The recruiting machine churns all week. Join us on Tuesday and Friday nights to recap Nebraska recruiting news, what it means and what’s next.
Riley wants 2016 recruits to compete
The transition from being a top recruit with headlines on every sports website in the state to a fourth-string backup can be staggering. At the beginning of fall camp on Thursday, Nebraska coach Mike Riley had a message for the 2016 recruits: Don’t settle, and compete for a spot.
“What we initially do is we encourage them to come in here and compete to play,” Riley said. “Don’t come in here to redshirt. Come ready to go.”
Nebraska’s 2016 recruiting class was highlighted by four 4-star recruits – quarterback Patrick O’Brien, offensive tackle Matt Farniok, defensive back Marquel Dismuke and safety Lamar Jackson – who put on the pads for the Huskers for the first time on Thursday
Riley has said, twice now, that up to six freshmen will most likely not be redshirted and will see playing time.
Of those four, O’Brien probably has the smallest chance of seeing the field this season, despite being impressive in practice on Thursday. An early enrollee, O’Brien came to Lincoln in January from California. He looked comfortable, completing a variety of throws with general ease, even outshining Tulane transfer Tanner Lee at times. He appeared comfortable and content for someone who went to prom three months ago.
As for the other three, Jackson had a good practice as well. Josh Kalu and Chris Jones seem to have the starting corner spots solidified, but Jackson’s speed and confidence could give them both some good competition.
UCF commit to visit Nebraska
Landof10 learned this week that University of Central Florida commit Emmanuel Greene will definitely be taking an official Nebraska visit.
The 3-star WR from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., committed to UCF on June 17 but told Landof10 he plans on visiting Lincoln on Oct. 1 when Nebraska hosts Illinois
“Keith Williams is a great coach,” Green said of the Nebraska’s wide receivers coach. Green unofficially visited Tennessee on April 16 and Georgia on April 5. Ohio State is in the mix as well.
247sports.com’s crystal ball predictions give Green a 56 percent chance of going to UCF and a 33 percent chance of committing to Ohio State.
Tahj Capehart’s commitment announcement will come on Saturday. Nebraska made the 4-star wide receiver’s list of final 10 schools, which also includes Alabama, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Tennessee and Penn State. 247sports is giving Virginia Tech the edge with 75 percent chance of committing. Maryland is given a 25 percent shot.
Capehart’s commitment will be at 11 a.m. and can be heard on ESPN radio.
Commit date is set!! ??? pic.twitter.com/UKa0lxfkBv
— TCSZN ➰ (@Tahj__) August 2, 2016
Kenneth Murray, a 3-star outside linebacker, said on Twitter he’ll be announcing his commitment next Wednesday.
His final six schools include Nebraska, Texas A&M, Houston, Oklahoma, Texas and Michigan.
Murray was offered by Nebraska on June 22 but hasn’t been to Lincoln for a visit. 247sports is predicting it will come down to Oklahoma (38 percent crystal ball prediction), Texas (25 percent).
-I will be announcing my commitment on August 10th at Elkins High School (Library) at 8:30 am
– Everyone is welcome to attend
— Deuce#⃣2⃣ (@murrayyy_2) August 5, 2016
Husker targets taking their time
Jaylen Kelly-Powell has had a busy summer.
Since visiting Lincoln in June, Kelly-Powell has unofficially visited Michigan, Notre Dame, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Ohio State and Notre Dame again.
The 4-star safety from Detroit told the Detroit Free Press on Aug. 1 he doesn’t have a top five yet, and announced Friday on Twitter his commitment won’t come until after this season.
“Right now, I don’t have a top five, because I just received a couple more offers,” Kelly-Powell said Wednesday to the Free Press. “I plan on having a top five when the season starts.”
My college decision will not come until after the season.
— Jaylen Kelly-Powell™ (@JKellypowell) August 5, 2016
One of Nebraska’s top targets, 5-star WR/CB Darnay Holmes, will be in the state of Michigan this weekend, visiting Michigan and Michigan State.
Curtis Blackwell II, who oversees Michigan State recruiting, wasn’t shy about his feelings on Holmes.
Calabasas just landed in East Lansing! Meeting with the Founder of the No Fly Zone!
— Curtis Blackwell II (@MSUrecruiter) August 5, 2016
Broc Bando with the answer of a lifetime
We might have the best quote of the season, and it’s not even September.
When asked on Thursday why 3-star offensive lineman Broc Bando, a Lincoln native, chose Nebraska over the likes of Kansas State or Georgia, his answer was simple and awesome:
“Momma’s cookin’,” he said.
He went onto mention he loves the coaches at Nebraska and that Riley has “brought that family mentality back.”
“I tried to do it evenly, but just watching them when I was growing up, that helped a lot,” Bando said of the Huskers.
Momma’s cookin’. Does it get any better than that?
Here’s the full video.
In place of the “If I was a betting man” portion of The Harvest that I do on Tuesdays, on Friday’s I’ll give you a list of random Husker talking points to hold you over until next week.
Here are some highlights of the week, or things you might have missed in the excitement of fall camp:
- Nebraska did not make it into the Top 25 of the Amway Coaches Poll or Fox’s Stewart Mandel’s Pre-Season Top 25. Nebraska was in the Others Receiving Votes category in the Coaches Poll with 17 votes.
- The Huskers did, however, make it into USA Today’s Paul Myerberg’s list of teams poised to break into the top 25.
- Nebraska will have an official helmet decal in honor of Sam Foltz this year. Here’s what it looks like.
- Sophomore WR Zack Darlington took most of the holds for kicker Drew Brown on Thursday at fall camp in place of Foltz. Brown tweeted it was “definitely strange and tough.” Darlington also Tweeted a funny little conversation the two had at practice.
— Zeus (@DarlingtonZack) August 5, 2016
- The Olympics begin tonight, which is exciting if you’re really into watching total train wrecks. Nebraska has nine athletes in Rio this year. Jordan Burroughs will be out to defend his gold medal in wrestling freestyle. Four former Husker volleyball players will made the USA Volleyball team, including Kayla Banwarth, Kelsey Robinson, Jordan Larson and Sarah Pavan. For Track and Field, Marusa Cernjul will be competing for Slovenia in the high jump and Miles Ukaoma will run the 400-meter hurdles for Nigeria. Therese Alshammar will make her sixth Olympics appearance for Sweden and will swim in the 50-meter freestyle, and Danielle Page will be on the Serbian National Basketball Team.
- In Husker basketball news, coach Tim Miles did not receive a 1-year contract extension from Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst. Miles brought Nebraska their first NCAA Tournament appearance in decades in 2013, but is just 63-67 in his four years in Lincoln.
Chris Heady is a staff writer for Landof10 covering Nebraska football and recruiting. He takes movie and story suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org, and is on Twitter @heady_chris.