Nebraska's got plenty at stake on the field over the next four weeks, but it's also shaping up to be a key in-season recruiting stretch.
The Huskers are at home three of the next four Saturdays and at least two — and potentially all three — will be afternoon or evening kickoffs.
Saturday against Northern Illinois, of course, is a 7 p.m. kick, Oct. 5 against Northwestern is a late afternoon start, and in between, NU is hoping for a prime-time slot against Ohio State on Sept. 28, which would turn into easily the biggest in-season recruiting weekend of the season.
"This is big," Husker coach Scott Frost said of the coming stretch. "Anytime we can get recruits on campus and have them see the environment, see the best fans in the country, it’s great. So we’ll have some this week and again for Ohio State and again for the next home game. This is a big stretch for us as far as that goes."
Kickoff time for the Ohio State game will be announced Monday and, if it's an evening kickoff, there could be double-digit official visitors. In the meantime, the Huskers are hosting their first in-season official visits of the year this weekend.
The official visit counter starts over after the June evaluation period and NU used its full allotment last year, so it has 56 to use between now and the end of next summer.
Nebraska has landed several of its top overall targets so far for 2020 — players like quarterback Logan Smothers, tackle Turner Corcoran, defensive lineman Nash Hutmacher and in-state wide receiver Zavier Betts — but has a modest 10 members in a class that ranks No. 52 nationally by Rivals and No. 51 by the 247Sports Composite.
Here's a look at who is expected on campus:
First, a key unofficial visitor.
NU is set to have 2021 quarterback Peter Costelli (Mission Viejo, California) back on campus this weekend, he confirmed to the Journal Star on Friday morning.
Costelli made his first trip to Lincoln back in June and took in one of NU's Friday Night Lights camps. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, Costelli has a host of scholarship offers from some of the biggest names in college football.
Through three games for Mission Viejo High so far, Costelli has completed 54.7 percent of his passes for 392 yards, two scores and three interceptions while also rushing 12 times for 95 yards (7.9 per carry).
NU does not have a quarterback verbally committed for the 2021 class yet, but Costelli, Florida signal-caller Santio Marucci and Texas's Dematrius Davis are among the top candidates to fill that spot.
Linebacker Caleb McCullough (Oxnard, California)
The ultra-productive linebacker from Pacifica High in the Los Angeles area was originally slated to visit later in the season, but has moved up his official, his coach Mike Moon confirmed to the Journal Star.
McCullough is listed at 6-2 and 215 pounds. he took an official visit last week to Utah and has offers from the Utes, USC, Arizona State and many others. He's a consensus three-star prospect.
Defensive lineman Nusi Malani (San Bruno, California)
Malani is a defensive line target of Tony Tuioti's in the Bay Area. He's listed at 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds and will be making his first known visit to Lincoln this weekend, he announced Thursday evening via Twitter.
Malani has a host of FBS offers, mostly from the Western part of the country, including Colorado, BYU, Boise State, Arizona State and more.
Malani is considered a three-star prospect by both Rivals and the 247Sports Composite.
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Outside linebacker Regen Terry (Florence, Arizona)
Terry is returning to campus, this time on an official visit, he confirmed via message to the Journal Star. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound linebacker made the trek to Lincoln in June and took in one of NU's camps, and now he'll be back as his recruitment continues to progress.
Terry is highly thought of by Nebraska's staff and defensive coordinator Erik Chinander. He is rated a three-star prospect by both 247Sports and Rivals.
In late July, Terry announced a top six schools of Nebraska, Utah, Kansas State, Boise State, home-state Arizona and Boston College.
According to his 247Sports recruiting profile, this is Terry's first official visit.
Defensive back Henry Gray (Miami)
Gray plays his high school ball at Miami Central and is making his first known trip to Lincoln this weekend, coach Roland Smith confirmed to the Journal Star.
The 6-foot, 180-pound Gray hasn't been been among the most visible NU defensive back targets so far this cycle, but he plays at a powerful program in an area that Husker secondary coach Travis Fisher knows like the back of his hand.
Gray is rated a four-star prospect by Rivals and the 247Sports Composite index. Rivals pegs him as the No. 210 overall player in the country and the No. 20 cornerback nationally.
He spent some time on Ohio State's campus this spring, and some in the recruiting industry thought he was close to verbally committing to Florida after a summer visit, but Gray now is slated to travel to Lincoln.
Defensive end Tuli Tuipulotu (Lawndale, California)
Tuipulotu is visiting campus this weekend, too, according to Rivals.
Tuipulotu, 6-3 and 265 pounds, is considered a three-star prospect by both Rivals and 247Sports. Nonetheless, he has an impressive offer list that includes almost the entire Pac-12 Conference, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt and several others.
As a junior, Tuipulotu was credited with 95 tackles (24 for loss) and nine sacks in 14 games for Lawndale High, according to MaxPreps.
According to his 247Sports profile, this is Tuipulotu's first official visit.
In addition to the official visitors, Nebraska will host a big group of unofficials, too. That will include the typical contingent of in-state players, 2021 defensive end Ryan Keeler (LaGrange Park, Illinois) and junior college pass-catcher DeShawn Hanika (Butler CC), who does not currently hold a Husker offer but worked out at a Friday Night Lights camp in June.
Defensive back Myles Slusher (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
Slusher is an Oregon commit but is taking an official visit to Nebraska nonetheless, according to 247Sports.
Slusher is considered the No. 79 overall player in the country by that recruiting service and is a consensus four-star prospect.
At 6-foot and 190 pounds, Slusher's had recruiting interest from all over the country. Can NU make a move?
|Zavier Betts||WR||6-2||190||Omaha (Bellevue West)||****|
|Marquis Black||DL||6-4||280||McDonough, Ga. (Eagle's Landing)||***|
|Alex Conn||OT||6-6||280||Derby, Kansas||***|
|Turner Corcoran||OT||6-6||280||Lawrence, Kan. (Free State)||****|
|Ronald Delancy III||DB||5-11||190||Miami (Northwestern)||***|
|Henry Gray||DB||6-0||175||Miami (Central)||****|
|Rodney Groce Jr.||ILB||6-2||235||Pleasant Grove, Ala.||***|
|Blaise Gunnerson||OLB||6-5||250||Carroll, Iowa (Kuemper)||***|
|Nash Hutmacher||DT||6-5||305||Chamberlain, South Dakota||***|
|Tamon Lynum||DB||6-2||170||Orlando, Fla. (Evans)||***|
|Sevion Morrison||RB||6-0||200||Tulsa, Oklahoma (Edison)||***|
|William Nixon||WR||5-11||185||Waco, Texas (Midway)||***|
|Marvin Scott III||RB||5-9||205||Port Orange, Fla. (Spruce Creek)||***|
|Logan Smothers||QB||6-2||180||Muscle Shoals, Ala.||****|