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Husker target Kanak saw 'a lot of energy' at Memorial Stadium; talks recent interest from Clemson
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Husker target Kanak saw 'a lot of energy' at Memorial Stadium; talks recent interest from Clemson

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Red-White Spring Game, 5.1

Nebraska running backs coach Ryan Held walks down the White Team's sideline during the Red-White Spring Game on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. 

Heinrich Haarberg threw a touchdown pass on the last play of the Red-White Spring Game, but wasn't done making connections just yet.

After the scrimmage, he made his way outside the stadium to catch up with Hays, Kansas, 2022 recruits Jaren Kanak and Gavin Meyers to thank them for coming to Lincoln and relay a message from head coach Scott Frost that he's looking forward to having them back in town when the coaches can actually spend time with recruits. 

"Coach Frost asked him to come down and just thank me and my family and Gavin's family for coming and that it was really cool for us to take time out to come check the place out and that they really appreciate that and that they're really interested in us," Kanak said. "So that was really cool." 

The high school teammates were two of about 20 players with scholarship offers who attended the game Saturday on their own and Kanak said it was well worth the long day. 

He left Hays on Saturday morning, drove the approximately four hours up to Memorial Stadium, saw the scrimmage with his parents and then drove back that evening. Kanak said he talked with Frost and running backs coach Ryan Held on the phone as he and his family made the trek north, too. 

"It was really cool," he said. "It was great to get on campus and kind of check out the energy. It was a really cool environment. Even with the capacity cap, it was really cool and there was a lot of energy in the place. ... 

"I just wanted to kind of get a feel for the place and check out the environment. I have heard a bunch of stuff about the stadium and how it is and so I wanted to get in there and feel it for myself and see it." 

The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder is one of the most athletic players in the Midwest for the 2022 class and Nebraska is interested in him on both offense and defense. 

Kanak, though, has many suitors and a couple of formidable new ones. He said recently he's had extensive contact with Clemson and he has a visit planned there for June 1, as soon as the dead period ends. 

"It's definitely a very exciting thing to happen," Kanak said of the interest from Dabo Swinney's program. "It's kind of what everybody hopes for in the college football recruiting process. And other than their success, they have a bunch of really good guys that I've talked to that have built that program on some good foundation. That's something really important, other than the success, that it's great guys and that success comes from something. They've built it up on a good foundation." 

Kanak is also taking an official visit to Nebraska in early June, though he said the exact dates may or may not have to shift slightly from the June 4 weekend because of family obligations. In the meantime, he and his Hays teammates are gunning for hardware in track over the next few weeks. He's timed in the 10.6-second range in the 100 meters this spring and is a standout in the sprint events and jumps.

Meyers, who also was in Lincoln on Saturday, does the dirty work for the track team. He weighs upward of 215 pounds and calls football and wrestling his top two sports, but in track runs the 300 hurdles and the 4x400 relay, which have the reputation as two of the more grueling track events. 

"I'm in the hefty events," Meyers said with a laugh. "At the beginning of the season, after every race my legs were just dead. Not many 215-pounders run those races. I'm running against like 150-pounders and it just looks so weird that I'm in those races. They're the two hardest races, but that's what I look forward to because it benefits the team. ... I just do those events because that's where the team needs me and I can fill those spots." 

The pair are also planning to go to Washington State later in June. Meyers said he'd like to make a decision by August, but that the timeline could change. 

"I've got all the information on the Zoom calls and the calls and texts and everything with the coaches, and the missing piece I've been looking for is to actually visit and check out the campus," Meyers said just before making the trip to Lincoln. "That's kind of what I've been looking forward to to finish up my recruitment and make my decision." 

Huskers in top group for legacy DB: Nebraska not surprisingly is in the mix for a legacy defensive back from Florida. 

James Monds III (Fort Pierce, Florida) put the Huskers in his top six Sunday. Monds also has Wisconsin, Michigan State, Indiana, Miami and Mississippi State in his top group. 

Monds, whose uncle, Wonder, played for Nebraska in the 1970s, has an official visit lined up to NU for the weekend of June 11. 

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

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Husker football reporter

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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