Good morning advocates and detractors of Husker football! As Fearless Leader Scott Frost navigates his way through the dead period while preparing UCF for a bowl victory against Auburn, let’s take a look at the remaining positions of need and potential targets within them. The early signing period went a long ways towards addressing critical shortfalls of position and talent. Which areas of need are remaining and who are the top candidates to address them?
It is interesting how much different the frames of pro-style skill players are versus spread players. Coach Riley recruited small receivers and big backs; Coach Frost has turned this 180 degrees. Three receivers have signed with the Huskers thus far; big-bodied pass catchers Katerian Legrone and Justin McGriff, along with JUCO speedster Jaron Woodyard. The staff is still looking for another receiver, possibly two. The targets receiving the most attention are Tommy Bush, Antoine Green, and Geordon Porter. Bush would probably be the home run of this group, but is being hotly pursued by many top schools. Offers went out over Christmas to Penn State legacy Solomon Enis, John Jackson III, and Utah commit Delon Hurt.
Does the Frostfence call them I-Backs or Running Backs? This reminds me of the Abraham Lincoln fable regarding political spin: Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one. Or, what my Grandpa Charron always said: “I don’t care what you call me, as long as you don’t call me late for dinner!” If they are breaking loose for big runs, it probably doesn’t matter what they are called. Surprisingly, the Husker staff is still looking for one more all purpose back. This really engenders speculation about what’s going to happen in the running back room. How many running backs do you need if you’re running a bunch of one-back sets? The main targets here are Florida State decommit JaShaun Corbin, compact speedster Ta’Zhawn Henry, and 4 star Vandy commit Miles Jones. My read is Jones, who could also play receiver and be used as a returner, is the top target here.
With the signing of center and knight errant Will Farniok, Nebraska only needs to add an offensive tackle round out the offensive line. Main targets are Georgia native Hamilton Hall, and SEC lean Ryan Winkel. Arizona Western JUCO Jahmir Johnson, teammate of signees Greg Bell and Jaron Woodyard, did not sign with Tennessee as expected. Hopefully the Huskers can nab Johnson and Hall both. An offer just went out to Doug Johnson who will visit Jan 19.
There are a couple of targets identified for the front seven. Nebraska is still pursuing pass rushers. Strongside Defensive End and 500 mile radius recruit Daniel Carson and Outside Linebacker recruit Javontae Jean-Baptiste (no relation). The most intriguing recruit to me is Nose Tackle Michael Thompson. This four star 500 mile recruit had no interest in the Big Red until Coach Frost came on board, and things are heating up rapidly between the two. Although lusting after high school kids is wrong, Thompson is the player I most hope signs with the Huskers.
Many offers are out, many more will be forthcoming. Deontai Williams has signed and will enroll early. C.J. Smith is committed, and is only waiting until February to sign at a big ceremony hosted by his high school. At least two more quality players are needed. The focus is on Texan Cam’ron Jones and four star cornerback Taiyon Palmer. Chances are strong to get both of these.
This is the direction recruiting is headed into the New Year. Offers are still going out, so like always this situation is very fluid. Stay tuned for updates as they come available. Ask any questions you have in the comments, and maybe they will get answered. By somebody. Go Big Red!