1. S Tahaan Goodman, Rancho Cucamonga, CA – Pac-12 recruiting is starting to hit Goodman hard, but that was expected and isn’t going to go away any time soon. He’s spent quite a bit of time around Southern California’s campus, but it’ll be interesting what he has to say once he gets out of the state and sees what other schools have to offer.
Right now, Nebraska’s heaviest competition appears to be USC, UCLA and California. One has to think that it matters what No. 2 on the Board has to say, too.
2. CB Chris Hawkins, Rancho Cucamonga, CA – We’ve covered how Hawkins is extremely smart. With offers from California and Stanford, it’s hard to think they’re not high up on his list. UCLA gets thrown into the mix because they’ve simply been recruiting like crazy, but the Cardinal and Bears get the overall nod as Nebraska’s main competition for both Hawkins and Goodman. If they end up being a package deal, California appears the biggest threat.
3. OLB Josh Banderas, Lincoln, NE – There’s absolutely no reason that Banderas shouldn’t leave Nebraska’s Junior Day with an offer. Nebraska wants quality outside linebackers, Banderas wants to be a Cornhusker and if the staff’s as committed to locking down local kids as they say, he should be in the fold within a week or two at most.
4. OLB Deon Hollins, Jr., Missouri City, TX – Nebraska originally wanted to get Hollins, Jr. in for Junior Day, but unfortunately, that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. The good news is that while he’s entertaining Texas Tech, he’s checking out colleges outside of the Lone Star State the most.
The biggest threat appears to be Arkansas at this point. There’s familiarity with the Razorbacks in the Hollins family. If Nebraska has anything going for it, Tim Beck’s on Hollins and the aggressive Texas linebacker is apparently big into tradition.
5. S Marcus McWilson, Youngstown, OH – Defensive tackle Billy Price, last week’s No. 9, flew off the Big Board following an eventual commitment to Ohio State. That Urban Meyer snatched a kid out of Bo Pelini’s turf so easily raises a red flag.
Nebraska’s ace in the hole with McWilson is that he’s a Cardinal Mooney kid. If Meyer can step into those halls and take prospects without a fight, Pelini’s staff will need to rework their Ohio strategy quickly.
Fortunately, that’s not an issue right now. McWilson doesn’t hold a Buckeye offer even after attending Ohio State’s Junior Day. It’s early, but the idea that the Buckeyes are slow-playing him is starting to blossom. OSU wants safeties, but Nebraska needs them. This could be a heavy battle.
6. OLB Shane Jones, Cincinnati, OH – Chans Cox drops from the Big Board as Oklahoma and Arkansas are all over him and he still doesn’t hold a Nebraska offer. However, Jones does. Nebraska’s biggest challengers for him as of today are Michigan and Michigan State.
Much like McWilson, just because he doesn’t have an Ohio State offer today doesn’t mean he won’t get one eventually. Regardless, Nebraska’s depth chart and Pelini’s connections inside the Buckeye State may prove to be the difference with Jones.
7. DB Mike Minter, Jr., Lincoln, NE – At one point, it appeared that Clemson had the inside track for Minter, but it now appears that couldn’t be any further from the truth. With Minter’s transplant to Nebraska and legacy status, it seemed like only a matter of time before he leaned heavily in the Big Red’s favor. If he and Banderas both receive offers on/after Junior Day, it could be a race to see who commits first.
8. DB Priest Willis, Tempe, AZ – At 6’2” and 200 pounds, Willis is a hoss at cornerback. His size and power suggest that a move to safety might be in his future at the collegiate level. Considering Nebraska’s need for both, if they gain Willis’ signature, they might try him out at both positions. He’s open to all schools right now and is scheduled to visit Lincoln for Nebraska’s Spring Game.
9. QB J.T. Barrett, Wichita Falls, TX – Nebraska has their focus primarily set on two other quarterbacks besides Barrett in pro-style Brayden Scott and dual-threat Malik Zaire. Barrett gets the nod, though as not only does he fit into Beck’s system better than Scott, but he’s a Texas native.
Zaire is an Ohio kid and has an offer from Ohio State. He likes both Nebraska and the Buckeyes at this point, but unless Meyer decides to cut bait, Zaire’s OSU’s to lose.
10. S Su’a Cravens, Murrieta, CA – USC recruiting homers or Nebraska recruiting defeatists already consider Cravens to be a Southern California commitment. While that’s not an unlikely or even improbable scenario, he’s still entertaining all comers at this point and is still giving Nebraska some attention. That the Huskers even have his eye is impressive, so he’ll stay on the Big Board for at least one more week.