If you draw a radius from Lincoln that is 500 miles you would hit Chicago to Denver, you basically get all of Minnesota and the majority of North Dakota all the way to Dallas. It’s an area that Coach Mike Riley mentioned in his signing day press conference. There is a need to not only be relevant in the radius, but get the players that you need from it.
Early estimates have Nebraska taking 25 players in the 2016 class – maybe oversigning by a few. We will begin a by position breakdown of the radius and the players that Nebraska could consider from within the radius to be part of their 2016 class.
Matt Farniok, OT, 6’5”/280, Sioux Falls (SD) Washington - Farniok is one of, if not the, top player in the radius if not the class for the Huskers. The third son of the Farniok family that seems destined to go to college and play football and there are some saying that Farniok may be the best (of course pending a fourth Farniok that is up and coming). Farniok is holding offers from Stanford, Arizona State, Michigan State, Missouri, Penn State, etc., etc., etc. He’s big-time. He’s visited Nebraska and number of times and might be favoring Nebraska right now. As things go though it will get tougher for the Huskers to land Farniok with every new offer and as interest from other schools pop up.
Teven Jenkins, OT, 6’6”/300, Topeka (KS) - Jenkins is holding a Nebraska offer and has visited Lincoln. There is a lot of potential with a player like Jenkins who moves well for a man his size. In fact, while even the in-state Cats and Jayhawks were evaluating Jenkins the Huskers were the first to offer. Since Nebraska offered Jenkins has picked up offers from both in-state schools as well as Oklahoma State and Louisville. Nebraska thought enough about Jenkins to offer when they did. That says a lot. If Nebraska could get both Farniok and Jenkins in the 2016 class they should consider that a very successful haul.
Jean Delance, OT, 6’5”/270, Mesquite (Texas) North - Delance has offers from just about everyone. Alabama. Auburn. Florida. LSU. Ohio State. South Carolina. Tennessee. USC. And oh yeah…all of the in-state schools as well. Delance has a great kick step and once he get his hands on the man across from him it’s over. Delance almost looks light out there on the football field. Delance is an offer that Nebraska had to make to a player in the radius, but should be considered a longshot at best for the Huskers.
Thomas Schaffer, OT, 6’7”/260, Lake Forest (Ill.) Lake Forest Academy – To me, Schaefer is a player that by the ability and offers the recognition simply hasn’t caught up with him. He’s holding offers from Oregon, Michigan State, Stanford, Wisconsin, Cal, Iowa, and Kentucky among others. Schaffer is a two-way lineman and to me is really more of a defensive lineman than an offensive lineman. I don’t think that it’s a stretch to say that he could be successful at either, but if I had to say it he would be my base end in a 4-3 or playing the four in a 3-4. He’s strong, quick and has a motor and that’s something that you don’t always find with his frame.
And there are others in the radius that I am sure Nebraska will keep an eye on, but don’t have an offer from the Huskers yet. Take Dillon Reinkensmeyer from Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian who was the teammate of Eric Lee last year. The 6-foot-5 and 255-pound Reinkensmeyer has eight offers already and interest from a number of others. There is also a need to mention Justin Witt who is the teammate of current 2016 commit Bryan Brokop. Witt, from New Lenox (Ill.) Lincoln-Way West has over 10 offers and is getting some recruiting attention from Nebraska as well as a number of other Big Ten schools. With two interior lineman in the class already it’s conceivable that Nebraska might take as many as three offensive tackles in this class.