The recruiting calendar has flipped. After Nebraska finished with the No. 22 class in 2018 according to the 247Sports composite rankings, it’s officially on to the 2019 trail for coach Scott Frost and his staff.
Nebraska already holds two commits in the class — 3-star linebacker Garrett Nelson and 3-star athlete Garrett Snodgrass. Both are Nebraska natives. In fact, there’s a bunch of in-state and regional talent the Huskers will prioritize to build the foundation for their 2019 class.
Here’s a look at some key prospects — from both far and near — Nebraska will take a close look at.
Quarterback Max Duggan
Hometown: Council Bluffs, Iowa (Lewis Central)
Ranking: 4 stars, No. 6 dual-threat QB, No. 265 overall prospect (247Sports composite)
If Max Duggan isn’t the top priority on the Huskers’ board for the 2019 class, then he ought to be awfully close. The previous coaching staff developed a relationship with him and the new staff has continued that bond. Frost visited Duggan for at his school on Feb. 2. Duggan would be a nice fit for Frost’s offense. While Duggan doesn’t live far from Lincoln, keeping him in the area won’t be easy. He holds offers from 20 schools, with Ohio State, Penn State and Georgia among them. Duggan is already a national recruit.
The good news for Nebraska is that it holds all of his 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions. That could always change, but the 6-foot-2, 190-pound prospect is looking to wrap up his recruitment sometime this spring.
Linebacker Nick Henrich
Hometown: Omaha, Neb. (Burke)
Ranking: 4 stars, No. 7 inside linebacker, No. 296 overall prospect
As far as in-state talent goes, Nick Henrich is at the top of the list. Nebraska will need to address the linebacking corps and Henrich is the perfect candidate to satisfy a need. He will also have plenty of suitors. Henrich has already taken an unofficial visit to Nebraska, along with trips to Minnesota and Penn State.
His lone Crystal Ball prediction is in favor of Minnesota.
Tight end Chris Hickman
Hometown: Omaha, Neb. (Burke)
Ranking: No. 9 TE, No. 289 overall prospect
Hickman, Henrich’s teammate at Burke, is the state’s top-ranked player for 2019. Nebraska won’t mind which one sits atop the rankings; they’ll gladly take both. The 6-5 Hickman’s length makes him an intriguing option at either tight end and on defense, if the staff feels he’d be a better fit there. But after signing Beatrice, Neb., native Cameron Jurgens for 2018, the Huskers might not have to look far for a tight end once again.
Hickman’s lone Crystal Ball prediction is in favor of Nebraska.
Defensive end Marcus Hicks
Hometown: Wichita, Kan. (Northwest)
Ranking: 4 stars, No. 21 weakside DE, No. 333 overall prospect
Another regional recruit who was a priority for the previous regime, Marcus Hicks should stay high on Nebraska’s board. The Huskers will have plenty of ground to make up, as several other programs have also prioritized Hicks — soon to be one of the most coveted Midwest targets. He took an unofficial visit to Lincoln during the fall and has recently visited Texas and Texas A&M for their junior day programs.
All four of Hicks’s Crystal Ball predictions have been cast for Oklahoma.
Wide receiver Marcus Washington
Hometown: St. Louis (Trinity Catholic)
Ranking: 4 stars, No. 9 WR, No. 51 overall prospect
One of the Midwest’s top receivers, expect Nebraska to make a strong push for Marcus Washington. The 6-2 Washington holds a Huskers offer — plus 33 more — and will be part of their necessary resurgence in the St. Louis area. Missouri, Michigan and Ohio State are considered the favorites for him at this time.
The only Crystal Ball prediction for Washington is in favor of Michigan.
Running back Rahmir Johnson
Hometown: Spring Valley, N.Y. (Bergen Catholic)
Ranking: 3 stars, No. 46 RB, No. 561 overall prospect
The Huskers introduced themselves to Rahmir Johnson during the recruitment of Javontae Jean-Baptiste. Nebraska hopes recruiting Johnson proves more successful. He already has tentative plans to attend the spring game. Expect Nebraska to bring in at least two running backs in the next class. Will Johnson be one of them?
The only Crystal Ball prediction for Johnson at this time is in favor of Boston College.
Wide receiver Donte Banton
Hometown: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (Deerfield Beach)
Ranking: Not yet rated
Nebraska had success in the 2018 class recruiting receivers from the Ft. Lauderdale area, signing 3-star prospects Dominick Watt and Miles Jones. Now, it looks like the Huskers will head back there for more receiver talent — or at least try to get more. Donte Banton currently has the Huskers in his top 3, along with Kentucky and Pittsburgh.
Tackle Danielson Ike
Hometown: Kansas City, Mo. (Rockhurst)
Ranking: 4 stars, No. 24 tackle, No. 216 overall prospect
Danielson Ike is another regional recruit who should command plenty of attention in Nebraska. Running backs coach Ryan Held is from Kansas City and has ties there, so expect him to lead the recruitment. The Huskers have a definite need at tackle in the class.
The lone Crystal Ball prediction for Ike is cast for Miami.
Safety Jalani Williams
Hometown: St. Louis (Parkway North)
Ranking: 4 stars, No. 15 safety, No. 228 prospect overall
Another Missouri prospect, Jalani Williams holds 20 offers. As of now, the top contenders for him include Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Louisville. However, with the Huskers looking to get back into the St. Louis market in a big way, it’s not unreasonable to think Williams would become a priority in the secondary for them.
The 6-2 prospect is the type of tall, rangy safety the staff likes.
Defensive tackle LeDarrius Cox
Hometown: Montgomery, Ala. (McGill Toolen)
Ranking: 3 stars, No. 32 defensive tackle, No. 522 prospect overall
Nebraska made contact with LeDarrius Cox this recruiting cycle and offered him during an in-school visit. He holds only eight offers right now, but that list is likely to grow considerably. The Huskers have a serious need at defensive tackle after missing at the spot in the 2018 class. And at 6-4, 300 pounds already, Cox has emerged as a strong candidate. The staff has already recruited successfully from Montgomery to Lincoln, signing 3-star athlete Cam Taylor this cycle.