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Three observations following Victor Jones Jr.'s commitment to the Huskers
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Three observations following Victor Jones Jr.'s commitment to the Huskers

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Nebraska vs. South Alabama, 8.31

Nebraska head coach Scott Frost confers with assistant coaches Ryan Held (left) and Sean Beckton during the second quarter against South Alabama on Aug. 31, 2019, at Memorial Stadium.

Nebraska picked up a verbal commitment from Orlando, Florida, wide receiver Victor Jones Jr. on Thursday afternoon. Here are three observations following the news.

1. Jones’ commitment came something like out of the blue.

Sometimes, recruits give signals before they pull the trigger on committing to a college. Sometimes they are tied to particular schools regularly over the course of a long period of time. In normal circumstances, they often visit campus at least once before making a final call.

Sometimes, though, they just happen. That was Jones on Thursday. It’s happened more often during the pandemic. In the 2021 class, running back Gabe Ervin was a longtime target but caught many by surprise when he picked NU. Same for outside linebacker Patrick Payton, who eventually ended up decommitting and going to Florida State, and for Utah offensive lineman Branson Yager.

Jones, though, comes from an area that the Husker staff obviously knows well considering the time many of the coaches spent at Central Florida.

2. Add another long, rangy wide receiver to the pipeline for Nebraska.

Jones goes about 6-foot-2, which continues a growing trend among the pass-catchers the Huskers have targeted in recent recruiting cycles.

Last year all three of Nebraska’s wide receivers — Latrell Neville from Texas, Shawn Hardy from Georgia and Kamonte Grimes from Florida — went 6-3 or taller. NU has also added 6-3 graduate transfer Samori Toure and 6-2 walk-on transfers Oliver Martin and Levi Falck in the past year.

It’s also the second straight cycle that the Huskers have landed a pass-catcher they really like from the state of Florida, despite the fact that several Sunshine State players left the program during the 2020 season.

Nebraska was really excited to land Grimes, an All-American Bowl invite, last year out of Palmetto Ridge High in Naples and clearly feels strongly about Jones to accept his commitment at this early stage of the 2022 recruiting cycle and without him having taken any sort of known visit to Lincoln first.

3. Nebraska now has two on board for the 2022 class.

Jones joins Columbus linebacker Ernest Hausmann Jr., who picked the Huskers just as his recruitment was really starting to heat up in early March.

Activity is beginning to ramp up in general, with several prospects taking self-guided visits of Lincoln and more beginning to set up official visits for June, when it’s anticipated the NCAA will move from a 14-month recruiting dead period into a period that will allow recruits to visit campuses.

One of them, offensive lineman Sullivan Weidman, saw Lincoln last week and then verbally pledged to West Virginia not long after.

Still, the Huskers will feel good about adding their first skill position player of the 2022 class to the mix this week, knowing that more will be visiting campus in the relatively near future.

Two who already have visits set up for the first weekend of June: defensive back James Monds (Fort Pierce, Florida) and outside linebacker Popeye Williams (Westfield, Indiana).

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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