Jahkeem Green

Jahkeem Green (50) committed to Nebraska following the Red-White Spring Game.

Let’s take a Friday afternoon drive. We might even be able to put the top down for the first time this week.

1. Nebraska’s got one verbal commitment for 2019 from Highland (Kansas) Community College for 2019 in Jahkeem Green, but they’d love to do more damage at the school in the 2020 class.

The Huskers have offers out to defensive back Brian George and defensive lineman Travis Geiger, and both are picking up significant attention.

George, in fact, is perhaps the most sought-after juco defensive back in the country. On Tuesday, assistant coaches from Georgia and Arkansas were on hand to watch him. Texas A&M was slated to bring a chunk of their staff down. George has offers from Alabama, Miami, Tennessee and a wide variety of others.

“Honestly, I’m just soaking everything in and enjoying the process. Just watching all my blessings come by,” George said. “… It’s everything paying off. To know that all these schools, a lot of them come to see me and see what I can do on the field, it’s just a blessing for them to come see a kid like me way out here at Highland. ”

The Belle Glade, Florida, native was not highly recruited out of high school because of grades, making this explosion in interest even sweeter. He also said it gives him reason to stay on track.

“I had pretty good stats and stuff in high school, but with grades and stuff, I wasn’t a high recruit at all,” George said. “The juco route is paying off for me. … I’ve got one plan and one goal right now, and I just stick to that script.”

He certainly didn’t disappoint in Highland’s last practice of the spring. George moves easily, tackled well and logged an interception right in front of the pair of SEC recruiters. Not a bad day at the office.

Running backs coach Ryan Held and secondary coach Travis Fisher are in charge of recruiting George for the Huskers.

“They’ve got a real good program, great facilities and great people,” George said. “I love the town, period. You just feel welcome there.”

2. Geiger, meanwhile, is just starting to see his recruitment take off. The 6-foot-5, 320-pound defensive lineman’s first offer came from Nebraska recently.

He attended two different schools his freshman year — first Fort Scott (Kansas) CC, which didn’t work out, then a Division II school to finish the semester to keep his grades on track — and now he’s beginning to get noticed at Highland.

“Honestly, they weren’t really recruiting me, but they just came up here and (defensive line coach Tony Tuoiti) said he liked what he saw,” Geiger said. “It was amazing. I was shocked. I actually asked him, ‘Like, you mean (you’re offering me) right now, coach?’ and he said, ‘Now or later, it’s the same thing to me.’

“I appreciated that. It was amazing.”

Geiger also has an offer from Akron and this fall will be critical to how much more attention he garners. He said he’s on track to be a December graduate.

Nebraska’s in on a few 2020 juco defensive lineman, a group that also includes Iowa Western's Perrion Winfrey.

3. If it wasn’t apparent already, NU has significant ties to Highland’s program.

Former Husker tight end Kyler Reed is HCC’s wide receivers coach. Quarterbacks coach Judd Remmers is an Auburn native and still makes the commute. Secondary coach and defensive coordinator Maurice Gray worked with NU running backs coach and juco recruiting whiz Ryan Held have worked together in the past at Butler (Kansas) Community College, and both were also at Northeast Oklahoma A&M.

Coaches come and go, of course, but NU and Highland are only 2½ hours apart and the connections between the schools make it seem like a good bet for more activity going forward.

4. Switching gears a little bit, NU 2020 quarterback verbal commit Logan Smothers had a solid weekend at Alabama’s Class 6A state track meet, running in three events.

Smothers recently transferred to Muscle Shoals High from Athens and finished 16th in the 100 (11.13 seconds), 12th in the 200 (:22.34) and sixth in the 400 (:50.38).

The 100 time probably isn’t exactly what Smothers wanted — he ran :10.89 earlier this spring — but qualifying for three events and logging personal bests in two events at state is still a nice showing.

5. If you want a good idea of what life is like for college football coaches this time of year, follow Tony Tuioti on Twitter.

The Husker defensive line coach takes a photo of his Nebraska hat at each school he stops at. In the past two-plus days alone in California: Cajon High in San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland High, Orange Vista, Rancho Verde and Norco.

6. Nebraska’s returning players have been off this week but are set to return to campus beginning Monday.

The roughly 10-day break is much different than some past years, when players might be gone for most of May.

Instead, they’ll report back early next week and get some lifting done on their own. The first summer session begins in early June, and the official strength and conditioning program along with it.

The arrival of incoming freshmen will be a bit more scattered, as it depends on exactly when each player’s high school finishes, but most should be on campus by the end of the first week of June.

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.


Sports writer

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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