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January visit from 2020 WR part of interesting numbers situation for Huskers going forward
HUSKER RECRUITING

January visit from 2020 WR part of interesting numbers situation for Huskers going forward

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Could Nebraska take more than the five wide receivers it already has signed for the 2020 recruiting class?

That’s not a sure thing, of course, but it seems like the Huskers are at least entertaining the possibility. On Wednesday afternoon, 2020 wide receiver Kris Abrams-Draine (Spanish Fort, Alabama) tweeted out that he had “locked” in an official visit to Nebraska, which would happen sometime in January.

Abrams-Draine, listed at 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, is considered a three-star prospect by both 247Sports and Rivals. He’s verbally committed to Ole Miss, but did not sign in the early period after Lane Kiffin was hired as the Rebels’ head coach.

Before Ole Miss, Abrams-Draine was verbally pledged to LSU. 

Abrams-Draine sports an impressive offer list, visited West Virginia back in the summer and, according to his 247Sports profile, has a Florida State official visit slated for Jan. 31, which is the final weekend before the February signing period.

That would leave either the weekend of Jan. 17 or Jan. 24 for Abrams-Draine to visit Lincoln.

Abrams-Draine played mostly quarterback as a senior for Spanish Fort High, moving from receiver early in the season, and appears to be in contention for the state's Mr. Football award. According to AL.com, he rushed for 1,745 yards (11.3 per carry) and 19 touchdowns, threw for 723 yards and nine touchdowns, and returned two interceptions for touchdowns while leading Spanish Fort to a Class 6A state title game appearance.  

NU has had recent success recruiting Alabama, landing quarterback Logan Smothers (Muscle Shoals) and outside linebacker Jimari Butler (Mobile) already in 2020, outside linebacker Jamin Graham (Attalla) in 2019 and defensive back Cam Taylor-Britt (Montgomery) and kicker Barrett Pickering (Hoover) in 2018. 

Nebraska has five wide receivers signed for 2020 already: junior college standout Omar Manning plus Zavier Betts, Marcus Fleming, Alante Brown and Will Nixon. 

Abrams-Draine is the latest in what is shaping up to be an interesting puzzle that the Huskers will try to complete in terms of their 2020 class. The general understanding is that NU has just two spots remaining for the class after signing 23 players in December. The only player who visited the Huskers officially before the early signing date and appears to still realistically be in play is defensive lineman Tanoa Togiai (Ribgy, Idaho), who is also considering Utah and Kansas State, among others.

Togiai has visits remaining that he can use in January, though he’ll have to fit them around his high school basketball season.

One other player who has seemed like a longshot but is perhaps worth at least keeping an eye on is four-star defensive back Darion Green-Warren (Harbor City, California). He is slated to make his college choice public at the All-American Bowl on Saturday live on NBC. Michigan is considered the prohibitive favorite according to both main recruiting services. He did take an official visit to Nebraska in mid-November and he hosted defensive coordinator Erik Chinander at his house during the December contact period. If he’s already signed with a school, Saturday will be the end of any questions surrounding his recruitment. If he hasn’t, it’s possible head coach Scott Frost could try to visit during the January contact period.

The latter could be in play if Green-Warren hasn’t signed, particularly after NU felt good about landing a signature from four-star Myles Slusher (Broken Arrow, Oklahoma) up until National Signing Day, only to see him pick Arkansas instead.

Either way, though, spots are tight. Fitting under the 25-man limit also includes any activity in the transfer portal over the coming months, so NU must make decisions on how they want to use the pair of remaining spots.

It’s quite possible, of course, that if two high school players the Huskers think highly of want to come to Lincoln, they take them and foreclose on the possibility of taking a graduate transfer later in the cycle. Partiuclarly so, perhaps, if they are at positions of need like receiver or defensive line, like Abrams-Draine and Togiai.

One other note to consider with Abrams-Draine: Nebraska has a pair of players signed in the class listed at wide receiver in Brown and Nixon who are capable of playing outside, in the slot or at running back. It’s possible that attempting to add another receiver to the class could, in essence, help address a remaining relative lack of bodies in the running backs room if one of those two played more out of the backfield than in the receivers room.

2020 Husker football recruits

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (School) Stars
Zavier Betts WR 6-2 190 Omaha (Bellevue West) ****
Marquis Black DL 6-4 280 McDonough, Ga. (Eagle's Landing) ***
Alante Brown WR 6-0 190 Chicago (Simeon) ****
Jimari Butler OLB 6-5 215 Mobile, Ala. (Murphy) ***
Alex Conn OT 6-6 280 Derby, Kansas ***
Niko Cooper OLB 6-5 220 Memphis, Tenn. (Hutchinson C.C.) ***
Turner Corcoran OT 6-6 280 Lawrence, Kan. (Free State) ****
Ronald Delancy III DB 5-11 190 Miami (Northwestern) ***
Marcus Fleming WR 5-10 160 Miami, Fla. (Northwestern) ****
Jaiden Francois CB 6-0 185 Homestead, Fla. ****
Henry Gray DB 6-0 175 Miami (Central) ****
Keyshawn Greene LB 6-3 205 Crawfordville, Fla. (Wakulla) ****
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) ***
Omar Manning WR 6-4 225 Lancaster, Texas (Kilgore College) ****
Eteva Mauga-Clements ILB 6-2 210 Pleasant Hill, Calif. (Diablo Vall. College) ***
Sevion Morrison RB 6-0 200 Tulsa, Oklahoma (Edison) ****
William Nixon WR 5-11 185 Waco, Texas (Midway) ***
Pheldarius Payne DE 6-3 270 Suffolk, Va. (Lackawanna CC) ***
Jordon Riley DE 6-5 300 Durhan, N.C. (Garden City C.C.) ***
Marvin Scott III RB 5-9 205 Port Orange, Fla. (Spruce Creek) ***
Logan Smothers QB 6-2 180 Muscle Shoals, Ala. ****

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com 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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