The recruiting machine churns all week. Join us Sunday through Thursday nights when we recap Nebraska recruiting news, offering analysis and context.
There isn’t a universe in which Nebraska rejoins the Big 12. But we are currently living in one where the Huskers are competing with their old Big 12 foes on the recruiting trail.
Recent offers from Nebraska suggests Mike Riley & Co. are very interested in recruits Big 12 territory.
The first is Arjei Henderson, a Class of 2019 receiver from Travis High in Texas who committed to Oklahoma earlier in February. He doesn’t have a star rating, but he does have an offer from Nebraska as of Monday.
— Hendi™ (@king_hendi) February 27, 2017
Including the Ohio State offer Henderson received the following day, he now has 21 total offers, including from Mississippi State, Arizona State and Oregon.
The Richmond, Texas, native attended Texas A&M’s Junior Day on Jan. 22 of this year, and the Sooners and Aggies seem to be the leaders for the 6-foot-1, 179-pound Henderson.
And while they were at it, the Huskers on Monday offered another 2019 receiver from Texas who is an Oklahoma target: Jalen Curry.
— Jalen Curry#️⃣5️⃣ (@jc5_4lyfee) February 28, 2017
Curry has 14 offers, including most recently from Baylor, Texas Tech, Kansas, Arizona State and Ole Miss. Four 247sports Crystal Ball predictions have the 6-4, 200-pound Stafford High star going to Oklahoma.
The final offer in Big 12 country went out to Leon O’Neil Jr., the No. 15 safety in the 2018 class per 247Sports. O’Neil has 25 offers, most recently from Temple, Michigan, Oregon and Georgia.
— LeonNumbaNine#9 (@WakeEmUp9) February 28, 2017
The Cypress Springs (Texas) High star visited Oklahoma’s Junior Day on Feb. 18, and Texas’ Junior Day on Feb. 25.
Nebraska has now offered 25 recruits in the 2018 class from Texas and three more from Oklahoma. In the 2017 recruiting cycle, the Huskers offered 32 recruits from Texas and 10 from Oklahoma. If Nebraska keeps it up, their offer totals in those states in the 2018 cycle will surpass their numbers in 2017.
Nebraska’s shown it isn’t afraid to recruit against the best. In the 2017 cycle, the Huskers led the recruitment of 5-star Los Angeles WR Joseph Lewis for months before he committed to USC, plus beat out Ohio State for 4-star WR Tyjon Lindsey and Florida for 4-star CB Elijah Blades.
So Oklahoma and Texas won’t intimidate Nebraska on the recruiting trail.
The recent offers also indicate that Riley is going to stay true to his word and recruit heavily in Texas, where Nebraska has seen some recent success. Four of Nebraska’s linemen in the 2017 class were from Texas and Oklahoma.
A good sign
It’s always good for a program to find itself in the running for a top recruit it hasn’t even offered yet.
Such was the case for Nebraska and 4-star Las Vegas Bishop Gorman QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who announced on Monday that Nebraska is still in the running for his recruitment despite no offer from the Huskers.
Recruitment isn't fully shutdown but is getting pretty close. One of these schools will have my word soon … God bless. pic.twitter.com/M6Wdlaugae
— DTR. (@DoriansTweets) February 28, 2017
Thompson-Robinson is the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback in the 2018 class and No. 2 recruit out of Nevada, per 247Sports. Nebraska seems like it wants a pro-style passer in the 2018 class, but offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf has said many times it won’t turn a blind eye to a dual-threat quarterback.
So why no offer from the Huskers yet? One plausible explanation could be a lack of meaningful snaps in high school career thus far. Thompson-Robinson was behind 4-star QB and Ohio State signee Tate Martell last season at Bishop Gorman. If Thompson-Robinson’s does speed up his recruitment process like his post says, Nebraska could offer soon to stay in the race, but I don’t know if Langsdorf will be sold until Thompson-Robinson proves he can run his own offense.