With one week until National Signing Day, Nebraska is on the recruiting trail to address a position group so many of its fans have been clamoring to bolster: the offensive line.
Now, whether fans’ fawning over the necessity of recruiting the unit in this cycle is warranted, given the number of scholarship players on roster, it has been a priority for the Huskers following the early signing period. Problem is, Nebraska has not received a commitment for the offensive line since early enrollee Will Farniok pledged to the previous staff on April 8, 2017.
It’s crunch time for coach Scott Frost and offensive line coach Greg Austin to deliver at least one, and perhaps two, commits to the unit with the Feb. 7 signing day looming. Here’s a look at the potential targets who could break for Nebraska down the stretch.
Jarrett Bell, 3 stars, Norco, Calif.
Jarrett Bell has emerged as Nebraska’s top offensive line target during the Frost era. After not focusing on offensive line targets during the first two weekends of official visits in advance of the Dec. 20-22 early signing period, the staff brought in Bell during the weekend of Jan. 12, the first opportunity to host visitors following the dead period.
The 3-star prospect began trending toward Nebraska before and after his visit. The staff tried to close the deal on Bell, but he has held out announcing his decision. Still, 85 percent of the predictions on his 247Sports Crystal Ball have him heading to Nebraska.
If Nebraska intends on bringing in two more offensive linemen in the class, Bell would occupy the interior line spot.
Bell’s lack of commitment, however, has forced Frost and his staff to peruse other options.
Jalan Robinson, 3 stars, Lawrence, Kan.
Things are moving especially quickly between Jalan Robinson and the Huskers. After receiving an offer from running backs coach Ryan Held on Monday, Robinson immediately set up an official visit to Nebraska for Wednesday and Thursday. After his Nebraska trip, he will check out Mississippi State and is set to announce his decision Monday.
Nebraska’s advantages here include proximity to home and the fact that some of Robinson’s inner circle are Huskers fans. At 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds, he would be a tackle at the next level. If he winds up with the Huskers, they will start him there, with the possibility of moving him inside if things don’t work out initially.
Robinson has a committable offer from Nebraska. Despite entering the picture late, can the Huskers pull this one off?
Willie Canty, 3 stars, Belle Glade, Fla.
Another tackle prospect, Willie Canty will take his official visit to Nebraska this weekend. Frost visited with Canty on Tuesday and he seems to be interested in Nebraska; Austin has checked in with him a couple of times. He’s coming off an official visit to Louisville last weekend. At 6-6 and 290 pounds, he has the size to be a successful tackle at the next level.
If Canty is a serious option for Nebraska, then he likely would have to commit before Robinson on Monday. Whether Nebraska can secure that pledge from him this weekend is yet to be determined.
Bobby Lawrence, 3 stars, St. Joseph, Mo.
Bobby Lawrence, an Iowa State grayshirt commit, picked up an offer from Nebraska on Sunday after being visited by a large contingent of Nebraska’s staff. He is 6-8 and 300 pounds, another massive target who has emerged on the Huskers’ board. Flipping Lawrence might not be too difficult if Nebraska can get him on campus at some point. Right now, it’s unknown whether he will take a visit, but don’t be surprised if he does make the trip.
All of a sudden, Nebraska’s offensive line situation is becoming somewhat clearer. But after the weekend a better picture will develop of which prospects will be part of the class.
What happened to Hamilton Hall and Tyrone Sampson Jr.?
Hamilton Hall, a 3-star tackle, and Tyrone Sampson Jr., a 4-star center, each had slotted this weekend to officially visit Nebraska. Neither will visit, though.
Hall committed to Ole Miss following his official visit there last weekend, effectively ending his recruitment.
Sampson at one point named the Huskers his leader, but instead will visit Mississippi State this weekend.