All the reputable news outlets are doing some sort of “super six” or “sexy seven” right about now. Well, so are we. Here’s what the Corn Nation staff’s picks for the top players. Some chose based on potential for instant impact. Some chose based on ultimate contribution to team. Some chose based on who had the dreamiest eyes.
Salt Creek and Stadium:
- Noa Pola-Gates. Honestly, it’ll be a 1A/1B situation for most comparing Pola-Gates and Robinson. But Nebraska has more need at defensive back than RB.
- Michael Lynn. I have to pick a lineman to develop and help Nebraska, and I’m going with Lynn having a great ceiling.
- Nick Henrich. This is the type of player Nebraska has lost to Wisconsin or Iowa since 2011, only to have them turn into J. J. Watt at Nebraska’s rivals. (Same goes for Hickman - Fant comparisons.)
- Dedrick Mills. It took some hand-wringing, but Nebraska has their replacement for Ozigbo.
- Demariyon Houston. You could put any of the three WRs here, but on paper, this is Nebraska’s best WR class in a long time.
- Wandale Robinson - I don’t know a damned thing about this guy other than he’s highly ranked and I like his first name. It’s a name that’s unique, and that I will probably be able to remember AND spell correctly. You go, Wandale! Wohoooo!
- Luke McCaffrey - He’s a quarterback from a lineage that could be the result of a eugenics program. I’ve always thought Nebraska should start some kind of program where we match great athletes of both sexes and get the benefits. Unfortunately, it’s rather creepy when you’re expected to participate in said program. What if you have a kid who turns out to be a lousy athlete but one of the best mathematicians in the world?
- Chris Hickman - Best hair, at least from going through the recruiting photos I’ve seen. Noa Pola-Gates is pretty close, but I have to give the nod to Hickman. Plus he’s a really tall tight end, and he’s already enrolled.
- Jimmy Fritsche - I grew up around some Fritsche’s. They were all crazy. They were also tough sonabitches that I never wanted to get into fight with. Jimmy Fritsche has a kind of “I might be a serial killer” look about him. The team needs some serial killers. Brant Banks finished a close second in the “might be a serial killer” looks department. Sorry Brant.
- Dedrick Mills - This guys sounds like Salt says, a replacement for Devine Ozigbo. This is a good thing as Ziggy got so good last season I wondered what we were going to do for a pounder.
- Bryce Benhart - When you are Nebraska, who has had their fair share of line troubles the past decade and you beat out Wisconsin for an offensive lineman, you have to feel good about that. Benhart could be a rare true freshman starter on the offensive line. He is that good.
- Jackson Hannah - Has a good frame that I think Duval and this strength program can fill out. He isn’t a true edge rusher, but watch his Hudl tape and you see him do that quite often. With the lack of real EDGE players, the defensive staff could get creative with Hannah (a la JoJo Domann) the next couple years while they still try to fix the pass-rush.
- Wandale Robinson - Stood out with his shiftiness at the All-American Game and is one of the biggest recruits to ever land in the LNK. Mark my words, he will be as good as De’Anthony Thomas was.
- Ty Robinson - Two things are true about football: you HAVE TO play defense and you have to win the battle up front. Fixing the Blackshirts is priority, and getting a trench-winner like Ty Robinson will set the tone for years to come.
- Nick Henrich - I love Noa-Pola Gates, the speedy receivers and Luke McCaffrey. But another big key to get Nebraska back to being Nebraska: getting in-state players. Frost made that a priority this cycle, with Henrich, Chris Hickman, and the Garretts. Losing out on players like Bryson Williams and Harrison Phillips set the program back. Henrich is flying under the radar due to injury (similar to Ronald Thompkins), but he’s a steal and a definition of the new culture.
- Wandale Robinson - Wandale is the offensive jewel. His high school numbers are sick on both sides of the ball, his film is ridiculous and he showed he wasn’t a video warrior in practices and the game at the Army All-American Bowl or whatever the hell it’s called. On top of that, he seems like a perfect fit character-wise for what they were building this class around. Also, perennial Nebraska poachers Kentucky and Vince Marrow can suck it.
- Ty Robinson - The defensive jewel in my mind. When you beat out ‘Bama for a 6’6” 275 DE with quickness, moves and unbelievable body control for a high schooler? (Settling down, chug of Sailor borrowed from Cobby...ok, continue) It’s..a...good...thing. An immediate candidate for Freshman All-American.
- Dedrick Mills - The talk of jewels is now over. Now we get to my favorite recruit. Dedrick. Mills. Remember how the talk going into last season was Greg Bell’s gonna take over and wow, Mo Washington just showed up and looks amazing? Then Greg Bell bitched out to Riley-land and Mo Washington was the totally awesome...second fiddle to the Devine show. That’s not a Mo insult. Mo is amazing. Just shuaddup and roll with me on this.
