Big Red Recruiting Report — 4/1/14

Strong Start
Nebraska is off to a great start in their 2015 recruiting class, with six commitments already in the fold and well over 100 confirmed scholarship offers out. Colorado cornerbacks Eric Lee (5-10/176) of Highlands Ranch and Avery Anderson (6-1/172) of Colorado Springs, offensive tackle Christian Gaylord (6-6/270) of Baldwin City, Kan. and running back Kendall Bussey (5-9/195) of New Orleans, La. were already committed, and NU has added twin defensive linemen Carlos (6-3/260) and Kahlil Davis (6-3/255) of Blue Springs, Mo.

Rivals currently ranks NU’s class tenth nationally, while the 247 Sports composite lists them 14th. Lee and Anderson are ranked with four stars by all four of the major ranking services (Rivals, 247, Scout and ESPN), while the other four all get a four-star ranking from at least one service. Recent camp performances by Bussey and Lee have them poised to move into the Rivals top 100 overall.

With likely only around 20 spots in this class, NU has done tremendous early work.

In-State news
Michael Decker (6-4/290) of Omaha North remains the only in-state target with an offer, however there are two others who gaining attention in Seward defensive lineman Adam Holtorf (6-5/260) and Syracuse offensive lineman Matt Clark (6-5/295).

With offers from Kansas State, Harvard, North Dakota State and South Dakota State, Holtorf is rising fast. Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Wyoming have done in-person evaluations and he’s also hearing from Iowa, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Stanford, and UCLA. With the Davis twins committed and limited numbers, Holtorf may be considered a preferred walk-on or grayshirt option for the Huskers.

Clark is an athletic prospect who won his second-consecutive Class B heavyweight wrestling championship after being named first team all-Nebraska as an offensive lineman last fall. Nebraska is serious about Clark, as evidenced by co-offensive line coach Barney Cotton’s two trips to Syracuse already. Iowa State, Kansas State and Wisconsin are also tracking him.

Both Holtorf and Clark will need to go to NU’s summer camp to earn an NU offer, and even then it might depend on what Decker decides to do. Kansas State has also offered Decker, and Iowa and Wisconsin are hot on his tail as well.  While he’s entertaining all options at this point, Decker admits that Nebraska leads.

Other Nearby Possibilities
Nebraska’s emphasis on the 500-mile radius has paid off this year with pledges from Lee, Anderson, Gaylord and the Davis twins. They’re in very good shape with a number of other prospects as well.

Athlete Austin Conway (5-11/165) of Aurora, Co. is a two-sport star who is entertaining football offers from Nebraska, Colorado, and Colorado State along with a basketball offer from Indiana. He plays quarterback for his high school team, but NU sees him as a receiver in college. A 7-on-7 teammate of Lee’s and Anderson’s, Conway enjoyed attending NU’s Junior Day earlier this winter especially noting the community atmosphere. Arizona and Arizona State are involved here, but right now it’s a two-team race between the Huskers and Buffaloes.

Offensive lineman Jon Dietzen (6-5/305) of Seymour, Wis. holds offers from Miami, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Nebraska was the first offer for the top-ranked player in the Badger State, but it will be tough to pull him away from home.

Another offensive lineman is A.J. Harris (6-3/297) of Stillwell, Kan. His offer list includes Arkansas, Ohio State and Oklahoma State. Gaylord may play a role in his recruitment, but the 247Sports Crystal Ball says Ohio State and Kansas State lead right now.

Tight end Hale Hentges (6-4/230) of Jefferson City, Mo. is a top target on NU’s board, at a position with a number of young but unproved players on the roster. Rivals’ No. 4 tight end nationally and No. 150 player at all positions, he has options from coast to coast. He saw Lincoln twice last year and plans to visit Florida State, Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Auburn unofficially. This will be an uphill battle for the Huskers.

Wideout Alex Ofodile (6-3/180) of Columbia, Mo. was an unofficial visitor to Lincoln early this spring and enjoyed the trip, but the consensus four-star prospect has as many options as Hentges. His father played at Missouri, and Alabama, Florida State, Notre Dame and Ohio State area also in play.

Defensive end Terry Beckner, Jr. (6-4/270) of East St. Louis, Ill. is the top-ranked player in the state, holding offers from Florida, Florida State, LSU and USC. LSU and USC seem to be his top two schools at this point, but he claims to be wide open. Nebraska needs to get him to Lincoln on game day to have a chance.

Athlete Marquise Doherty (6-0/193) of Kansas City, Mo. is weighing Illinois, Iowa and Missouri with his Nebraska offer. Also a standout baseball player, Doherty has offers from both NU’s football and baseball staffs. Another four-star prospect in a strong year for the Kansas City area, Doherty could play running back, slot receiver or defensive back in college.

Spring game visitors
Along with their committed 2015 prospects and 2014 signees, Nebraska will host a number of visitors for the April 12 spring game.

Running back/athlete Michael Daniel (5-11/217) of Brookings, SD is an intriguing prospect. A starter as a freshman and sophomore for Brookings, Daniel moved to Florida as a junior to attend IMG Academy. He backed up Alabama five-star signee Bo Scarborough while being coached by former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Chris Weinke. Despite no written offers yet, Daniel is hearing from Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi State, Iowa and Minnesota along with NU.

Linebacker Landis Durham (6-3/228) of Plano, Texas holds offers from Nebraska, Illinois, TCU and Boise State. He lists TCU and NU as his top two at this point, but plans to wait until after his senior year for a decision.

Defensive end Daniel Jackson (6-3/245) from Plainfield, Ill. and linebacker Noah Lazaro (6-2/220) of Lincoln Southwest have also been confirmed as visitors, and the list is sure to grow as the day approaches.

Omaha North Star Suspended
The Omaha World-Herald reported March 4 that running back Calvin Strong of Omaha North, who set a state record with 3,008 yards rushing last fall, was suspended from school for an unknown length of time. Federal privacy laws prevent Omaha Public Schools from commenting further.

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