Mike Riley reached out to at least two of his former commits from Oregon State. The new head coach at Nebraska flipped Tyrin Ferguson fairly quickly and hosted Matt Snyder this past weekend. Snyder wanted to get the visit in so over the dead period he could think about his decision.
The next question is could there be any others?
It's definitely a fair question as Oregon State has landed some of the top players in their states at their respected positions. A little review of the tape might give some ideas if Nebraska fans could hear other current Oregon State commits' names come up in the future.
James Pensyl, QB, Land O' Lakes (Flor.), 6-foot-6, 210-pounds - Pensyl isn't what I expected him to be when I loaded up the film. I thought "pro set, under center, taking drops" and Pensyl almost exclusively works out of the shotgun in high school. I am not necessarily saying that this is what Nebraska fans might expect, but it is interesting. Pensyl is a big, left-handed signal caller that at despite all of that length is an above average athlete and can get yards on the ground leaving the pocket. He sets up nice in the pocket. Gets the ball out relatively quickly. He can rocket it in there or add some touch and lead the receiver. His height definitely helps him see the field. Pensyl has said he's solid to Oregon State, but it might get interesting if Nebraska comes in with an offer.
Solomon Matautia, OLB/ATH, Ewa Beach (Hi.) Campbell, 6-foot-2, 220-pounds - If there was a player that I was the most excited about watching his film it might have been Matautia's. I have NO idea what level of competition Campbell plays at. But, going into the video I saw that he was rated as an OLB, but opens up his senior highlights at CB. If there is a need for a BUCK then Matautia might be the guy. He is clearly comfortable playing in space, hits hard (needs to keep his head up) and flies around. I questioned his straight line speed, but then I saw his punt return clip on his highlights and that put it to bed. Nice looking prospect.
Miki Fifita, OL, Bradenton (Flor.) IMG Academy, 6-foot-5, 270-pounds - I watched IMG a couple of times on T.V. this year and it was just amazing how much size they had up front. What's more, No. 64 Fifita really flashed because he just appeared to be incredibly strong, understood leverage and finished his blocks. Now, the guard spot isn't a huge need for this class at all and plus Nebraska is in on one of the best in the nation in Jalin Barnett. But, a good plan if Barnett goes elsewhere might be to call Fifita in January.
Shawn Wilson, DB, Pomona (Calif.), 5-foot-11, 170-pounds - I was going to leave my list at three players, but Wilson really stood out. He had some "Demornay Pierson-El" type abilities. And what I mean by that is that if you saw Pierson-El's highlight tape out of high school it was long plays made typically by him being elusive -- sometimes in very heavy traffic -- and it didn't just happen a couple of times it happened all the time. I just kept getting that from Wilson whether it was on offense, defense or special teams. He plays a lot bigger than he is and you have to appreciate those kinds of players. Getting a spot in this class to play in the secondary though is going to be extremely tough to do.
These are just a few of the guys that caught my eye off of Oregon State's commitment list. One of my biggest takeaways from watching them all on film was that Riley and his staff have a good eye. They get players that play hard. A lot of their guys you have to see it because they aren't there yet. You don't necessarily have to project, but you have to realize their best days of football are ahead of them if you can just bring it out.
Another big takeaway from the film were the high schools. Lewisville (Texas) Hebron. Plano (Texas). Katy (Texas). Pflugerville (Texas).
Nebraska has always had an ability to recruit the state of Texas. Think that not being in the Big 12 made Nebraska irrelevant in the Lone Star State? Try recruiting the state as a PAC 12 school not named Oregon, USC, Stanford, UCLA or start with Arizona. Getting a small number of kids from Texas every year was always a good thing for Nebraska to do to keep a strong nucleus of players so they can keep going back.