Nebraska recruiting: Huskers lose Joshua Moore, rebound with commitments from C.J. Smith, Jaron Woodyard

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            McGriff-2018 recruiting class

Stay updated with Nebraska Cornhuskers football recruiting in the latest edition of The Harvest, which posts at 7:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. Be sure to check out previous editions of The Harvest here.

Joshua Moore de-commits from Nebraska

Sunday was quite a day for Nebraska recruiting. Let’s start with the bad news. Four-star wide receiver Joshua Moore de-committed from the Huskers on Sunday night, marking the first de-commitment under coach Scott Frost.

Moore’s de-commitment comes as little surprise. He formed a deep bond with former coach Mike Riley and former wide receivers coach Keith Williams. With Riley gone and Williams not retained on Frost’s staff, the odds of keeping Moore in this class became increasingly slim.

On Twitter, Moore wrote that he appreciated how Frost honored his commitment. He also expressed his fondness for Nebraska fans.

Whether Moore would have been an adequate fit in Frost’s offense can be debated, but whenever you lose a top-tier prospect and one of the best wide receiver prospects in the country, it’s going to sting.

Moore clearly struggled with this decision. He felt indebted to the state of Nebraska, the university, and the program for taking him in during the recruiting process and treating him well. But the recruiting trend, more often than not, is that prospects commit to coaches, not schools or programs. This seems to be another case of that phenomenon, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

RELATED: 2018 Nebraska recruiting big board

Moore’s twin brother, Jordan, is committed to Texas A&M. The Aggies and Florida State are two teams to keep an eye on in regard to Moore. Joshua More will also take an official visit to Arkansas at some point.

Moore’s de-commitment left Nebraska a receiver down in this class until …

Jaron Woodyard commits to Nebraska

Hours after C.J. Smith became the first commitment of the Scott Frost era, Woodyard followed suit by committing to the Huskers following his official visit in Lincoln over the weekend.

Woodyard is a 3-star wide receiver who comes from Arizona Western Community College. He was the No. 4-ranked wide receiver in the junior college ranks this cycle, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

Simply put, Woodyard bring an abundance of speed to Frost’s high-powered offense. Just ask Tyree Spinner, football coach at The Avalon School (Bethesda, Md.), where Woodyard went to high school.

“Lightning in a bottle is the best way to describe him,” Spinner told Land of 10. “Any time he gets the ball in his hands, you can count on a big play happening. Anywhere he goes he’s going to be the fastest guy on the field. Other than that, he’s a big play waiting to happen.”

Spinner coached Woodyard for two years. Woodyard was a highly touted recruit in high school, Spinner said, with schools such as Maryland, Virginia, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Ohio State vying for him. But academic issues prevented him from immediately attending a four-year university, which is how he wound up at Arizona Western for two seasons.

Seeing Woodyard progress and eventually make it to big-time college football was a proud moment for Spinner.

“As far as going the JUCO route, [prospects] usually don’t make it out,” Spinner said. “So to turn his situation into a positive is definitely a proud moment.”

At Avalon, Spinner said they used Woodyard primarily at receiver in their spread offense, but moved him around.

“He didn’t have a designated position,” Spinner said. “We just tried to find a way to give him the ball as quickly as possible and let him do the rest.”

Woodyard will definitely not be the last wide receiver commitment in this class. Four-star wideout commit Cameron Brown is likely next in line to de-commit from Nebraska, so offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Troy Walters will have plenty of recruiting work over the next several months to fill out the position group.

Woodyard is graduating from Arizona Western this month and plans on putting pen to paper during the early signing period from Dec. 20-22.

C.J. Smith becomes Scott Frost’s first commit

Frost and his Nebraska staff leaned on their recruiting experiences in Florida to secure the first commitment of their tenure as Huskers coaches: 4-star safety C.J. Smith. Like Woodyard, Smith officially visited Nebraska over the weekend and committed Sunday evening.

Smith’s recruitment moved rather quickly, and the familiarity he had with the coaches from their time at UCF definitely helped. He took an official visit to UCF on Nov. 10. The Huskers got his final official visit and the commitment obviously followed. Oklahoma, Ole Miss and Louisville were also top contenders for Smith.

Smith is the No. 26 safety and the No. 309 overall prospect in this class, according to the 247Sports composite.

Nebraska has a deep need at safety, and the back end of the defense in general. Making a splash in this recruiting cycle would be big, and landing Smith is a solid first step. But it will not stop there, as the staff hopes to secure at least one more commitment at safety from a number of top-tier targets.

What Smith brings is size; he is 6-foot-2 and 193 pounds. He’s also extremely rangy, which means he will likely wind up as a free safety at the collegiate level. More importantly, he can make plays on the ball and has the potential to account for many turnovers throughout his career.

Justin McGriff de-commits from UCF

Of the six official visitors on campus this weekend, two — Woodyard and Smith — have committed. It’s becoming increasingly possible that Justin McGriff could be added to that list in the near future.

Although McGriff, a native of Tampa, Fla., still intends on signing his letter of intent in February, his official visit to Nebraska over the weekend made such an impact on his recruitment that he announced his de-commitment from UCF on Monday.

McGriff, a 3-star wide receiver, was one of the first UCF commits in this class Frost offered when he arrived at Nebraska. McGriff still intends on taking his official visit to UCF this weekend, but it’s unlikely he will end up there. I think McGriff is a safe bet to be a member of Nebraska’s 2018 recruiting class, especially since his primary recruiter at UCF, tight ends coach Sean Beckton, is joining Frost as tight ends coach at Nebraska.

Bryan Addison picks UCLA

The nation’s No. 1 athlete, Bryan Addison, included Nebraska in his top five schools about two months ago. But Nebraska did not make the final cut for the Gardena, Calif., native, as Addison committed to UCLA on Sunday night. He announced the news on Twitter.

Addison took an official visit to Nebraska in September.

Addison’s recruitment was mostly handled by the former coaching staff, and by the looks of it the new staff did not reach out to him. Expect the Huskers to be less involved in California now that Riley and his assistants are gone.

Missing out on Nebraska recruiting? Check out previous editions of The Harvest here.

The post Nebraska recruiting: Huskers lose Joshua Moore, rebound with commitments from C.J. Smith, Jaron Woodyard appeared first on Land of 10.

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