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Recruiting: California DL Tobin talks Husker 'virtual visit'; in-state 2022s continue national surge

Recruiting: California DL Tobin talks Husker 'virtual visit'; in-state 2022s continue national surge


Mandela Tobin's past few weeks have been busy. 

The class of 2021 defensive lineman from San Diego picked up a Nebraska offer on April 29 and his recruitment has continued to take off, adding more options over the spring. 

The 6-foot-4, 270-pounder on Friday had a virtual visit of Nebraska's facilities hosted by defensive line coach Tony Tuioti, defensive coordinator Erik Chinander and head coach Scott Frost. 

"I was also on there with the director of academics and the director of life skills," said Tobin, who plays for Westview High in Southern California. "Both of them showed how academics and life skills really play out at Nebraska. Then getting the football aspect, it was really nice to see. They showed me a video and a slideshow about what they're all about and it was great to see." 

"The academics, looking at that, it just looks really good," he added. "Most Academic All-Americans, that's really impressive and that really opened my eyes and my mom's eyes, who was also on the virtual tour." 

Virtual tours, of course, are not the way Tobin imagined the first big chunk of his recruitment would play out before the coronavirus pandemic. He said he's still hoping to make it to campuses before he makes a final decision in his recruitment later this year. Currently, the NCAA's ban on in-person recruiting runs through June 30. 

"It's definitely changed the recruiting process for not just me but everyone else," Tobin said. "It's just a small part of the process, but it does give some insight of what you can do at the school when you're there. I know being there is the ultimate form of experiencing a college, but the (virtual visit) can give you a new perspective on a college, too. 

"That's one of the biggest attributes along with the weight room and all of that." 

Tobin also has offers from Kansas, Nevada, Air Force, Colorado State and several others. 

Construction on NU's $155 million football training facility to be delayed

Tobin has long arms — a 6-foot-9 wingspan, according to his Twitter account — and said his length is the starting point for his game.

"I use them to my advantage against my opponents, separating myself," he said. "I'm kind of like a bruiser as a D-end or tackle. I like to push people around. … I just can do a lot of things with my arms and natural strength as well."  

Nebraska is almost certainly looking to take multiple defensive line prospects in its 2021 class that so far has seven known verbal pledges: three offensive linemen, three linebackers and a quarterback. 

Local 2022 prospects keep picking up offers: This much was already clear, but Nebraska is going to have a tough fight on its hands for the best in-state prospects in the 2022 class. 

On Friday, four-star offensive lineman Deshawn Woods (Omaha Central) picked up an offer from defending national champion LSU. 

On Thursday, four-star tight end Micah Riley (Bellevue West) landed an offer from Oregon to add to his impressive early collection that also includes Penn State, Michigan, Iowa and many others.

Recruiting hasn't slowed down much for four-star linebacker Devon Jackson (Omaha Burke), either, as his most recent offer came late last week from Iowa. 

All three already have offers from Nebraska. 

Woods (6-5, 270) is considered the No. 202 overall player in the nation by 247Sports and is a four-star by Rivals, as well. Riley (6-5, 215) is a four-star by Rivals and a three-star by 247Sports. Jackson (6-2, 200) is the No. 25 overall player in the nation according to 247Sports and the top-ranked outside linebacker. Rivals also considers him a four-star. 

2021 Husker football recruits

Name Position Hometown (School) Stars
Marques Buford DB Oakdale, Connecticut. (St. Thomas More) ***
Gabe Ervin RB Buford, Georgia ***
Heinrich Haarberg QB Kearney (Catholic) ***
Shawn Hardy II WR Kingsland, Georgia (Camden County) ***
Henry Lutovsky OL Mt. Pleasant, Iowa ***
Randolph Kpai ILB Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Washington) ****
Seth Malcom ILB Tabor, Iowa (Fremont-Mills) ***
Latrell Neville WR Missouri City, Texas (Hightower) ****
Patrick Payton OLB Miami, Florida (Northwestern) ***
Teddy Prochazka OT Elkhorn (South) ****
Will Schweitzer OLB Los Gatos, California ***
Lardarius Webb Jr. CB Jackson, Miss. (Jackson Academy) ***
Malik Williams DB Buford, Georgia ***
Branson Yager OT Grantsville, Utah ***

The latest updates from the Nebraska football recruiting trail

Campus and in-home visits are on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. But recruiting isn't necessarily slowing down. Here's the latest from the Huskers. 

Contact the writer at 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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