Day two brings old faces, new surprises

With the second day of the first session, players were would probably start to stand out. The good news was, plenty did. Check out our latest on the Big Red School as we profile in-state players like Kevin Thomsen, Trevor Robinson and Jordan Makovicka, along with some possible out-of-state surprises. And check out who we think will crack our latest top 10 list of the best players in the state.

Day one was about just getting to know the kids at the camp, with not much chance to see a lot of these kids strut their stuff in one-on-one situations. Monday was a clearly different situation. In a variety of match ups, we got to see just what some of these kids could do and there could be a few surprises as well:

DL – Kevin Thomsen – Jr. – 6-2, 245 (Elkhorn) – Participating in only a one-day camp at Nebraska, Thomsen came in basically for the testing and the one-on-ones. What Thomsen had going for him in this session was what he had going for him in the various camps he's been at: good leverage, decent explosion off of the snap and tenaciousness. Thomsen is a bit of a hulking body, effective in close, with pretty good hands.

The downside is simply his size as it's hard to project just which side he'll play, and at what position. He currently has an offer from Wyoming as a nose guard, but is receiving interest from Nebraska, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Colorado State and Vanderbilt.

Of that group which hasn't offered, Thomsen said that Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State and Colorado State are showing the most interest. Kevin said that he will go with the best situation for him, of those schools who have offered.

Testing results: 40: 4.97 – Agility: 4.60 – Vert: 23.5

OL – Trevor Robinson – So. – 6-5, 285 (Elkhorn) – Like his teammate, Trevor was only in for the one day, but this young man continues to deliver on cue. Despite his youth and size, Robinson is quick off the ball, and while he's a little green with his hands and his feet, he's got the instincts of a good lineman. And more importantly, he's got the long arms, nice upper body and he could easily put 30 more pounds on his frame and hold it very well.

Because he hasn't even reached his official junior year, the only material he's getting through the mail are offers to camp. But of those, he's getting a ton. And Robinson isn't waiting around to get his name out there as he will attend a one-day camp at Iowa on Tuesday, which will be followed up by one-day camps at Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan.

Robinson is a born and bred Husker fan as you might imagine, but by the time this young man is a senior, he could have a whole lot of schools to choose from. He along with the following player are the two early candidates as the best linemen in the state for the class of 2008.

Testing results: 40: 5.26 – Agility: 4.67 – 22.5

OL/DL – Baker Steinkuhler – So. – 6-6, 290 (Lincoln Southwest) – You've heard the saying about someone being a man amongst boys. Well, Steinkuhler isn't quite there yet, but for this session, he has been almost in a class by himself. Blake and Trevor Robinson did get a chance to face off against each other, which amounted to a stalemate overall, each getting the best of each other at times.

What Baker has loads of is similar to Robinson as he looks great right now, but project this kid two years down the road, schools will be clamoring to get his attention. His frame is solid and at 290 pounds, Steinkuhler is actually lean. Great arm length, great frame and a Steinkuhler disposition on the field, this kid has a bright, bright future.

There is a chance that someone else might offer Baker before Nebraska, but not if the Husker staff is smart. When Sept. 1st arrives and they are thinking about offers, the first one they need to hand out is to this kid right here. If they do, it probably won't be long before he ends up officially a Husker-to-be.

Athlete – Bryson Studnicka – Jr. – 6-3, 210 (Clay Center) – If you were to judge Bryson simply on his looks, he'd get straight As. He's got the height, the reach and the frame, you could project him to a variety of positions. That's why he's gotten attention from schools for a variety of positions, Wyoming offering him as an outside linebacker, Ohio looking at him as a defensive end and Kansas State looking at him to play tight end.

The downside with Studnicka is that his measurables don't quite satisfy you as much as just his physical appearance might, Bryson only managing a 4.9+/40, along with a somewhat disappointing vertical of 24 inches, isn't going to make him attractive to a lot of schools. But the good side is, playing for a D-2 (eight-man) school, he's quite possibly not even realizing a lot of his potential.

It's hard to discount his production as he averaged over 16 yards a catch last year for Clay Center, totaling over 900 yards. And he does have that one offer going for him right now.

Along with the aforementioned schools, Bryson is getting letters from Colorado State and Penn.

Testing results: 40: 4.97 – Agility: 4.69 – Vert: 24

DL – Charles Hayes – Jr. – 6-2, 240 (Eaglecrest – Aurora, CO) – At his size, you might be surprised to know that Hayes plays both sides of the line for his team. And he's being recruited to play both sides as well. Hayes, based on a request to come show what he could do by a Nebraska recruiter, came to Lincoln to show what kind of stuff he had.

As you would guess with his size, Hayes is pretty quick off the line, but not what I would consider explosive. Once contact is initiated, he has a little better luck, using his hands well, along with leverage, able to get inside and under some of the bigger guys he faced. His feet need a little work, but Hayes has a great frame, which means he's got "upside".

