By Tommy Rezac
The early signing period for college football recruiting began Wednesday and will run through Friday.
Nebraska received nine letters of intent for their 2018 class on Wednesday. There’ll be at least a couple more announcements this week.
More than 20 signees are expected to be a part of the Huskers’ class by National Signing Day on Feb. 7, 2018.
“One thing we weren’t going to do is just sign kids to fill spots,” head coach Scott Frost said during a teleconference on Wednesday afternoon. “We want kids that we know can come be good people and become good football players. We have a lot of work left to do here in January, but I’m excited about the guys that are on board.”
Here’s a look at everyone who signed on Wednesday:
- two-star kicker Barrett Pickering (SIGNED, 7:17 a.m.)
- A Nebraska commit since May 2, Pickering is ranked as the No. 11 kicker in the nation by 247 Sports.
- three-star safety Deontai Williams (SIGNED, 8:00 a.m.)
- Williams can lineup either as a safety, cornerback, nickel back or even linebacker in certain situations. Having played this past season at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Miss., Williams still has three years of eligibility remaining.
- three-star tight end Katerian Legrone (SIGNED, 8:11 a.m.)
- An Atlanta, GA native, Legrone had committed to UCF on Oct. 30, but took an official visit to Nebraska on Dec. 15. Legrone also had offers from Arkansas State, Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, South Carolina, Syracuse and others.
- three-star center Will Farniok (SIGNED, 8:28 a.m.)
- The younger brother of current Husker and RFr. offensive tackle Matt Farniok, Will had been committed to Nebraska since April, and is expected to contend for time at center this coming season.
- three-star linebacker/defensive end David Alston (SIGNED, 9:02 a.m.)
- A commit to Nebraska since Oct. 6, Alston also had offers from Iowa State, Wisconsin, South Dakota State and several others. He’s the top ranked prospect in the state of Minnesota, according to 247 Sports.
- four-star quarterback Adrian Martinez (SIGNED, 10:18 a.m.)
- Previously committed to Tennessee, Martinez was one of the very first offers after Frost was hired at Nebraska on Dec. 2. Martinez had an official visit just six days later, and announced his commitment on Dec. 13. He’s ranked as the No. 8 dual threat quarterback in the country by 247 Sports, and is expected to contend for the starting quarterback job this coming season. Martinez will enroll in classes at UNL this January.
“When I was evaluating quarterbacks for this class a long time ago, Adrian was my favorite guy in the country,” Frost said. “We didn’t think we had a chance to get him at (UCF), but now getting to Nebraska, he was interested. He can run it, he can throw it, and he’s a very mature kid that I think is ready for the challenges in front of him.”
- four-star defensive end Tate Wildeman (SIGNED, 11:39 a.m.)
- A native of Parker, CO, Wildeman is the second highest-rated prospect out of his home state according to 247 Sports. He committed to Nebraska on Apr. 16 and had his official visit this past weekend on Dec. 15. He also had offers from Washington State, Kansas State, Colorado State, Iowa, Wyoming, Colorado and a few others.
- three-star running back Greg Bell (SIGNED, 11:41 a.m.)
- Bell took an official visit to Nebraska on Dec. 8, and then to Tennessee on Dec. 15. Bell is a JUCO talent from Arizona Western College in Yuma, AZ, and is a two-time first team JUCO All-American. He’s the first RB in Nebraska’s 2018 class. He has two years of eligibility left, and will be able to play right away.
Bell, Williams and Jaron Woodyard were the only JUCO players to sign on Wednesday. There’s still several JUCO targets out there for Nebraska, but Frost wants to make sure they sign the right ones.
“We’re not going to take a bunch of junior college kids,” Frost said. “They need to be the right kids off the field, and they need to be kids that fit us, and we certainly recruited several of them that fit us and are good people, and we’ll see where we land with them.”
- four-star tight end and Beatrice native Cameron Jurgens (SIGNED, 12:07 p.m.)
- Jurgens committed to Nebraska on Aug. 6, 2015 when he was 15 years old; before Mike Riley and his staff even coached a game. He’s now ranked as the No. 7 tight end in the country and the No. 1 player in the state of Nebraska, according to 247 Sports. Jurgens suffered an ankle injury in a game against Norris on Oct. 20, but is expected to be fully healthy by the time he arrives on campus in fall.
