By any account, Nash Hutmacher could wrestle just about anywhere he wanted in college.
In his latest dominating run, the Chamberlain, South Dakota, heavyweight rolled to a national championship at the USAW Junior Folkstyle Nationals tournament in Cedar Falls, Iowa, last weekend.
Afterward, TrackWrestling pegged him as the No. 8 overall wrestling prospect in the nation for the 2020 class and the top-ranked heavyweight.
It’s hard to argue with that given his unblemished high school record and his three high school state championships so far — including needing less than two minutes total to breeze through the bracket this winter.
— Nash Hutmacher (@Nashnation72) April 3, 2019
But Hutmacher’s recruiting process is focused on football. This week, the attention turns to Nebraska.
Hutmacher, the 6-foot-5, 300-pound defensive lineman, is taking his official visit to Lincoln this weekend. It's the first of a trio between now and the summer that will help the guy nicknamed “Polar Bear” make his college decision.
The Huskers have certainly put a lot of effort into recruiting Hutmacher.
“I would say for sure they’ve made me feel like a priority,” he told the Journal Star recently. “They’re texting me all the time and they were coming up to see me just about every week (this winter).”
Hutmacher is also expected to take official visits to Wisconsin (in early June, per his 247Sports profile) and Oregon.
This visit will be Hutmacher’s first to campus since Tony Tuioti replaced Mike Dawson as Nebraska’s defensive line coach. Hutmacher told the Journal Star shortly after Dawson left NU for a job with the New York Giants that he would miss Dawson, but the departure didn’t affect his interest level in the Huskers.
Hutmacher is slated to be the first player of the 2020 cycle to use an official visit to Nebraska. The Huskers have 13 remaining before the cycle resets late in the summer and a fresh 56 for the 2020 class resets.
Given that the spring official visit rule is relatively new and Scott Frost’s staff had none to work with at this time last year, this is a new frontier for NU on the recruiting trail.
“Last year, we had one left maybe,” running backs coach Ryan Held said. “We were limited and we had to hit on about 80% success rate, which puts you in a bind right there. You can’t take chances on (having guys visit). It’s nice having a few that we can use.”
Two other times to watch for official visits are next weekend at the Red-White Spring Game and then in June either around one of NU’s Friday Night Lights camps or just before the recruiting dead period ends at the end of the month.
Nebraska would always prefer to have a player visit on a game day in the fall in order to see Memorial Stadium in full throat, but a certain percentage of prospects are adamant about making their decisions before their senior years begin.
NU did just fine without spring visits last year, securing verbal commitments from 13 of their 27 eventual signees before anybody took an official visit, but it can only help to have another tool at the staff’s disposal.
“It’s to a ‘T’ when a guy comes up here, (he says), ‘This is not what I envisioned, this is not what I was expecting,'’’ Held said. “People think it’s in the middle of a cornfield or this that and the other thing and then they come here and see all this great stuff we have. … We just have to get guys on campus and once they see it, it puts us in a much better spot.”
The Huskers just received a verbal commitment from four-star wide receiver Zavier Betts (Omaha) on Wednesday and have hosted several other talented players over the course of the spring. They are set to have four-star defensive tackle Jamar Sekona (Greenbrae, California), four-star offensive tackle Turner Corcoran (Lawrence, Kansas), verbally committed quarterback Logan Smothers (Athens, Alabama) and many other players on campus for the spring game. Then the staff will spend most of May on the road visiting schools and evaluating players. In other words, it’s going to be an active couple of months.
“We’re so much farther ahead from that standpoint,” Held said. “We’re not having to rush or anything or just have it be organized chaos from that end. Even though we don’t have as many commitments right now, we’re not worried about that. We want the guys that want to be here and we’re on a lot of really, really good players.”
|Logan Smothers||QB||6-2||200||Athens, Alabama||***|
|Zavier Betts||WR||6-2||190||Omaha (Bellevue West)||****|
|Turner Corcoran||OT||6-6||280||Lawrence, Kan. (Free State)||****|