Pernell: Reviewing the 2020 Recruiting Class (Offense)

Position Group Summaries (Offense)

Quarterback (1): For the third year in a row, Scott Frost and Mario Verduzco were able to sign a top-of-the-board class quarterback. The staff identified Logan Smothers early and were able to get him on board before they had even coached a game in Lincoln. The Huskers offered Smothers back on May 17, 2018, becoming the first Power Five program to extend a scholarship to the Alabama native who was just finishing his sophomore year. Less than a month later (June 13), Smothers and his father visited Lincoln for the first time. The visit went well and a return trip involving the entire family on July 26 resulted in his commitment to the Huskers.

Smothers’ recruitment didn’t slow following his early pledge to the Huskers. Louisville offered a week later on August 2, and Ole Miss followed up with an offer of their own in September. Smothers then visited Oxford in November of 2018, but shut things down in favor of Nebraska soon after. At the time, Smothers had started to receive serious attention from several Power 5 programs, in particular Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn and Mississippi State. Regardless, he never wavered in his commitment. While he never publicly announced additional offers, it’s reported that several schools in the SEC, ACC and other national programs continued making overtures right up until he signed this past December during the early signing period. Inquiring schools never made much headway.

After playing his first three seasons at Athens High School, Logan transferred to Muscle Shoals for his senior season after his father, Shane, became the offensive coordinator. There he helped lead the team to a 12-1 record and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 6A playoffs. He finished his senior season completing 76 percent of his passes for 2,204 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also rushed for 893 yards and 13 touchdowns. For his high school career, Smothers amassed more than 10,400 total yards and 100 touchdowns. Rivals ranked him as a four-star prospect and the nation’s No. 171 overall player.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Smothers checks every box the staff looks for when identifying a quarterback for this system. His arm talent is evident and he comes to Lincoln after starting all four years of high school. Smothers has tons of experience operating an offense similar to Nebraska’s. His father ran a no-huddle spread offense that relied heavily on RPO’s and read-option concepts. But what separates him from most of his peers in this class is the athleticism he brings to the table. Logan is also a track star, with personal best times of 10.93 (100m), 22.31 (200m), 50.31 (400m) and 7.22 (60m). He also reportedly clocked a 4.48 40 at an Ohio State camp.

On top of all that, the kid is tough. During a playoff game this past November, Smothers suffered four cracked ribs, a collapsed lung and a hip pointer. He didn’t miss a game. Instead, he competed the very next week and then showed up to take part in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game a month later.

Smothers enrolled in January and will participate in spring ball. The plan likely will be for him to redshirt and sit for the next year or two and then compete with Luke McCaffrey and the 2021 class quarterback to be the heir apparent to Adrian Martinez. Grade: A-

Running Back (2): Ryan Held continued to build up the Husker backfield, adding two more quality prospects in December. One of the first running backs to be offered in the 2020 class was Sevion Morrison. The Tulsa (OK) Edison High School product had a solid sophomore campaign, earning honorable-mention all-state honors after rushing for 1,021 yards and 11 touchdowns during his first year playing varsity. But it was during his junior season where he exploded onto the recruiting scene. Morrison led the state in rushing, finishing with 2,728 yards and 34 rushing touchdowns (37 total) on his way to being named first team all-state by Tulsa World and The Oklahoman.

It was during that breakout season when Held and Nebraska gave Morrison his first scholarship offer on October 26, 2018. Over the course of the next few months, Morrison would accumulate over two dozen offers. By the time he came to Lincoln for his official visit on June 21, 2019, he had narrowed his choices down to Nebraska, Arkansas, Missouri, Baylor and Washington. Morrison ended up committing exactly two months later on August 21, ultimately choosing the Huskers over the Razorbacks and Tigers.

As a senior, Morrison rushed for 1,798 yards and 26 touchdowns, breaking Edison’s career rushing mark in the process. The previous record (4,009) stood for 37-years and was held by Spencer Tillman, who was an All-American at Oklahoma and won Super Bowl XXIV with the San Francisco 49’ers. For his efforts, Morrison was named first team all-state for the second year in a row. He was also named the district offensive player of the year as well as the recipient of the Ford Award, given to the player of the year in Northeast Oklahoma. He was ranked as a four-star prospect by both Rivals and 247Sports.

