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Friday Night Lights II: In-state prospects run well as Husker camp season wraps up
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Friday Night Lights II: In-state prospects run well as Husker camp season wraps up


Seven days and 30 degrees cooler, Nebraska put on its second Friday Night Lights event in front of more than 2,300 people at Memorial Stadium. 

Round 2 looked somewhat similar to last week's event in that it featured a large group of campers — more than 250 — and the bulk of them came from within the state's borders. 

In all at the two FNL camps this month, Husker coaches got their eyes on more than 550  campers, many of whom attended both events.

This camp was as much about a couple of players who were here but didn't participate as it was about the high school players running through drills led by NU assistant coaches and watched carefully by many current Huskers.

The attendees included 2019 quarterback verbal commitment Luke McCaffrey (Littleton, Colorado) and Jonathan Alexander (Kilgore Junior College), making an unofficial visit.

McCaffrey caught up with quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco before the camp, then spent much of the evening walking around with incoming freshman Tate Wildeman, a fellow Colorado player and former conference opponent. The pair mingled with current players and took in the sights. 

Meanwhile, Alexander spent much of the camp with one of the newest Husker commitments — junior college defensive back Will Jackson. Jackson, now in Lincoln and enrolled in summer classes, and Alexander are both impressive-looking athletes. Alexander does not yet have a Husker offer and had a visit to Texas State planned for Saturday.

Alexander maintains he doesn't care if he ends up at a big school or a small school, but given his offer list, it appears NU would become a serious player in his recruitment if it extends a scholarship offer. 

Here are some other observations from the evening: 

In-state standouts: Two Nebraska high school standouts from the class of 2019 attended: Running back Dylan Kautz (Norfolk Catholic) and linebacker Caden McCormack (Lincoln Southwest). 

Kautz ran the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds and won the fastest man competition at his position. He's not big, but can really run. Kautz, who rushed for 2,406 yards (7.7 on 311 carries) and 24 touchdowns as a junior, checked in at 5-foot-8 and 178 pounds. 

McCormack also ran well, clocking a sub-:04.6 40 and checking in at 6-1 and 214. He's had a good camp season, last month earning the linebacker MVP honor at a large Rivals camp in Chicago. 

Neither has a scholarship offer, but both could gain at least consideration for walk-on spots as the cycle progresses. 

An intriguing quarterback: The quarterback play Friday was better than last week, and the most interesting prospect of the group was 2020 signal-caller Roman Purcell (Indianapolis). The Warren Central player was the fastest quarterback of the group by a considerable margin. He showed flashes of a good arm, but also inconsistent accuracy. 

Purcell, listed at 6-1 and 190, has offers from Kentucky, Louisville and a host of smaller schools. 

Recruits shine again: NU's three in-state verbal commitments took part in the camp, and all had solid showings. 

Defensive lineman Ethan Piper is 6-4 and 285 and had several good repetitions 1-on-1. 

Athletes Garrett Nelson (Scottsbluff) and Garrett Snodgrass (York) are both versatile and will have position options when they get on campus. 

A big kid from Iowa: Tyler Miller is a big dude. The 2020 offensive line prospect is just 16 years old, but came in at 6-9 and 273. 

The junior-to-be from Jefferson already has a Husker offer, which came at the beginning of May, and has since added offers from Iowa State, Cincinnati, UCF and others. 

Two older players with interesting stories: Tyrik Henderson and Jawan Mitchell have taken circuitous routes in their recruitments. 

Henderson committed to Minnesota for the 2018 class, but but now is a 2019 recruit. He's a three-star prospect. 

Mitchell (6-0 and 220) is originally from Middletown, New Jersey, but wound up at Fort Scott (Kansas) Community College. Mitchell, older than most of the kids at the camp, showed a physical edge. 

2020 tackle Corcoran on campus again: Sought-after tackle Turner Corcoran made the drive with his basketball coach from Lawrence, Kansas, for the second time in recent months. 

Corcoran, a consensus four-star prospect, is ranked in the top 100 in the nation by both Rivals and 247Sports. He did not participate in the camp itself, instead spending time with McCaffrey and others. 

Some visitors from SEC country: No, not exactly what you're thinking. Among the fans in attendance, the two men in Mississippi State gear definitely stood out. The Bulldog fans and Mississippi natives made the trip to Omaha for the College World Series and, as college football fans, drove to Lincoln just to see Memorial Stadium. As they walked on Stadium Drive, they were alerted by a Husker fan that a free camp was going on and they could just walk in. 

Memorial Stadium certainly left an impression on the pair, who raved about the size of the place and the length of NU's sellout streak. 

An in-state FCS verbal commitment: Lincoln North Star athlete Luke Reimer announced his verbal commitment to South Dakota State on Friday. 

Reimer took part in last week's FNL camp, ran well and will be an interesting player to watch this fall. 

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


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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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