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.
Nebraska offers several 2019 prospects
While the Nebraska staff traverses its way across the country to visit recruits as the 2018 recruiting cycle wraps up, it does so mindful of the another advantage January provides — the opportunity to meet prospects in future recruiting classes and extend offers.
Three of the Huskers’ most recent offers went to Arizona natives — all Class of 2019 prospects — as quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco was in the state Wednesday.
Let’s take a look at the newest crop of Nebraska offers.
Defensive end Habakkuk Baldonado, 3 stars, Italy (Class of 2018)
Baldonado is certainly an interesting prospect. Originally from Italy, he attends Clearwater Academy in Florida. He is a 3-star recruit and the No. 25 weak-side defensive end in the class per 247Sports, but he does not have a composite ranking. That’s just an example of how raw he is on the field and unknown on the recruiting scene. Baldonado named UCF his leader last week, but that hasn’t stopped him from exhausting all of his recruiting options.
He will take official visits to Michigan State (this weekend), Oregon (next weekend) and Nebraska (the following weekend) in the run-up to National Signing Day on Feb. 7.
Wide receiver Jake Smith, 4 stars, Scottsdale, Ariz. (2019)
With 26 offers in hand before Nebraska came calling, Smith is already a top-end prospect. He is the No. 40 wide receiver and top-250 prospect in his class, according to the 247Sports composite. Tennessee, Clemson and Notre Dame have all offered within the last month. Alabama, where he took an unofficial visit during the fall, also has offered. Texas and Arizona have also gotten unofficial visits from him so far. The Notre Dame Preparatory standout is listed at 6 feet, 1 inch and 185 pounds.
Safety Noa Pola-Gates, not yet ranked, Gilbert, Ariz. (2019)
Pola-Gates may not be a popular recruit just yet, but he likely will be. The first sign of his rise came Wednesday, when both Iowa State and Nebraska offered. He also holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State and Memphis. Pola-Gates is 6-2 and 180 pounds, therefore fitting the mold of large safeties this coaching staff values.
Athlete Ty Robinson, 3 stars, Gilbert, Ariz. (2019)
Robinson’s 6-5, 250-pound frame gives programs choices of which position to utilize him, most likely tight end or defensive end/outside linebacker. Rated the No. 45 athlete in the class, Robinson holds 10 offers, including ones from Alabama, Oregon and Illinois, as well as the two in-state Arizona programs.
Defensive tackle LeDarrius Cox, not yet rated, Mobile, Ala. (2019)
Cox is listed at 6-4 and 300 pounds and projects as a nose tackle in a 3-4 system. The Nebraska coaching staff offered him back at UCF, so there’s certainly a level of familiarity there. As we chronicled Wednesday, coach Scott Frost and defensive coordinator Erik Chinander were at Cox’s school, McGill Toolen, to see 2018 defensive back target Eric Garror. They also took the opportunity to see Cox and offer him in-person. Those kinds of gestures go a long way while recruiting.
Huskers checking in with running back target
Nebraska running backs coach Ryan Held is doing a fine job of keeping up his reputation as a dogged recruiter. After a whirlwind December leading up to the early signing period, Held has been just as active in January, hitting up key running back targets in the 2018 cycle.
Earlier this week, he visited with 4-star prospect Jashaun Corbin in Rockledge, Fla. Corbin will be on campus for an official visit this weekend.
Outside of Corbin, though, the picture at running back gets a little murkier. Miles Jones‘ commitment to Nebraska happened on Thursday night, when Nebraska’s coaches went in-home with the 3-star athlete.
Jones is expected to see time at both running back and slot receiver. But even with Jones’ commitment, there’s a good chance Nebraska would be willing to take one more running back in this class, whether it’s 3-star running back Maurice Washington or fellow 3-star back Ta’Zhawn Henry.
There are rumors circulating about Washington’s immediate eligibility. Even so, he’s scheduled to take an official visit to Ohio State next weekend and then to Nebraska the weekend of Feb. 2. That’s also the weekend Henry has made plans for his official visit to Lincoln.
Henry, the No. 24 all-purpose back in the class, appears to be highly interested in Nebraska. If the Huskers want him, they can have him — despite Texas Tech, Oregon State and Utah still being in the picture.
Held visited with Henry at Lamar High School in Houston school earlier Thursday to keep the relationship building. Texas Tech also stopped by later in the day to see him.
— ᵀᴴ¹ (@TazhawnHenry) January 18, 2018
It will be interesting to see how the staff handles the running back situation down the stretch. But keeping all parties interested will be important, which was the purpose of Held’s visit.
Held, along with secondary coach Travis Fisher, also visited with defensive back target Kenneth George Jr. at Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College on Wednesday. George Jr. named the Huskers his leader the last time he spoke with Land of 10, and this tweet led some to (understandably) believe he was committed to Nebraska.
— KG (@kennethgeorgejr) January 17, 2018
Land of 10 is still working to confirm the commitment, however.
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