Morrison possesses elite vision and instincts. He’s good at letting holes develop and then uses a tremendous burst to explode through the line. Really adept cutback runner who does a lot of damage on stretch plays where he can pick his spots and work back against the grain. Has solid hands and can easily slide out into the slot. Morrison will arrive this summer and push for immediate playing time. At 6-foot and 200 pounds, he’s already built for the college level and has a frame that could eventually carry 210-220 pounds.

Morrison is joined in this class by Port Orange (FL) Spruce Creek’s Marvin Scott III, who comes to Nebraska after enjoying one of the most prolific prep careers in Florida history. Scott was a five-year varsity starter (yes, you read that right). He first made the varsity team as an eight grader at Class 2A Warner Christian Academy. Three years and 4,779 rushing yards later, Scott decided to transfer to Spruce Creek and compete in Florida’s largest class (8A) for his final two seasons. He would go on to rush for 1,226 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior, earning third-team all-state. Scott followed that up with 1,477 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior, on his way to being named the offensive player of the year by the Daytona Beach News-Journal. He finished his illustrious high school career with 7,482 rushing yards and 80 total touchdowns. According to FloridaPrepRecords.com, Scott’s rushing yardage ranks sixth in Florida high school history.

Scott is a tremendous all-around athlete. Last February at The Opening Regional in Orlando, he was named one of the top five offensive players in attendance. At the event, the 5-foot-9, 200-pound Scott ran a 4.54 in the 40-yard dash, posted 4.38 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle and recorded a 36.9-inch vertical jump.

Along with being an exceptional high school running back, last spring Scott won a state weightlifting championship in the 199-pound division by bench pressing 405 pounds and completing a clean-and-jerk of 295 pounds. His 405-pound bench was the best mark of anyone in his weight class (or below) and the eighth-best mark overall in a field of more than 300 competitors. According to Scott, heading into his senior year, he was benching 415 pounds and his max clean was 330. He can also do 300 pushups in one setting. It’s no surprise he reportedly loved the strength and conditioning presentation Zach Duval gave during his official visit.

Nebraska was able to get onto Scott’s radar thanks to Sean Beckton and Ryan Held, both of whom have long-standing relationships with Spruce Creek coach Andy Price. The Huskers came through with an offer back on February 5, 2019 and were able to get Scott on campus for an official visit on June 14. He loved what he saw and the visit helped propel Nebraska to frontrunner status. Scott grew up a Florida fan, and he waited most of the summer to see if an offer from the Gators would come. It didn’t so he decided to shut down his recruitment. Scott committed to the Huskers on August 24, a few days after Sevion Morrison, and never wavered. At the time, he held over 30 offers, including Alabama, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.

Scott will arrive this summer already as physically developed as any player on the roster and will look to get on the field early. He looks to be in the same mold as current Husker Dedrick Mills as a potential workhorse back. Scott runs with decisiveness and power, but also shows suddenness, nimble feet and underrated elusiveness. He can bring some thump to the position with his stout muscular frame and will surprise defenders with his straight-line speed in the open field. Grade: B+

Wide Receiver (5): Nebraska came into the 2020 class intent on stocking up at receiver and went out and signed one of the best groups in the country. The Huskers were desperate for playmakers on the perimeter last season, with the loss of Stanley Morgan hurting as much as I anticipated. JD Spielman was his usual self and Wan’Dale Robinson was as good as advertised, but there wasn’t much production or consistency outside of those two. Every member of this class will be given the opportunity to come in and earn their way onto the field this coming season. Nebraska’s offense is in dire need of several guys stepping up.

You can almost pencil in a starting spot for Omar Manning, the nation’s No. 1 junior college wide receiver according to both Rivals and 247Sports. Manning was considered a four-star prospect by Rivals and ESPN coming out of Lancaster (TX) High School in 2017. After a dominant performance at Nike’s Opening Regional held in Dallas the spring before his senior year, he was selected to participate in The Opening Finals that summer. Manning recorded a SPARQ score of 95.60 at the Dallas regional, where he ran 4.66 in the 40-yard dash, posted 4.54 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle and recorded a 34.5-inch vertical jump. He was also chosen to play in the prestigious All-American Bowl.

