Welcome back to another Husker Extra recruiting notebook.
Nebraska late last week welcomed Independence (Kansas) Community College pass-rusher Jermaine Johnson to campus and will have a few others through Lincoln in the coming days and weeks, but the major recruiting movement continues to be the work done on the road by NU’s coaching staff during the evaluation period that runs through the end of the month.
So, let’s get to the updates.
Offers galore: The Husker staff has often said its goal is to go wherever it needs to in order to find the best possible players. Running backs coach Ryan Held espouses a leave-no-stone-unturned philosophy on the recruiting trail and, as the numbers start to pile up, it’s easy to see that NU isn’t joking.
According to 247Sports data, Nebraska’s 332 scholarship offers for the 2019 class as of Wednesday morning easily leads the Big Ten. In fact, only Indiana (303) has more than 280.
Everybody’s offer list is unique. For instance, former head coach Mike Riley’s staff members handed out offers for 2019 before they were fired in November, meaning it’s not exactly representative of solely Scott Frost’s staff’s work. However, it’s pretty clear the Huskers are going to go high on volume and attempt to be involved with a lot of kids.
The 2019 number is already the highest in recent history for an NU staff. Here’s how recent years shake out, again according to 247Sports:
If we look forward to 2020, the numbers are building in a similar way. Michigan leads the way early on at 119, followed by Nebraska at 111, while no other school has offered more than 79.
So what does it mean? It’s mostly just an indicator of how the new Husker staff likes to operate on the recruiting trail. Some schools hand out a ton of offers, while some keep their numbers more limited. Iowa, for example, has 115 offers for 2019 so far, and Wisconsin has 142.
Interestingly, UCF offered 380 in 2018 (a class split between Frost and new head coach Josh Heupel) and 285 in 2017 after only 213 in 2016.
Bottom line: Nebraska’s first-year staff appears to be one that’s going to trend toward the high end of offered players and then sort out its priorities as relationships build and players come to campus.
Another juco-heavy year in 2019? The Huskers do not have a junior college commitment for 2019 yet, but it appears they could wind up with another relatively large crop of transfer players.
Johnson was on campus last week and HuskerOnline reports that linebacker Lakia Henry (Dodge City CC in Kansas) will be in Lincoln on Friday.
NU has several offensive line offers out, including Bamidele Olaseni (Garden City in Kansas), Anthony Whigan (Lackawanna in Pennsylvania) and Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu.
The Huskers recently offered another at Lackawanna, defensive lineman Savion Williams. The Huskers have several offers out for defensive linemen, too, and continue to evaluate others like Husker legacy and Iowa Western defensive end Malcolm Lee.
Given the numbers and variety of positions — and assuming NU could look for an experienced defensive back or running back — it seems possible 2019 eventually ends with somewhere in the neighborhood of a half-dozen juco commits.
Dual-sport stars: One interesting early-cycle note for the Huskers in 2020 is a trio of offers to two-sport stars.
Nebraska this week offered Jason Harris, a 6-foot-8, 220-pounder from Highley High in Gilbert, Arizona. In addition to being a four-star defensive end — 247Sports has him as the No. 19 overall prospect in the nation and the No. 3 weakside defensive end — he’s a high-major power forward prospect in basketball with offers from Arizona State, Florida State, Nevada and others.
Earlier in the spring, NU offered five-star point guard and three-star quarterback Jalen Suggs from Minnesota.
On Tuesday, NU became gave Caden Rose, a prep quarterback and standout baseball player, his first football scholarship offer.
Rose, listed at 5-11 and 180 pounds, attends Bob Jones High in Madison, Alabama, and already has baseball offers from SEC schools such as Auburn and Alabama, among others.
The Huskers also have a football/baseball prospect among their apparent top tier of 2019 quarterback prospects in John Rhys Plumlee.
The cream of the crop: On Tuesday, Nebraska offered 2020 five-star cornerback Kelee Ringo, a 6-2, 192-pounder and the top-ranked corner by the 247Sports composite.
The Huskers have now offered the composite ranking’s top player at corner, safety (Darius Snow), inside linebacker (Antoine Sampah), defensive end (Bryan Bresee, the top-ranked player overall), tackle (Paris Johnson Jr.), and dual-threat quarterback (Bryce Young).