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Nebraska will have seven recruits making official campus visits this weekend, the beginning of a crucial recruiting period for the Huskers.

Nebraska has thus far picked up 10 verbal commitments for its class of 2005, and the Huskers' goal is to reach 15 by the end of October.

"From what I hear and understand, it could be possible," Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan said. "And if we don't reach 15, we just keep pounding the rock and try to get some more guys."

Callahan said it's important that out-of-state players experience Lincoln on game days.

"I like to have players see Lincoln at its best and see Memorial Stadium, instead of trying to envision it in December and January," Callahan said. "We really want these kids to come in and enjoy the festivities and the atmosphere and the pageantry of college football."

Compared to most schools, NU is bringing prospects to campus early in the recruiting process. Consequently, many recruits will have multiple visits left to take after coming to Lincoln.

"We're taking our shots, and I think the approach has been very aggressive in that respect," Callahan said. "It's already been successful with 10 commitments and possibly some more here this weekend."

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Callahan noted that the trend in college football is for recruits to make oral commitments early.

"A lot of players out there want to get that decision made so they can move on in their own senior year," he said.

The players expected to visit this weekend (as rated by rivals.com):

Four stars: WR Nyan Boateng, Brooklyn, N.Y.; DB Leon Jackson, Pasco, Wash.; DT Ndamukong Suh, Portland, Ore.; Three stars: RB Edward Britton, El Paso, Texas; PK Jordan Congdon, San Diego; RB Montario Hardesty, New Bern, N.C.; WR Broderick Hunter, Humble, Texas.

INJURY REPORT: Starting fullback Steve Kriewald injured his knee in practice Tuesday and will miss Saturday night's game against Kansas, Callahan said Wednesday. Kriewald, a 5-foot-10, 245-pound senior, will probably miss only one game, the coach said. "We hate to see guys get injured in practice, and this one was unnecessary," Callahan said, noting Kriewald was injured in a pileup of players. "We want to keep players off the ground in practice. We want to play on our feet." Dane Todd, a sophomore from Lincoln Southeast, will start in place of Kriewald, and sophomore Grant Miller also may see increased playing time. In addition, starting left tackle Mike Erickson was "a little dinged up" and left Wednesday's practice early, Callahan said. "He had a little bit of a stinger, but I don't know what the outcome of that is yet." Starting cornerbacks Fabian Washington (knee) and Lornell McPherson (hamstring), and No. 1 right defensive end Adam Carriker practiced Wednesday and looked ready for action, the coach said.

— Steven M. Sipple

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