Manning garnered over 30 scholarship offers, including Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, Utah and Washington. In the end he chose the TCU Horned Frogs. Academic issues plagued Manning in Fort Worth and after redshirting the 2017 season, he transferred to Kilgore Junior College and became one of the best wideouts in the country. This past season, Manning was named second-team NJCAA All-American after recording 35 catches for 727 yards and six touchdowns. He’s considered a four-star prospect by Rivals, ESPN and 247Sports, and is the nation’s No. 2 overall junior college prospect according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Nebraska offered Manning on March 12, 2019 and were able to get him on campus for an official visit on June 21, during the teams VIP Barbecue and Friday Night Lights event. He quickly became one of the top overall prospects on the teams recruiting board regardless of position. Manning is notoriously private and rarely gave interviews to recruiting services, so it went under-the-radar when he committed to the Husker staff silently in November. Even so, he remained a priority for the staff heading into the early signing period. Despite his commitment, Manning was considering taking more official visits in January and signing in February, since he’s not graduating from Kilgore until May. Texas A&M, LSU, TCU, Florida State, Florida and Tennessee were some of the programs that continued to recruit Manning and had hoped to receive a visit.

Ryan Held visited Manning during the first week of the contact period on December 5, and was accompanied by Scott Frost and Erik Chinander the following week on December 13. A couple hours after the trio left, Manning called Frost and let him know he was shutting his recruitment down and going public with his commitment. He signed with Nebraska a few days later on the 18th. Frost hopes the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Manning can be the missing piece the offense has been looking for. It seems the Husker program has been looking for a big-bodied field-stretching wide receiver ever since Maurice Purify exhausted his eligibility in 2007.

Manning already has an NFL body and has been a man among boys at the junior college level. He’ll be a difficult matchup for just about any cornerback he faces thanks to his size, length and leaping ability. Manning has very good burst off the line and enough top-end speed to be a threat to score if he gets loose. With his giant frame and athleticism, Manning will be a popular target in the red-zone. He’s proven at every level he’s been that he’ll win the 50-50 ball. Manning will also be valuable as a perimeter blocker, something else this team has lacked.

Much like Dedrick Mills last year, there are still a few (achievable) academic hurdles Manning faces before he can arrive on campus. If things go according to plan, Manning will earn his associate degree from Kilgore, and likely be on campus in May or sometime over the summer. He’ll have two seasons of eligibility at Nebraska.

Another incoming receiver with academic concerns is Bellevue West product Zavier Betts. Getting him eligible is still a work in progress, but the odds appear to be much better than they were a year ago. At this point last season, it was almost considered inevitable that Betts would be going the junior college route. Recent reports have him on course to graduate.

The previous Husker staff initially offered Betts back on October 25, 2017, and Frost reaffirmed the offer when he was hired a few months later. Despite being a priority target for Mike Riley, Betts had no intentions of attending Nebraska with the old coaches in place. Instead, he was planning to decide between Minnesota and Iowa State. His interest in the home-state program quickly changed once Frost arrived and took over his recruitment. He attended Frost’s first Friday Night Lights Camp in the summer of 2018, and then came to multiple home games during the 2018 season. After attending a spring practice on April 3, 2019, Betts decided to commit. At the time, he ‘only’ had additional Power 5 offers from the aforementioned Gophers and Cyclones, along with Iowa and Purdue. Had there not been concerns about him becoming eligible, Betts undoubtedly would have been one of the more highly recruited prospects in the 500-mile radius and surely would have been pursued by several national programs.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Betts is arguably the most physically gifted wide receiver the Huskers have recruited in several years. Very few players in the country can match his size and athleticism. Less than two weeks after he committed to Nebraska, on April 14, he participated in a Nike Opening Regional in St. Louis and put up the fourth best SPARQ score (122.22) of the event. Betts ran 4.67 in the 40-yard dash, posted 4.15 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle and recorded a 36.6-inch vertical jump. His testing numbers and performance in drills earned him an invitation to The Opening Finals. The invite-only event is the most high profile high school football camp in the nation. To be selected, you must stand out at one of the 14 Opening Regionals held across the country. Roughly 120 players were selected this past year, with participants spanning the 2020, ’21, ’22 and ’23 classes. Truly a showcase featuring the best of the best. The Opening Finals were held June 30 – July 3, 2019, in Frisco, Texas. Betts showed up and stood out among his peers during drills. He also improved on his testing numbers and increased his SPARQ score. Betts ran 4.59 in the 40-yard dash, posted 4.09 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle and recorded a 38.6-inch vertical jump. His 130.71 SPARQ score put him in the Top 10 of all performers in testing.

