LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska’s main goal for the 2017 class was to load up on wide receivers.
Nebraska coach Mike Riley, offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf and wide receivers coach Keith Williams offered 35 wide receivers in the 2017 class in hopes of bringing in at least four or five to fill spots vacated by graduating seniors, and to bolster Nebraska’s impending passing attack next season.
On March 12, 2016, Nebraska started strong and received a commitment from 4-star Jaevon McQuitty.
Eleven days later, 3-star wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson Jr. followed suit.
Nebraska then went on a 10-month drought before landing 4-star Tyjon Lindsey, who had de-committed from Ohio State a few weeks ago.
And now, less than two weeks until National Signing Day, the question remains: Will Nebraska hit its wide receiver mark? Can the Cornhuskers land another big receiver?
Here are several possible scenarios.
The 5-star wide receiver from Los Angeles took an unofficial visit to Oregon this weekend, a sharp left turn in Lewis’ recruitment.
The 6-foot-1, 204-pound receiver had said earlier in the week his recruitment was down to Nebraska and USC. Plus, his father said last week that his recruitment between USC and Nebraska is closer than most people think.
At the same time, Lewis has an official visit set up for USC on Jan. 27, and, as far as we know, hasn’t been visited by Nebraska during this visiting period.
Like most high-profile recruits who haven’t committed around this time, it’s hard to tell which way the wind is blowing. So with Lewis, there’s nothing close to a guarantee that he’ll move east and join the Huskers.
If he does, he’ll be one of the highest-rated Nebraska commits in modern recruiting history. He would skyrocket Nebraska’s 2017 recruiting class ranking and likely would start immediately.
However, the 247sports Crystal Ball predictions currently lean heavily toward USC. And with the Oregon visit throwing a proverbial wrench into things, and Lewis’ father saying it’s close, this one may come down to the last day.
The drama of the Jamire Calvin recruitment has been abundant.
With the emotional commitment to Oregon State on national television at the U.S. Army All-American Game, to the murmurs that he was having second thoughts almost immediately and still wanted to be a Husker, to now, when things seem to be in limbo.
As far as we know, Coach Williams has not seen Calvin since he reportedly visited the 4-star receiver at his high school the day after Calvin committed to Oregon State. There could be an in-home visit this week from Williams, but who knows?
Predicting where Calvin will end up has become a lost cause, considering the 247sports Crystal Ball predictions gave Nebraska a 100 percent chance to land Calvin before the U.S. Army All-American Game.
Calvin is not a lock, but his commitment wouldn’t be a surprise. It’s possible, but Nebraska also might be having second thoughts about taking him after filling its slot spot with 4-star Lindsey.
Thompson is a 3-star wide receiver who visited Nebraska this past weekend.
Relatively new on Nebraska’s radar, Thompson received an offer from Nebraska after Calvin committed to Oregon State.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound receiver would be the tallest receiver in the 2017 class, which is something Nebraska needs out of its receivers. Even if Calvin commits, Nebraska will be loaded with shorter receivers, and would have to make sure to land a taller target in the 2018 class.
Regardless, Thompson is a former Boise State commit. He’s the No. 61 receiver in the 2017 class and No. 46 recruit out of California. Thompson has officially visited Nebraska and Oregon, so he could make one final visit next weekend.
With one more week to lure Thompson, Nebraska seems to be in a good position. Right now, there’s a better chance Nebraska gets Thompson than Calvin or Lewis.
Nebraska does not absolutely need another receiver, but not adding at least one more would not be great for this class.
In 2018, Nebraska’s not going to want to put as much time and effort into recruiting receivers as it did with the 2017 class.
2018 will be about getting linebackers for the 3-4 scheme under new defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, getting defensive backs to replace outgoing seniors Josh Kalu and Chris Jones, and getting a solid running back.
Throw in trying to land a top receiver? That’s a tough task. As it stands, they’re fine with three receivers. But it isn’t the best situation long-term.