The End Game

Less than two weeks remain before signing day and there could still be some surprises.  Hopefully, they'll be pleasant ones.  Here's what we know.

Standout prospect Marcus McWilson has been nominally considered an NU commit, but some aggressive recruiting late by Kentucky (which features a pair of Cardinal Mooney alums, including former Husker graduate assistant Vince Marrow) is making the prospect of keeping him seem like a coin flip.  Likewise, wide receiver Dominic Walker appears like he could be poached by Auburn.

Drake Martinez, a safety prospect and younger brother of Husker quarterback Taylor Martinez, is visiting Michigan State this weekend and then can choose between NU, MSU, and San Diego State.  Nebraska is also still waiting to hear from recent visitors in wideouts James Clark and Quincy Adeboyejo and offensive linemen Chongo Kondolo and Dwayne Johnson.  

Less than a week ago they were still attempting to lure South Carolina defensive end Jaylen Miller to Lincoln but that was before the Huskers added three players in Matt Finnin, Dixon, and Boaz.

The Huskers would be permitted to sign 28 players assuming they oversigned by 3.  That hasn't generally been the practice at NU.  With 63 players on scholarship by latest count (including the 3 early arrivals) that leaves only 22 scholarships available with 21 players committed.  So you'd expect a net addition of one player over the next two weeks which could mean just one new name or more if McWilson or Walker decide to head elsewhere.  If Nebraska ends the process with a scholarship or two still available, they've got a number of deserving walk-ons who they could give them to. 

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Comments 8 comments so far

I like the approach of saving one or two scholarships for deserving walk-on seniors.  The scholarship is then available next year, and reserving the scholarship for the right guys gives some buffer for a late pickup if available.  I also like that NU does not typically force low utilization players to give up their scholarship for a hot prospect, and so they do not typically oversign.  Would I tolerate an exception to the policy?  I’m not sure, for me it’s an ethics issue, keeping our part of the bargain.  Some may argue that underperformers aren’t keeping up their end, but if they are trying hard I think they are fulfilling their part.

Maybe this is overly simplistic, but I’m mostly thankful that the ratio of available scholarships to interested prospects looks about even with less than two weeks to go. It tells me they are managing it well.

To have scholarships with very few prospects would be groan worthy, since they would have to take guys just to take them. I don’t think NU is in that position.

They’ve got a handful of scholarships to hand out and a handful guys who may want them. If one or two don’t pan out, then there are the worthy walk-on players.

That’s a very reassuring position at this point in the process.

Unfortunately, I think some of our last scholarships are getting taken by players they were hoping to give to higher value targets. With one or two scholarships left, that ugly ‘grey shirt’ scholarship is probably getting waved in front of lower value players to make room for a stud. Maybe a non performing current scholarship holder gets cut. You hear about that at texass and other less than respectable programs so it must be tough for a coach to have one scholarship left that they were hoping a stud was going to take but a lower fence sitter scoops.

I’m counting 25 already here:

It’s 21 after you exclude the 3 early arrivals (Love, Knevel, and Singleton) and take into account Antoine Miles decommitted after Marrow left for Kentucky.  He is now a Purdue commit. 

My guess is Walker decommits, McWilson stays, and we get Drake Martinez and another lineman (OL or DL) to round out the class.

Guess I never understood exactly how the early arrivals fit into the Scholly budget.

Once they enroll, that is considered their official intent and so they are now counted as part of the team.  With those considered, only 22 scholarships are left unaccounted for, though 21 of those are tentatively spoken for via verbal commitment.  Two of these are considered soft verbals right now (McWilson and Walker).  Ultimately, it appears only 3 scholarships, more or less, are kind of up for grabs right now.  Typically we lose one or two veterans to hanging it up (often injury related) or transfer during the offseason…I suspect this would be the only way any scholarships open for an existing walk-on this year.

Well, Walker has officially decommitted, so now the focus turns to keeping McWilson.  I think we win that battle.  With Nick Ash graduating, that leaves 3 scholarships available.  I still think we get Martinez 2.0 and another lineman…probably OL.  That leaves one for a walk-on or possibly a surprise late WR commit.

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