That's no doubt what attracted Colorado State to him, along with Wyoming and San Diego State, all of which have offered him in writing. As for the Huskers, that's probably not in the future. Hayes projects well to the Division 1-A level, but he's stuck right behind the brink of being an upper 1-A player. With time and tutoring on one position, he could develop, but that could be one or even two years down the road.

Testing results: 40: N/A – Agility: 4.8 – Vert: 25

FS/DB – Jordan Makovicka – So. – 5-10, 164 (East Butler) – Another Makovicka means another fine athlete amongst the many, who have come out of the Husker rich family, and yes, like they all say about brothers, it's the youngest one, who could be the best of all.

But not at fullback

If Jordan's growth runs similar to that of his two oldest brothers and former Huskers, Joel and Jeff, he's still got a long ways to go before he's reached his final size. But based on his development at this point, he might not bulk up quite as much as any of his older brothers, Justin, the newest Husker, included.

Can you say safety? I can and right now, if you were to project him at his current size, that's what I think would be an easy one for him to play.

Jordan is extremely quick changing direction, closes on the ball very well and has very good straight-line speed. And I must remind everyone that he's only going to be a junior this year.

It gets old saying this, but this Makovicka is a player, certainly quality just based on bloodlines, but he's got the instincts to play defense and very well. He's got simply outstanding feet and exhibits great balance when changing direction.

If you were thinking that Jordan might be the one Makovicka, who would break the chain of worthy players for the big red, you might be right, but not necessarily in the way you thought. If Jordan does sprout just two more inches and keeps this kind of athleticism, he'll be different all right, because he won't be a fullback and he could have more than his share of offers. The kid's potential is very good.

Testing results: 40: 4.62 – Agility: 4.23 – Vert: 28.5

WR – Allen Thompson Jr. – 6-0, 176 (Rich Central Campus – Chicago, IL) – If you want the definition of a kid, who doesn't look great on paper, but looks great on the field, Thompson if your guy.

When Allen ran the 40, he posted a disappointing 4.9, but it was actually only a tenth worse than his best 40-time ever. His vertical was below 30 and his shuttle wasn't that great either.

Then you watch him play

And that's when you see an entirely different player. Now, there is something to be said for his competition, as it wasn't Division 1-A talent. With that said, though, this kid burned, turned and confused anyone, who even tried to cover him.

He caught almost everything in sight, showed pretty good change of direction and he showed he was able to go up and get the ball.

Honestly, if you would have seen him practice and then guessed what his measurables might be, you probably wouldn't have even came close. This kid obviously plays much faster than he posts in regimented performance drills.

What's that ultimately mean? Unfortunately, those times are going to hurt him, as you would guess, but the kid has the instincts to play. He's got the hands, has decent feet and he thrives against his competition in close.

I don't really know how that projects him, because those kinds of numbers are going to really hamper his recruiting. But if someone were to just forget the measurables for a second and just watch him play, I'd be pretty certain there's a few, which would take a chance.

I'm just not anticipating that Nebraska will be one of them.

TE – Eric Peitz – Jr. – 6-4.5, 240 (Crofton) – If you haven't heard of this young man, don't worry; you will. I only got to see him briefly during a lot of the position drills, but got to see a lot more of him in post-practice individual workouts.

This kid's a stud

He doesn't necessarily fit the mold of a Matt Herian or Michael McNeil, simply because he's not as athletic, but with his size, running a 4.7/40 is nothing to sneeze at, as was his 27 inch vertical.

What you can't see was just the sheer fluidity this kid showed in catching the ball. He didn't catch the ball like a tight end from a small school, who might block much more than he catches. He caught the ball like that's all he does.

I have to admit I was surprised at just how naturally gifted he was at catching the ball, hands extended outward (He has a 99 inch reach, by the way), bringing the ball to his body after the catch. Eric used his feet well. His change of direction wasn't bad, though, it was a little deliberate. All in all, however, I loved just the raw potential this young man showed.

I don't know that it will be enough to get an offer from Nebraska, because he's kind of a ‘tweener, between that really athletic deep-threat type of tight end like Herian and McNeil, and that real blocking tight end like a J.B. Phillips, who can serve in the H-back role.

This kid will get offers, though, and whoever gets him is going to be a team much better off. If I had to redo the Nebraska top 10 right now, Peitz would definitely find himself amongst the group.

Testing results: 40: 4.7 – Agility: 4.7 – Vert: 27
Now Playing
Palmer to transfer to Nebraska
2016 Nebraska Profile: Khalil Davis
3:21
Nebraska Build-O-Team 2017
2:09
Deontae Thomas goes N
0:37
Cowboys take Collins

Big Red Report Top Stories