Seven commitments make official visits
One part of every home game weekend are the number of official visitors that will be in town. This weekend there will be seven official visitors who are currently listed as commitments to Nebraska.
Those seven are:
Christian Lacouture, DL, Lincoln (Nebr.) Southwest
A.J. Natter, DL, Milton (Wisc.)
Josh Banderas, LB, Lincoln (Nebr.) Southwest
Johnny Stanton, QB, Santa Margarita (Calif.) Catholic
Johnathan Cook, CB, Spanish Fort (Ala.)
Zach Hannon, OL, Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst
Kevin Gladney, WR, Akron (Ohio) Firestone
Most of these players have been to Nebraska a number of times. Some of them have been to multiple home games in Lincoln this weekend. Then there is Cook, who committed to Nebraska sight unseen and remains the one player on Nebraska's commitment list that can be doubted to some extent.
Cook has said that he is solid to Nebraska, but 'it's a verbal commitment'. He's always said that he will continue to listen to other schools.
Committed players will have a chance to bridge and solidify Cook in ways that the staff, a Nebraska win or anything else that could happen while he will be in Lincoln. It's huge to be part of that group. That group of players that believes that they are onto something bigger. That it's not just about them right now, but about Nebraska and where it's headed and how they are part of the picture to help get them there. These weekends are invaluable and I think that Cook will walk away a lot more certain about his Nebraska commitment.
Committed ties to the uncommitted
The next part about this weekend that is interesting are the ties going into it between the committed players and the uncommitted players and the ties that will be formed as a result. Particularly I like how this weekend sets up with a guy like Stanton coming in when you have Demorea Stringfellow, Aaron Cochran and Drake Martinez coming in - all California products. All kids, with maybe the exception of Martinez, probably play offense in college. Having Stanton there will be huge.
You can also add Hannon being in Lincoln when Nebraska hosts Jamone Boyd. Boyd and Hannon are good friends. Yes, the two don't go to the same school, but they are tight. So tight in fact that Boyd and Hannon have always talked about playing college ball together. It's going to be interesting to see what happens here with Boyd. Word is that there is a lot of work to do in the classroom and could be a sign and place recruit. Would Nebraska take him if he wanted in? There seems to be at least a sign that they will since he is officially visiting.
Last/Only 5-star on the board
There are a lot of cries for Nebraska to bring in five-star talent. OK, so Nebraska will be hosting their first five-star recruit of 2012 this weekend in Priest Willis. Willis is a talented, physical specimen that could literally play a number of positions. I could see Willis being that guy that starts out as a cornerback and transitions into a huge safety. Willis has been a name that Nebraska fans have known about for some time, mostly because of a former Husker.
Yes, there are ties from Willis back to former Husker Toby Wright. Wright is a good friend of the family and is also the trainer for Willis. Wright has been there to give Willis the background on what it's like to be a Cornhuskers and more important to be a Blackshirt. It will be very interesting to see how this one plays out from here considering Nebraska is the first official visit for Willis and next weekend he's off to Baton Rouge. Many think that he's a lock for USC. We will see what happens.
Gregory on the rise
Let's just say that Nebraska might have found Randy Gregory in the nick of time. The defensive end from Yuma (Ariz.) Western J.C. has that size and speed teams are looking for off of the edge. Gregory is a shade under 6-foot-6 and around 240- pounds right now. Before a broken leg, Gregory had been clocked as a 4.6/40 guy. He was also a standout on the basketball court which says a lot about overall athleticism.
Gregory's star has been on the rise this year despite only playing in one game. In fact, that's where the fuss starts. Gregory was poised to have a good season and then move on to Purdue who he signed with out of high school. But then a leg injury the week after his first game was season ending. As a result the three years to play two year junior college transfer was becoming a four years to play three year player.
Getting a guy like Gregory to go with a guy like Natter, then getting a junior college compliment at defensive tackle to go along with LaCouture, is exactly what Nebraska needs in this class. You have guys that are more immediate in the junior college transfers, but you also have tremendous promise in the high school grads that may fit into the picture immediately too a lot like Aaron Curry and Avery Moss.