In the two plus seasons I've been doing the recruiting thing for CN, I've never seen a week where the staff of the Nebraska Cornhuskers have come firing on all cylinders.
Then Mike Riley and Ryan Gunderson came to Lincoln. And WHOA.
Now, Oregon State's class wasn't very good, even compared to Nebraska. Right now after a flip, OSU has the 61st class in the 24/7 national composite and 10th in the Pac-12 Conference. So, with HC Mike Riley and Director of Player Personnel Ryan Gunderson, you kinda thought you had an idea of the issues with facilities, location and such.
And a longstanding statement of the Bo Pelini-led Husker recruiting effort was that it was hard to get to kids because of flights and all that.
Well, don't tell Riley and Gunderson this. Because they just finished a week of visiting key Nebraska targets and are prepping for a weekend of big targets.
First, let's talk the committed guys. It all started with a trip out to Colorado:
Had a great time in Colorado with @AveryAnderson1 and @elee22_21! Next stop, HUGE stop, Missouri x2!!! #GBR— Mike Riley (@Coach_Riley) December 10, 2014
Riley's first stops were out to Avery Anderson and Eric Lee, both verbals with signed financial aid paperwork to Nebraska (hence, the reason that Riley was able to name them in the tweet).
Great visit w/ @Coach_Riley #GBR pic.twitter.com/Vy8MzMMUyv— ⚡️AV A⚡️ (@AveryAnderson1) December 10, 2014
The result is that both Anderson and Lee are now "100% Huskers." Which is good cause they are arguably the two highest prospects on the board. Next ... to Missouri.
What a great visit tonight, these future #Blackshirts are going to be special! #GBR— Mike Riley (@Coach_Riley) December 11, 2014
This visit was to solidify both Carlos and Kahlil Davis, who had a bunch of reports rampant about their decommitting Nebraska. And they quickly dismissed those.
ATTENTION EVERYONE: #DTwinTerrors @khalildaish95 and @_KING_LOS__ HAVE NOT de-committed to Nebraska! We are still committed. Thank you!— D. TwinTerrors (@DTwinTerrors) December 9, 2014
So, with those two verbals locked up, Riley got on another plane and headed to the Southeast....
In Atlanta, looking forward to meeting Aaron Williams and his family tonight! #GBR— Mike Riley (@Coach_Riley) December 11, 2014
Williams is another case of him signing financial aid papers, allowing Riley to speak publicly of him. That went very well. So well that Williams cancelled an OV to Notre Dame this weekend and solidified his verbal to Lincoln.
Riley wasn't done, however, as he headed back West to Bayou grounds.
Great visit with Aaron Williams in ATL, now it's on for 2 big ones in NOLA! Finish strong! #GBR— Mike Riley (@Coach_Riley) December 12, 2014
The first person that Riley talked to was Stanley Morgan, who was unsure about his commitment to Nebraska. Not anymore.
Head coach @Coach_Riley had a Great time with me and my Family ! See great things in my Future ❗️ #GBR pic.twitter.com/HYaK662PG4— 8-To-State (@Thekidstan) December 13, 2014
The other visit was to Kendall Bussey, who has opened up his recruitment to Nebraska, Tennessee and Texas A&M. The visit with Riley went very well according to reports. However, it sounds like all 3 schools are still in the mix here.
So, after that visit, Mike Riley finally decided to head back to Lincoln.
Another great night on the recruiting trail, excited for the future! Back to Lincoln now for some official visits! #GBR— Mike Riley (@Coach_Riley) December 13, 2014
Mike Gunderson wanted a big weekend for the staff's first crack at OVs. And it took at least two iPhones. Maybe three ...
Working the phones tonight #Huskers fans!!! #GBR pic.twitter.com/zMX6GA21Ks— Ryan Gunderson (@TheGundy) December 12, 2014
In the end, Gunderson has a fairly decent lineup coming.
This weekend's visitors:
Nick Thomas: The Wisconsin verbal is a mid-level three-star linebacker out of the IMG Academy that Husker decommit Mirko Jurkovic attends. His only FBS offers were Wisconsin and Hawaii, but Trent Bray has him coming into Lincoln. Could be a depth provider with the departure of Courtney Love.
Adrienne Talan: This safety/MLB prospect out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, had Iowa in his sights, but Bray also did work here to get a visit. And the way that Nebraska needs a safety in this class, Talan could be a guy to watch if he is comfy playing there.
Matt Snyder: This 6' 5" tight end verbal to Oregon State was recruited to OSU by Bruce Read. So, naturally, Read has Snyder coming to take a look in Lincoln. And this is a kid who you won't mind being on the team with the Mike Riley theory of offense.
Jalin Barnett: The biggest, literally and figuratively, visitor this weekend is the offensive lineman out of Lawton, Oklahoma. Barnett is a high four-star whom Oklahoma and Arkansas really like. However, sounds like Nebraska's Mike Cavanaugh is going to make a big-time push for Barnett. And the film tells you why.
Now, I'll be the first one to say that nice visits and such don't mean much if you can't close and get the players to commit solidly to the program. But it's amazing to see how hard Riley's gang has gone after it this week. With the dead period starting at the end of the weekend and lasting till January 3, it's a big step to get some kids in who may verbal.
I'll have another update Sunday night with some guys Nebraska could be targeting from now till NSD. But in the meantime, let us all dig the effort here.
First official visit #Huskers fans, wish me luck! 4 young men who will look great in red! #GBR— Ryan Gunderson (@TheGundy) December 12, 2014