Spring game just a week away

There is a buzz this year about the Nebraska Red-White spring scrimmage. Husker faithful are interested in the implementation of a new offense under Tim Beck. Nebraska is also interested in the quarterback play, adjustments in the offensive line, who is stepping up at DE and how holes will be filled in the secondary. But of course, there are those visitors, which usually headline the game.

Many don't give the spring game the credit that it deserves. Sure, it's a glorified practice and players like Rex Burkhead, Jared Crick and Alphonzo Dennard probably won't play a lot, but people interested in the lower unit players will get a good glimpse of them.

It's also an environment where the crowd never turns off. It's Nebraska vs. Nebraska on the field. You are cheering for the offense and the defense all at the same time. It's mass hysteria.

It's circumstances like those that make the spring game such a great opportunity to bring in visitors for the game. There will be at least five players who are already holding Nebraska offers that will be in the stands next weekend. Here is that list:

Michael Rose LB, 6-foot-0 and 215-pounds, Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst, Nebraska commit - It's coming up on a year when Rose originally committed to the Huskers (July 5th, 2010). However, there were changes for Rose to consider at Nebraska following the 2010-2011 season. Most notable of those changes was Mike Ekeler, the former linebackers coach, leaving for Indiana. Rose was also receiving new offers including an offer from USC. Still, Rose felt sure enough to shore up his commitment to Nebraska back in March. Rose has accepted an invitation to play in the Under Armour All-American game in January. Rose has told Big Red Report that he will be at the Nike camp this weekend in Fort Worth at TCU. Scout.com will be bringing you the latest on his performance this weekend.

Greg McMullen DE, 6-foot-5 and 260-pounds, Akron (Ohio) Archbishop Hoban – McMullen is no stranger to Nebraska. McMullen actually camped in Lincoln last year and got to know much of the defensive

Greg McMullen

coaching staff that is at Nebraska including Bo Pelini, Carl Pelini and John Papuchis. McMullen was already familiar with nephews of Bo Pelini in Ohio. The ties to Ohio is something that McMullen acknowledges about the Nebraska staff. Scout.com Midwest Regional Manager, Allen Trieu, actually posted a video interview of Greg McMullen early this week and also dropped a nugget on the Nebraska board that the Huskers might be the leaders for McMullen's commitment. McMullen is also holding offers from Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue among others.

Jordan Westerkamp - WR, 6-foot-2 and 190-pounds, Lombard (Ill.) Montini Catholic – Nebraska is looking for some players at the wide receiver position and Westerkamp has the numbers to prove that he could be a receiving threat at the collegiate level. As a junior, Westerkamp caught 89 passes for 1,600 yards and 23 touchdowns. It is being reported that new assistant coach at Nebraska, John Garrison, and also defensive coordinator Carl Pelini are heading up recruiting Westerkamp. "Coach Garrison said that the offensive coordinator took about two minutes watching my film and said ‘this guy is a great receiver'," Westerkamp said. Nebraska was fortunate to get a visit scheduled for next weekend with Westerkamp also planning visits to Tennessee (no offer), Illinois, Boston College, West Virginia, Vanderbilt and possibly Maryland. Westerkamp is also holding offers from Iowa, Northwestern, Indiana, Cincinnati, Michigan and Minnesota among others.

Paul Thurston - OT, 6-foot-5 and 275-pounds, Arvada (Colo.) Arvada West – Thurston is sitting on a double-digit offer total including offers from Stanford, Oregon, Notre Dame, Michigan, Colorado, Arizona and Arizona State among others. Still the recruiting efforts of Barney Cotton and the Nebraska staff stand out to Thurston. "The coaches that I have spoke to I like. You know that they know what they are doing. Everyone knows that they have a great football program and they are sound academically." Nebraska lost three starters last year to graduation and based on the returning players from last year stand to possibly lose another three to gradution in 2012. Nebraska landed a top five class offensive line group nationally last year according to team rankings by Scout.com and are poised to follow it up with another outstanding group based on their early efforts this year.

Ronnie Stanley - OT, 6-foot-7 and 285-pounds, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman – Stanley is the top prospect in the state of Nevada for the 2012 season and for very good reason. For a big man Stanley has tremendou athletic ability. Stanley is actually flirting with the idea of playing both football and basketball in college after having help lead his football team to a state title as a junior and also helping the basketball team to a national rating. Stanley is planning on taking a number of visits this spring including Nebraska, Arizona, California and Arkansas. The Huskers have made an impression on Stanley with their strong football tradition and he has heard about the spring game environment in Lincoln after the Huskers hosted Jalen Grimble and Bishop Gorman coach Tony Sanchez last year. Stanley is holding offers from schools such as USC, UCLA, LSU, Miami and also Utah among others.

Nebraska did take some shots to the group of visitors that are holding offers earlier in the week when projected visitors five star OT, Andrus Peat and four star DE, Troy Hinds were going to visit. In talking to Todd Peat this weekend he said that Andrus was going to attend the spring game at Florida State instead of coming to Nebraska for the spring game. That might immediately give Husker fans some mixed feelings about their chances with Peat, but Todd followed that up. "He will be at a couple of games this fall (unoffically) and will take an official (visit to Nebraska). It's easier for him to get out now and see a school that he might not see this fall."

For Hinds, it's more of a matter of bad timing. Big Red Report got word from Hinds' mother that Troy would not be making the trip to Lincoln. However, it was Hinds' father, that filled in the blanks as to why. Troy is the younger brother of Tanner Hinds who is a running back at Weber State which is in Ogden, Utah. The spring game for Weber State happens to be the same weekend of Nebraska's and Troy has opted to head to Ogden to support his older brother. Mr. Hinds mentioned that they have been in touch with the Nebraska staff about the scheduling conflict. Mr. Hinds included that Troy recently ripped off an 11.3-second 100m winning the regional championship and also anchored the 4x100m relay team leading them to victory as well. All of that and being 6-foot-5 and 225-pounds as well.

Other prospects that will be in Lincoln this weekend that we know about who are not holding offers yet include many in-state stars. Of course the first one that comes up is three star prospect, Mike Shoff. Shoff, an offensive line prospect for Nebraska from Cambridge (Nebr.), verified that he will be in town this weekend. As will Kai Wolfe, who is a two way standout lineman from Alma (Nebr.). In addition to Shoff and Wolfe will be Jake Schany from Blair (Nebr.). The word is getting out about Schany being a solid linebacker prospect and he is already holding an offer from Colorado and one from Iowa State could arrive at any point. Derek McGinnis, the quarterback at Crete (Nebr.) confirmed that he will be in Lincoln again after already attending the junior day earlier this year.

There still might be one to add to the visitor list that is holding an offer. The latest word with D.J. Singleton, a four star safety/wide receiver, from Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prepatory was that he wasn't sure if he was going to be able to make it to Lincoln next weekend or not. It definitely sounds like Singleton is at least working on trying to get to Lincoln and Big Red Report will have an update about the offer to Singleton and his initial thoughts on the Huskers.


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