Recruiting breakdown: Nebraska vs Iowa

A look at the Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers from a recruiting perspective. Which of the key players were offered by both schools, and where did the starters rate coming out of high school?

Setting the scene:
Nebraska (8-3) heads to Iowa (7-4) with the Big Ten West Division’s third spot on the line. Neither are going to Indy, but a win might make themselves more attractive to a certain bowl. It could also help greatly silence at least a few of the critics of Kirk Ferentz and Bo Pelini. With the Heroes Trophy on the line, Nebraska looks to avenge a 38-17 loss last season in Lincoln.

Recruiting in the other’s backyard:

- Nebraska has very rarely hit the Iowa scene for players in the last decade and currently does not have a scholarship player from Iowa on the roster. John Raridon, a junior offensive lineman from Des Moines Valley, is committed to the Huskers in the 2016 class. They do feature a few walk-ons from the Hawkeye state.

- Iowa has three scholarship players from the Nebraska prep ranks. Junior outside linebacker Cole Fisher, brother to former Husker Sean Fisher, is from Millard North high school in Omaha. Giltner product Drew Ott is a junior at the University of Iowa. The defensive end played eight-man football in Nebraska and camped with the Huskers, but never received an offer. Iowa redshirt freshman Nathan Bazata is a scholarship defensive tackle from Howells-Dodge high school in Nebraska. The three-star product also never received an offer from Nebraska.

Iowa DE Drew Ott

Key recruiting battles between the two schools:

- Nebraska receiver Jordan Westerkamp visited both Iowa and Nebraska during the recruiting process – he just visted the Huskers more. The Hawkeyes went as far as head coach Kirk Ferentz going to Lombard Montini Catholic (IL) to offer the former high school All-American.

- The Hawkeyes fended off the Huskers for 2009 Denison high school (IA) product Brandon Scherff. The Huskers liked him on offense, Iowa sold him on defense. He’s now an offensive tackle. He did visit Lincoln for junior day.

Other Nebraska starters who had Iowa offers: Maliek Collins, Vincent Valentine, and Zach Sterup.

Future first-rounders:

- Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff is an Outland Trophy semi-finalist and was projected as Jamie Newberg’s No. 13 pick in’s 2015 NFL Mock Draft 1.0.

- Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory hasn’t had the season he would have probably liked, getting hurt early in the year, but it likely won’t affect his draft status. Teams will look at his raw potential as a selling point. Gregory was Newberg’s No. 2 player selected in’s 2015 NFL Mock Draft 1.0.

DEPTH CHARTS (With recruiting rating)
*Years = years out of high school, not with the team.
**Ratings are the newest available rating, so in the case a player went to JUCO, it is their JUCO rating, not HS rating.

QB Jake Rudock 4 DE Greg McMullen 3
RB Mark Weisman 5 DT Vincent Valentine 3
WR Kevonte Manley-Martin 5 DT Maliek Collins 2
WR Jacob Hillyer 4 DE Randy Gregory 4
WR Tevaun Smith 4 WILL Zaire Anderson 5
LT Brandon Scherff 5 MIKE Trevor Roach NR 5
LG Austin Blythe 4 BUCK David Santos 4
C Tommy Gaul NR 5 CB Josh Mitchell 5
RG Sean Welsh 2 CB Daniel Davie 4
RT Andrew Donnal 5 S Corey Cooper 5
TE Ray Hamilton 4 S Nate Gerry 2
AVERAGES 2.63 4.27 AVERAGES 3.36 3.73
DE Nate Meier 3 QB Tommy Armstrong 3
DT Carl Davis 5 RB Ameer Abdullah 4
DT Louis Trinca-Pasat 5 WR Kenny Bell 5
DE Drew Ott 3 WR Demornay Pierson-El 1
OLB Bo Bower NR 2 WR Jordan Westerkamp 3
MLB Quinton Alston 4 LT Alex Lewis 4
OLB Josey Jewell 2 LG Jake Cotton 5
CB Greg Mabin 3 C Ryne Reeves 4
CB Desmond King 2 RG Mike Mouldy 5
S John Lowdermilk 4 RT Zach Sterup 4
S Jordan Lomax 3 TE Cethan Carter 4
AVERAGES 2.27 3.27 AVERAGES 3.27 3.81

*** BRR decided to insert Ryne Reeves into the center spot due to our prediction of Mark Pelini (knee) not playing this weekend. ***

Jordan Westerkamp senior playoff highlights

Big Red Report Top Stories