Betts earned first-team All-Nebraska honors from the Omaha World-Herald and Super State accolades from the Lincoln Journal Star for the second straight year. He accumulated 3,330 receiving yards and 46 touchdowns during his prep career and capped his high school career by winning the Class A state championship. Betts is considered a four-star prospect by all three major recruiting services and is ranked as the No. 59 (Rivals), No. 105 (ESPN) and No. 257 (247Sports) overall player in the country.

Last season, Wan’Dale Robinson showed just how valuable the Duck-R position is to the Husker offense. The staff continued to address that spot with the addition of William Nixon. The Waco (TX) Midway High School standout is the son of Jeff Nixon, formerly the co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Baylor, who is following Matt Rhule to the Carolina Panthers. The younger Nixon wanted to make a name for himself, which is why despite having a Baylor offer and his father wanting him in Waco, Nixon preferred to blaze his own path.

The Husker staff offered Nixon on March 27, 2019 and were able to get him on campus for an unofficial visit on June 1. The visit to Lincoln opened his eyes and he came away impressed by the offense and his potential role in it. Nixon is a two-way prospect who was recruited by teams to play running back, wide receiver and defensive back. Prior to taking his Husker visit, Nixon was deciding between Penn State, who liked him at receiver, and Notre Dame, who wanted him as a defensive back. Georgia Tech and Purdue were also in his final group. Nixon liked the idea of playing offense. Nebraska and Purdue were the two schools who pitched the idea of playing a dual receiver/running back role. In the end, Nixon’s intrigue in Frost’s offense won out and he decided to commit to the Huskers on July 8. Several schools continued to recruit Nixon hard, namely Purdue and Stanford, but he never wavered.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Nixon played primarily wide receiver throughout his high school career. After an 0-2 start this season, his high school coach decided to move him to running back. He racked up 2,087 total yards of offense for the season, including 1,837 rushing, and scored 29 total touchdowns (27 rushing), finishing the season by winning District 12-6A Most Valuable Player honors in the process. That came after he caught 40 passes for 500 yards, rushed 25 times for 400 and totaled 10 touchdowns as a junior playing mostly receiver.

As a receiver, Nixon gets off the line quickly, runs crisp routes, and will go up and get the ball. He has very good hands and will fight for the ball in traffic. As a tailback, despite his smaller frame, he runs with good pad level and a low center of gravity. He displays good balance, vision, burst and body control. He’s already been utilized all over the field at the high school level and has grown up around the game. Nixon has a higher than average football IQ and should pick up the offense quickly. There isn’t much depth behind Wan’Dale Robinson at the Duck-R, and Nixon will be given ample opportunity to come in and earn reps early.

One of the first receivers the Huskers targeted for the 2020 class was Marcus Fleming, who the staff offered back on May 1, 2018. A month later, home-state Miami also offered. Fleming then took an unofficial visit and participated in the teams camp. He ended up committing to the Hurricanes a few days later and stayed part of their class for the next 17 months. Nebraska never stopped recruiting Fleming, however, and their persistence paid off when they positioned themselves for an official visit on November 16. He decommitted from Miami two days later. After taking additional visits to fellow finalists Georgia and Florida State, Fleming signed with Nebraska on December 18. Throughout his recruitment, Fleming collected nearly 40 offers including Arkansas, Florida, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State and Tennessee, among others.

Scott Frost puts a premium on speed and there are very few players in the entire 2020 class faster than Fleming. As a junior, he won the Florida state championship in the 100 and 200-meter dash and ran a verified 4.47 40-yard dash at Nike’s Opening Regional in Miami this past February. He has reported 100 and 200-meter times of 10.38 and 21.01 seconds, respectively. His time in the 200 was just outside the top 25 high school times in the country.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Fleming has the potential to be an absolute nightmare for defenses working out of the slot. His skillset fits the Husker offense like a glove. He’s a legit threat to score any time he gets his hands on the ball. The best thing is that he plays to his strengths. He uses his elite speed and explosiveness to his advantage. Really explodes off the line. There isn’t a lot of wasted motion when he gets the ball in his hands. You see a lot of one cut and go from him and his ability to hit fifth gear quickly makes him a homerun threat. Fleming has worked as a kickoff and punt returner in high school, so expect him to be utilized on special teams as well. He’s so dynamic with the ball in his hands, you need to work him into positions where he touches the ball and has a chance to effect the game.

