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 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.
A.J. Taylor, WR, 5’11”/185, Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst - Taylor picked up an offer a little over a month ago from the Huskers. The lack of no earlier offer is a complete indication that the Nebraska staff is still figuring out the area and the players in it. Taylor is a four-star recruit and one of the top athletes in the nation being looked at to play not only wide receiver by most schools, but also running back by others. Missouri is likely the leader here, but the offer from Nebraska is new and there was no communication leading up to the offer. Don't count out the Huskers yet given their success at Rockhurst over the years.
Roddrick Bryant, WR, 6’3”/185, St. Louis (Mo.) Christian Brothers College - Bryant is an interesting offer not because he’s not deserving, but because he’s coming off of a very serious injury that it seems a lot of schools are waiting to see how he recovers. Nevertheless, the offers these days are less and less committable offers and Nebraska will likely want to see Bryant in and out of cuts before the offer becomes valid. Bryant is also holding an offer from Illinois, but is getting interest from a lot of other big programs around the country.
J.D. Spielman, WR, 5’9”/175, Eden Prairie (Minn.) - Nebraska fans are enjoying having a playmaker like Demornay Pierson-El on their team that is great in space in the passing game and on special teams. If there is a player in the nation that reminds me of Pierson-El it’s Spielman. Spielman visited Nebraska and received an offer. He’s actually committed to Ohio State to play lacrosse and the while it would be tough to play both sports in college the football interest from the Buckeyes is picking up. Iowa and Minnesota appear to be the main competition for Nebraska to get Spielman at the moment.
Taj Williams, WR, 6’3”/200, Council Bluffs (Iowa) Western JC - It’s about time an Iowa Western JC player shows up on the list of offers by Nebraska. Williams is a four-star wide receiver and is holding offers from some of the best programs around the nation – Arizona State, Auburn, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia for starters – and Williams has been set to see Nebraska, but hasn’t made the 60-mile trip west yet to check them out. While it seems that Nebraska’s chances here look pretty good it’s tough to see it actually happening until Williams makes it on campus.
There is another receiver in the radius holding a Nebraska offer, but there is little to no hope for the Huskers. Devin Duvernay, from Sachse (Texas), really had little to no response to the offer from the Huskers since picking it up last spring from Ron Brown. Even with the Devine Ozigbo coming from Sachse this will not move the needle in favor of the Huskers with Duvernay. There is another Johnson this year as well. Omaha (Nebr.) Bellevue West receiver Cade Johnson is the younger brother of Wyoming signee C.J. Johnson and the son of former Husker, Clester Johnson. It will be an interesting contrast to see how the Nebraska staff takes the approach with Cade this year.