The NCAA recruiting dead period ends this week, meaning Nebraska football’s recruiting operation will be pedal-to-the-metal until National Signing Day on Feb. 7. Starting this weekend, recruits can take official visits to schools and coaches can once again check in with prospects at their homes and schools.
Nebraska signed 12 of its 14 commits during the early signing period from Dec. 20-22. Coach Scott Frost has said he expects Nebraska to finish with about 21 members in its 2018 class. Now it appears that the number of signees could creep up to 23 or 24 members, meaning the Huskers could sign about 10 more recruits.
For now, here are seven targets at the top of the Huskers’ board:
RB Maurice Washington, 3 stars, Cedar Hill, Texas
Top schools: Nebraska, Ole Miss, Tennessee
The rundown: No other prospect broke out at the Under Armour All-America Game more than Maurice Washington. The good news for Nebraska is that the groundwork is laid with him, thanks to the efforts of Frost and running backs coach Ryan Held. Washington will be in Lincoln for an official visit this weekend. As the Huskers look to add at least one more running back in the class, Washington likely is their top choice. They’ll have their chance to make a strong impression and hold that momentum until National Signing Day.
OL Tyrone Sampson Jr., 4 stars, Detroit, Mich.
Top schools: Ole Miss, Kentucky, Virginia, Nebraska
The rundown: Syracuse held Tyrone Sampson Jr.’s commitment until the first day of the early signing period, when he backed off that pledge. He has official visits scheduled with Ole Miss (Jan. 26) and Nebraska (Feb. 2). He’ll visit the Huskers on the final weekend before National Signing Day. Nebraska is hoping to add one or two more offensive linemen, and if Sampson is one of them, the Huskers would be bringing in a strong talent. Sampson is projected to play an interior line position. He is 6-foot-3 and 295 pounds.
CB Taiyon Palmer, 4 stars, Lawrenceville, Ga.
Top schools: N.C. State, Vanderbilt, Nebraska
The rundown: The offer from Nebraska caught the eye of Taiyon Palmer, the No. 28 cornerback in the class. The Huskers need to add a cornerback, and Palmer is one of the top-ranked remaining corners. Palmer will be on campus for an official visit this weekend. N.C. State has also made him a priority, so Nebraska won’t be alone in vying for the former Duke commit. Defensive backs coach Travis Fisher has been in contact with him through several phone conversations.
S Cam’ron Jones, 4 stars, Mansfield, Texas
Top schools: Nebraska, Ole Miss, Utah, Baylor
The rundown: The Huskers are in the driver’s seat for Cam’Ron Jones. On his 247Sports Crystal Ball, 95 percent of the predictions have him going to Nebraska. He took his official visit to Nebraska the weekend of Dec. 15, on the heels of an in-school visit from Frost, Held and defensive coordinator Erik Chinander. Jones has shown the Huskers plenty of love, too. He’ll be back on campus this weekend for an unofficial visit alongside friends Corbin Frederick, a high school teammate who has a walk-on offer, and 3-star running back Ta’Zhawn Henry. Nebraska is in a good place here.
DE Daniel Carson, 3 stars, Independence, Mo.
Top schools: Miami, Texas, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma
The rundown: Like some other priority recruits on this list, Daniel Carson will be on campus for his official visit this weekend. He’s already taken official visits to Miami and Texas. Carson was a target of the previous Nebraska staff, and the new staff clearly values him as well. He would be a quality piece to add on the defensive line alongside signee Tate Wildeman, as the Huskers plan on adding one more interior lineman by February. If all goes well this weekend, there’s a chance it will be Carson’s final visit and he’ll make his decision based off his three trips.
OLB Javontae Jean-Baptiste, 4 stars, Oradell, N.J.
Top schools: Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Boston College
The rundown: Javontae Jean-Baptiste is the perfect example of a recruit who benefited from not signing early. By not signing, several schools have recently offered Jean-Baptiste, namely Ohio State and Texas A&M. The No. 21 outside linebacker in the class will take his official visit to Nebraska this weekend, but has already scheduled a visit with the Buckeyes for next weekend. Ohio State may be too good of an offer for him to pass up.
ATH/QB Matthew Tago, 3 stars, Lancaster, Calif.
Top schools: Nebraska, Utah, Washington State, USC
The rundown: Nebraska extended an offer shortly after the new year, and Matthew Tago agreed to take his official visit this weekend, so things are clearly moving quickly between the two parties. The Huskers are the only school to offer Tago at the quarterback spot, a reason why Tago’s interest in the program is high. He has an official visit scheduled with Washington State next weekend. Nebraska is still hoping to add at least one more quarterback and Tago has emerged as one of the top targets at the position.