Fleming plays for one of the top high school teams in Florida and stood out among several D1 players. He’s considered a four-star prospect by Rivals, ESPN and 247Sports.

Scott Frost spoke of the benefits to enrolling early this past signing day. He remarked that it doubled a players chances of playing immediately. That bodes well for Alante Brown, who is currently on campus and will participate in spring ball. Former offensive coordinator Troy Walters identified Brown as a key target heading into December’s contact period and visited him on the first day possible, December 1. Brown received his Husker offer the following day and was in Lincoln a week later, taking a mid-week official visit on December 11. Brown also visited his other finalists; Ole Miss, Michigan State, Maryland and Indiana. He chose Nebraska on December 18, during a live broadcast on Big Ten Network.

Originally part of the 2019 class, Brown was a three-year starter at quarterback for Chicago (IL) Simeon High School. The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder played quarterback so that his coach could run a spread-option offense and have Brown touch the ball every snap. As a senior, he won a city championship while having 3,436 yards of total offense, 41 passing touchdowns and 12 rushing scores, earning all-state honors. Brown was considered a four-star prospect and ranked as the nation’s No. 215 overall player by 247Sports. In May of 2018, prior to his senior year at Simeon, Brown was one of the more impressive participants at a Nike Opening Regional Combine that was held at Massillon High School in Ohio. At the event he ran a 4.57 in the 40-yard dash, posted 4.22 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle and recorded a 37.3-inch vertical jump, finishing with an impressive 111.24 SPARQ score.

Brown had been committed to Michigan State but was not allowed to sign with the Spartans when the early signing period came because of academic concerns. He decided to sign with Texas Tech but never made it to campus and instead enrolled at St. Thomas More, a prep school in Oakdale, Connecticut. His year spent at St. Thomas More allowed him to concentrate on wide receiver, a position he had only played during 7-on-7 tournaments in high school. He was used all over the field, lining up as an outside receiver, slot receiver, and in the backfield as a running back and occasionally as a wildcat quarterback. He also returned kicks. His role with St. Thomas More allowed him to get an idea of how he will be used at Nebraska playing the Duck-R position.

Brown really stood out this past season playing a position that was basically brand new to him. He’s a playmaker with the ball in his hands and looks like a really good fit for the Duck-R. He could be in a nice spot to play early in his career. His year at St. Thomas More helped him develop more physically, and being on campus already after enrolling in January benefits him in that area as well. Brown is once again considered a four-star prospect by 247Sports, who also rank him as the No. 1 prep school prospect in the country. Grade: A

Offensive Line (2): Scott Frost referred to Turner Corcoran as the cornerstone of the 2020 class. That statement is valid for several reasons. Recruiting the 500-mile radius has been a major priority for the coaching staff and with Corcoran, they landed arguably the top player in the region. It’s no secret that the road through Wisconsin and Iowa is paved in the trenches. Adding talent like the 6-foot-6, 285-pound Corcoran is integral in getting Nebraska back to contending for conference titles. The Lawrence (KS) Free State High School star is the highest rated recruit to sign with Nebraska in a decade.

Scott Frost began recruiting Corcoran almost immediately after being hired back in December of 2017, identifying him as a priority target for the 2020 class. The Huskers were able to get Corcoran on campus for the Husker Spring Game in April of 2018 and offered him a scholarship shortly after on May 1. From there, Husker assistants Greg Austin and Ryan Held went to work building a relationship. As has been the case with several of Nebraska’s top targets, Scott Frost was also very involved in the recruitment. Over the next year, Corcoran visited Lincoln eight more times: two summer visits in 2018, three games that fall (Akron, Minnesota, Michigan State), Junior Day on February 2, 2019, a spring practice on March 19, 2019, and finally for last April’s Spring Game.

