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Nebraska Recruiting: Hot Board Update and Weekend Visit Preview (UPDATED FRIDAY 11AM)


Good morning rigorous recruiting researchers and faithful fanatics! Welcome to the dubious doubters and devoted dreamers! Welcome all!

Hurry up and get in here; you’re letting the cold air in.

First off, where does everything stand at various positions?

QB: The staff is still pursuing ATH/ILB/QB Matthew Tago. He provides depth at QB and can possibly slide to other positions depending on attrition or lack thereof.

RB: American All-Star Game MVP Maurice Washington is first choice. He visits Feb 2. Texan Ta’Zhawn Henry is in the wings if Washington picks Ohio State or Arizona State.

WR: WR recruiting is complete. Although, I keep hearing noise about Nikko Hall, a WR/CB prospect from some school in California I’ve never heard of, Calabasas High. I don’t know how he fits. But, he’s still getting visits from our coaches. Bishop Gorman player and three star recruit Jalen Nailor was just offered this week, as well.

OL: Jarrett Bell wraps up the offensive line. If he fails to commit, Hamilton Hall, Blake McDonald, and Willie Canty are being pursued.

DL: It’s wait-and-see on Masry Mapieu’s ability to qualify. In all probability, even if he qualifies, he will be asked to grey shirt. In fairness to Masry, he’s doing a lot of work right now to get his academics squared away. If things continue to look grim, the staff are working to secure a visit on Feb 2 from three star Texan Otito Ogbonnia. There is not a desperate need for a defensive lineman this class, but it will be an area of emphasis next year if no one is taken this year.

LB: Javontae Jean-Baptiste (no relation) is the top recruit remaining on the board. The coaching staff is battling Ohio State for his services as well. OSU is running out of spaces, though. This may be a case of we get Washington or Jean-Baptiste but not both. I’m hoping for Jean-Baptiste. The crystal balls are starting to trend our way as well. While not getting my hopes up, (I’m getting my hopes up). Caleb Tannor is the fallback option. He is struggling with his decision currently. Raw Italian athlete Habakkuk Baldonado is the backup to the backup.

DB: Cam’ron Jones announces on Jan 27. I anticipate him being a Husker. Kendrick Torain is second choice behind him. ATH Cam Taylor is being recruited as a DB as well. There is the possibility the Huskers take both Jones and Torain.

Myself, along with others, had this class ending at around 22, plus Mapieu. From the continued action on the recruiting trail, it’s looking like the class may actually end up at 25 with Mapieu as a grey shirt no matter what. The staff is anticipating more attrition through spring ball than previously anticipated. Bigger classes and a little more attrition just get Frost’s players on the field sooner. It’s a new look for the Huskers as compared to the last couple staffs.

Weekend Visitors Update:

Dominick Watt, three star receiver already committed to Huskers. His first visit.

Cam Taylor, three star athlete out of Alabama. He’s an Auburn lean without an Auburn offer.

Matthew Tago. Someone called him “the Samoan Tommy Armstrong” after watching his film. It’s appropriate.

Nikko Hall, WR of Calabasas fame. Can also play DB. Is #Calibraska still in play?

This list will be updated as needed. There are only ten official visits left to the Huskers for this year, so the staff is being very careful who is invited henceforth. Look for commitments soon after the weekend. GBR!

****Update, Thursday 10:54AM****

RB/WR Maurice Washington has moved his official visit to this weekend. This is his last visit, he is down to Nebraska and Arizona State. It was originally reported that he was visiting Ohio State this weekend. Word on the street is OSU was his dream school growing up, but could only take him as a DB plus their DB coach just left for the Tennessee Titans, so they’re out. Good news for the Huskers!

Sometimes this recruiting stuff feels like following The Young and the Restless.

****Update, Friday 10:56AM****

Washington’s visit has been moved back to Feb 2. He goes to school in Texas and his mother in California and the logistics just couldn’t be worked out on short notice to get everyone in one spot.

WR Nikko Hall’s visit has been pushed by the staff to Feb 2. Rumor mill says Andre Hunt, who is also visiting on the Feb 2, is ahead of him on the priority list.

A Note on Numbers:

A few of us in the Corn Nation staff room have been trying to figure out how the numbers are working. With eighteen commits, and the coaches giving every indication they are trying to take seven more, that puts the number at 91. How can the staff do that, when everybody knows they have to be at 88 on Feb 7?

Our esteemed assistant editor Salt Creek & Stadium found this gem in the NCAA rulebook: Aid After Departure of Head Coach. A student-athlete who receives athletically related institutional financial aid in subsequent academic years after the departure of a head coach from the institution is not a counter, provided: (Adopted: 4/29/10 effective 8/1/10, Revised: 4/26/17 effective 8/1/17)

(a) The student-athlete participated in the applicable sport and received athletically related institutional financial aid during the coach’s tenure at the institution; and

(b) The student-athlete does not participate in the applicable sport during subsequent academic years at the institution. Subsequent Participation. If the student-athlete subsequently participates in the applicable sport at the institution, the student-athlete shall become a counter for all years during which athletically related institutional aid was received. (Adopted: 4/29/10 effective 8/1/10, Revised: 4/26/17 effective 8/1/17)

So, it appears that as long as the athletic department pays for an academic scholarship until a player graduates or transfers, and said player doesn’t “participate” in said sport any longer (which we’re guessing means fall camp onward), they no longer count towards the 85. The number still has to be 85 when fall camp starts, just like everyone else.

So a guy who is a good kid and works hard, but should probably never get hit in the head again, can finish his degree at Nebraska, while making room for someone else. Or another nice young man who tries his best but isn’t ever going to see the field again, can make room for new blood.

These are just examples, and two young men who work very hard, whose character and worth I hope you realize I am not trying to impugn in any way. They may both catch fire and be important components of the team this year, which would be just as good. They will hopefully go on to be contributing members of society and ambassadors of the University of Nebraska.

The point is, there is wording that allows processing players, that doesn’t seem to have a number attached to it, only on a year with a departing head coach, as long as you provide support until graduation/transfer of that individual.

Here is a link, should you want to investigate further:

NCAA Division I Manual