“Cam’s a special guy,” Frost said. “It’s no surprise to me that he wasn’t overlooked. He’s just a phenomenal athlete. He’s done it on the football field, he’s done it on the basketball court, and he’s done it in track and field. I think he’s an unusual talent and an elite talent.”
Jurgens was a state champion shot put thrower in Class B in 2017.
- three-star receiver Jaron Woodyard (SIGNED, 3:47 p.m.)
- Woodyard committed to Nebraska on Dec. 10, and had an official visit to Tennessee on Dec. 15, but stuck by his original announcement on Wednesday afternoon. He’s ranked as the No. 4 overall WR in the JUCO ranks, playing this past season at Arizona Western College in Yuma, AZ. According to Nate Clouse of HuskerOnline, Woodyard ran a 100-yard dash in high school in 10.68 seconds. He had 36 catches for 522 yards and six touchdowns this past season. He’ll have three years of eligibility remaining.
Targets that are still waiting, or that went to another school:
- four-star receiver Cameron Brown (SIGNED to Ohio State, 12:11 p.m.)
- An overall unsurprising decision for Brown, who had been leaning toward Ohio State for some time. He committed to Nebraska on Aug. 7 and had his official visit on Oct. 7. He had an official visit to Columbus on Dec. 8.
- three-star tight end Justin McGriff (announcing Friday)
- A former UCF commit, McGriff reopened his recruitment on Dec. 11 and committed to Nebraska on the same day. However, he had an official visit to UCF on Dec. 15. He first told HuskerOnline that he plans to announce his commitment on Friday.
- thee-star linebacker Will Honas (announcement TBD)
- Ranked as the top junior college inside linebacker, the player from Butler Community College in El Dorado, KS has Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas State in his top three. He had an official visit to Lincoln on Dec. 15, and picked up a late offer from Wisconsin on Dec. 18, but the Badgers aren’t considered to be a serious contender in the race.
- three-star receiver Jeshaun Jones (SIGNED to Maryland, 10:23 a.m.)
- The Fort Myers, FL native was offered by Nebraska on Dec. 5, and had his official visit to Lincoln three days later. He had an official visit to Maryland on Nov. 11. Jones also had offers from Florida State, Iowa State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, UCF and several others.
- three-star athlete Marcus Riley (SIGNED to Louisville, 10:06 a.m.)
- Riley had been a Louisville commit since July 7, but had an official visit to Nebraska on Dec. 15. Reports say Riley enjoyed his visit to Lincoln, but ultimately decided to stick with Louisville just before announcing his decision on Wednesday.
- three-star tight end Messiah Swinson (announcing 10:00 a.m. Thursday)
- The Glen Head, NY native will likely choose between Nebraska and Missouri. He picked up a Nebraska offer on Dec. 4 and had an official visit just 11 days after that. Swinson is the No. 40 TE and the No. 8 player in the state of New York, according to 247 Sports.
- four-star safety Cam’ron Jones (announcement TBD)
- Jones picked up a Nebraska offer on Dec. 7 and visited Lincoln a week later. He has an official visit at Ole Miss scheduled for Jan. 26, which would be cancelled if he signs early. The Mansfield, TX native is ranked as a top 300 prospect on 247 Sports, and has offers from Baylor, Ole Miss, Texas Tech, UCLA and several others.
Three athletes from Lincoln Southwest High School, wide receiver Justin Holm, lineman Collin Shefke, and defensive end Cameron Pieper all signed as preferred walk-ons Wednesday.
Frost expects there to be more walk-on offers in the future, but likes what’s in place so far.
“The response has been great, and I’m looking forward to the talent that we can add to the program through the walk-on program,” Frost said. “That’s part of what made Nebraska great in the past.”
The rest of the known walk-on offers for Nebraska include:
- TE Bryson Krull, North Platte
- FB Chris Cassidy, Lincoln Pius X
- LB Jake Archer, Omaha Skutt
- DE Ryan Schommer, Norfolk
- OL A.J. Forbes, Bellevue West
- WR Wyatt Liewar, O’Neill
- ATH Brody Belt, Millard West
- QB Matt Masker, Kearney Catholic
— LSW Football (@LSWHawkFB) December 20, 2017
We’ll continue to update this story as needed.
You can contact Tommy at 402-840-5226, or you can follow him on Twitter @Tommy_KLIN.