Throughout the process, Frost made sure to prioritize Corcoran. Even as Nebraska was putting the finishing touches on its 2019 class, Frost made sure Corcoran received multiple visits last December and January during the contact period. Corcoran did his due diligence, however, and Nebraska wasn’t the only school he made frequent visits to. He visited Oklahoma nearly as many times. He also checked out Ohio State, Notre Dame, Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State. In the end, Corcoran narrowed his focus to the Huskers, Sooners, Wildcats and Buckeyes, among an offer list that also included Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Wisconsin and others. Corcoran kept finding himself comparing everyone else to Nebraska when he would visit a campus or talk with other coaches. He decided to shut things down and committed to Nebraska’s staff on April 12, the night before the 2019 Spring Game.

Corcoran brings positional flexibility and could easily excel as a guard, but the Huskers think they have their left tackle of the future. He has the sort of flexibility, bend and lateral quickness that you look for at that spot. He has quick feet and is a plus-athlete who will be able to pull and do damage at the second level. Corcoran is one of the best run blockers I have seen coming from the high school ranks the last few years. He has strong hands, a great punch, and plays with good pad level and leverage. He brings the sort of nastiness to the line that you used to see in the Pipeline’s heydays.

Corcoran is considered a four-star prospect by all three major recruiting services and is ranked as the No. 64 (Rivals), No. 67 (247Sports) and No. 70 (ESPN) overall player in the country. He was also selected to play in the prestigious All-American Bowl, where he started at left guard for the West team. He was considered one of the more impressive offensive linemen in attendance during the week of practices and then went out and played well during the game. The staff would prefer to redshirt Corcoran and then team him up with prized 2019 o-line recruit Bryce Benhart to be bookends on the line for the next several seasons. They’d like him to eventually be in the 320 range and give him at least a year to build up to that. But can they keep him off the field?

Ideally, the staff would like Bryce Benhart or Christian Gaylord to take over the right tackle spot to allow them to move Matt Farniok to guard. If that happens, there is going to be a dog fight for the other guard spot. Last years starters Boe Wilson and Trent Hixson will have their hands full with Broc Bando, Ethan Piper and Colorado State transfer Nouredin Nouili angling for that spot as well. Can Corcoran play himself into the open guard spot and skip a redshirt? Corcoran enrolled in January and will have the benefit of winter conditioning and spring ball. By the time fall camp concludes, he may position himself for immediate playing time.

It’s an all-Kansas offensive line class this year with Corcoran being joined by Derby High School standout Alex Conn. The Huskers got in early with Conn, offering him back on January 27, 2019, after Greg Austin stopped by his school and watched him work out. It was Conn’s first Power 5 offer, with Arizona, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and TCU eventually offering as well. Nebraska was able to get Conn to Lincoln less than a week later for a Junior Day and then again for last April’s Spring Game. After that visit, he emerged as a preferred lineman target for the Huskers. Conn then returned to Lincoln for Nebraska’s VIP Barbecue and Friday Night Lights event on June 21. The visit was, in part, to get his moms blessing to commit. He did so the ensuing Monday, the 24th, over fellow finalists Oklahoma State and Kansas.

Conn has the capability of playing guard or tackle. He fits the model that this staff looks for from its offensive line targets; tall, long and athletic with no bad weight and a frame to build on. Conn grew two inches between the end of his junior season and the end of the actual school year six months later, and his coaches don’t think he’s done yet. He’s currently 6-foot-6 and listed at 280-pounds. Conn has great footwork and hips, and plays with nice pad level. What makes him so attractive as a possible guard at Nebraska is the fact he moves his feet really well and operates great in space. Really impressive when asked to pull.

After helping his Derby High School go 11-2 with a state runner-up finish as a sophomore, he played on back-to-back 13-0 squads as a junior and senior, winning the state title in Kansas’ largest class (6A) each season. The Panthers were one of the most dominant teams the state has seen in quite a while. They averaged more than 500 yards of offense and 54 points per game. In the playoffs, they averaged 60 points per game and became the first 6A school in state history to outscore every opponent by at least three touchdowns. In the state title game, they set Class 6A state championship game records with 63 points and 674 total yards. Conn earned first-team all-state honors as a senior after being named honorable-mention as a junior. Grade: B

 

Prior to contributing to HuskerMax, Jeremy Pernell co-founded the all-football website N2FL.com. From 2002-2014, he served as the editor in chief of the college football portion of the website which focused heavily on talent evaluation, which included NCAA recruiting and the NFL Draft. He has analyzed and covered the NCAA and NFL for 25 years. You can email him at jgpernell@comcast.net.