It’s is happening again. Dedrick is not a freshman needing development. Dedrick is a former Freshman All-American who has cleaned up his act up, gone the JC route and wants to kick ass on the turf and lead off it. Marshawn Lynch is his idol and like Marshawn, he wants to “run through your face”. He visited on Michigan St weekend (wind, cold, snow) and loved everything about it. He is going to tote the rock and wreck shit. He is. Put him down for 1000 yards now, not when he’s already got 438 three games in and you’re trying to backpedal your drunk friends that you said that back in July.
(Btw, I love me some Georgia Bulldogs. Dedrick played for Georgia Tech who I regard as a pucker hole of college football. And I’m touting him as a stud of this class. Think of that what you will.)
4. Bryce Benhart - The last one was long so I’ll keep this one short. Bryce Benhart + Greg Austin = 1st Team All-American. Maybe twice. Moving on.
5. Luke McCaffrey - This one has nothing to do with his DNA or the implied directive to include a QB. In a class that was constructed on not only getting talent but getting the right talent - character, leaders, all that useless crap (#sarcasmfont) - Luke is the one of the early enrollees that coaches have consistently touted as working the hardest, taking a leadership role, etc.
In other words, exemplifying what they were looking for in the class head & shoulders over a group lauded as exemplifying those ideals. Along with being a McCaffrey and playing for a high school staff that has more NFL experience than probably 92% of D1 college staffs. So yeah. Luke’s the incoming recruit background equivalent of Scott Frost’s coaching tree.
5a. The Nebraska Top 5 - Welp, we got ‘em. And something tells me their careers will crush the entirety of that Calibraska butt paste for two reasons.
1) Pretty much all of Calibraska ran for the hills when busting your ass and competing for a position over being from California and signing your LOI became a thing.
2) per 1) Calibraska abandoned ship when 1) became a thing. Family, baby. Family.
- Wandale Robinson - This is the skill player that’s going to unlock all the explosive plays Coach Frost can dial up. He’s an early enrollee so by the season opener he’ll be schooled up and pumped up. I’m hyped up!
- Bryce Benhart - The worst position group on the roster is the offensive line, specifically, tackles. Highly touted and yet still underrated, Benhart fills a critical hole.
- Noa Pola-Gates - At the All-American Game, his slobberknocker hit on Wandale Robinson that made us all clench our pearls with a white-knuckle grip, showed the way Coach Fisher wants his defense to operate. Athletic, tough, competitive: this is a snapshot of the future.
- Ty Robinson - Jovan Dewitt likes “linth” in his defensive ends. Ty is athletic and long. When he moves into the 2 deep next season, there will be a step change in defensive ability.
- Darrion Daniels - The lack of an elite pass rusher or a mountainous nose tackle were the biggest problems with the defense last season. This grad transfer adds leadership, maturity, and talent. He also gives his younger brother Damion another season to develop.
- Nick Henrich and Chris Hickman - We cannot continue losing the best talent in the state to the likes of Iowa. Every time Noah Fant caught a touchdown for Iowa, God killed a kitten. My sources have confirmed this on 19 different occasions. I celebrated the commitments of these two four star players out of Omaha more than any others. We cannot let players like this get away. I’m looking at you Zavier Betts and Xavier Watts!
- Bryce Benhart - We can talk about development all we want, but sometimes it is just nice to get a 7’5” 400 offensive tackle who looks like he could put on another 30 pounds and still be a great athlete. We need some guys who play mean. Hopefully he’s one of them.
- Jackson Hannah - If you steal somebody out of SEC territory then it is a win. If you steal somebody out of SEC territory that was an Alabama target then it is a huge win. My sources have indicated to me that he may end up moving Mohamed Barry to OLB. Hannah is pushing to play both inside linebacker positions at the same time in 2019. With Hannah you only need 10 guys to play defense.
- Jimmy Fritzsche - Speaking of stealing somebody, this future New York Knick was living 30 minutes from Clemson when he committed to Nebraska. He had an offer from Clemson and picked Nebraska over the hometown favorite. Good enough for me.
- Matthew Anderson - I didn’t mean to have three offensive lineman on my list, yet here we are. On Big Red Wrap-up last night, Nate Clouse said that Matthew Anderson is one of the many “leadership” type guys in this class. There are a lot of team captains coming in to join the Nebraska squad in 2019. Clouse said that when Greg Austin went to visit Matthew Anderson at his school he couldn’t find him in the cafeteria. The reason being that Anderson usually goes and eats lunch with the special needs kids. Oh and he has a mean streak on the field. I like this kid.
Who tops your list? Is it a “Big Red One” or a “Terrible Two” or an “Egregious Eight”? Who DOES have the dreamiest eyes in the recruiting class? Let us know in the comments!
What is the most important factor in a new recruit?
This poll is closed
Number of Hearts
How bad Iowa wanted him
How bad Bama wanted him
Recruiting’s overrated, I thought this was a cheerleader picture gallery article