer programming. Jones said he hopes to find “a nice city” and “people I feel comfortable around.”
Vanderbilt has clearly sensed that it may be losing ground to Nebraska with Jones. It has adjusted accordingly, calling Jones two or three times a week for 45 minutes a session.
“They’ve just been pretty much telling me the pros of being a Vanderbilt student and the life I’ll have after football — 40 years, not four years,” Jones said. “Pretty much just the academic side, that it’s a better school academically, and that it gets no better than playing in the SEC.”
Fellow members of the Vanderbilt class he formed bonds with the last few months tried their best to convince him to ink his name to Vanderbilt during the early signing period. Jones knew he had to stand his ground, though, in order to make the best decision possible.
“It’s a little tough,” Jones said. “When I visited Vanderbilt a couple weeks ago, I told them that I didn’t plan on signing in December and they were a little nervous. [They said] that they were probably having to start looking for my replacement, but they said they would wait for me. But I told them I’d let them know after I visit Nebraska how I feel about them. It’s tough, being committed there for so long, but I gotta do what I gotta do.”
Taiyon Palmer adds name to list of visitors this weekend
Cornerback remains a position of need in the 2018 class, and 4-star prospect Taiyon Palmer is one of the highest-rated targets on the Huskers’ board. Palmer is the No. 28 cornerback in the class and the No. 274 overall prospect. He was a former Duke commit, but backed off that pledge on Nov. 30.
Palmer took an official visit to Vanderbilt on the weekend of Dec. 16, just before the early signing period. The Huskers will have the first crack at him following the dead period, but they won’t be the only suitors for the native of Lawrenceville, Ga. He will also officially visit North Carolina State next weekend.
When the Huskers offered Palmer on Dec. 13, his excitement regarding the offer was apparent. Getting Palmer on campus is a huge plus for Nebraska, which is keen on his 6-foot, 178-pound frame. Securing a commitment from him would be a huge win for a program that lost three 4-star cornerback commits during this cycle.
Impact of Noah Vedral’s transfer from UCF to Nebraska
Mike Riley and his former coaching staff did not believe in the philosophy of having a plethora of chairs in the quarterback room.
Clearly, Scott Frost and quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco don’t buy into that strategy. In their pursuit of another quarterback in the 2018 recruiting class, the Huskers received word that former UCF backup quarterback Noah Vedral is transferring to Nebraska. Vedral is a native of Wahoo, Neb., and was a prep standout at Bishop Neumann High School.
UCF reportedly blocked Vedral from transferring to any other American Athletic Conference program and Nebraska. However, the work-around is that Vedral won’t violate his release if he walks on for the 2018 season (during which he will presumably redshirt) and begin the 2019 season on scholarship as a redshirt freshman.
Even with Vedral’s transfer, don’t expect the Huskers to be done recruiting the quarterback position this cycle. They will likely add one more prior to National Signing Day.
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