If you weren’t convinced Nebraska wanted immediate help for its defensive line before, perhaps Chase Rome’s temporary/permanent/who knows departure from the Huskers is more compelling evidence.
NU is charging hard after a handful of junior-college defensive tackles, two of whom are coveted by many programs.
The first: Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College nose tackle Toby Johnson. The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder – generally considered the top defensive tackle prospect – has been overwhelmed with offers – including ones from Georgia, Miami and USC. He’s been giving vaguer and vaguer answers to recruiting services since his season began and he’s had so many teams to sift through.
“I don’t have any top teams,” Johnson told Husker Online. Everybody is still in the running, but I have a top 10 of who’s been the most consistent in contacting me and who I’ve got the most interest in. My top 10 is Georgia, Tennessee, OU, Nebraska, Miami, Boise State, and I can’t really remember the rest right now. I’ve got them written down back at my dorm.”
Mundane answers like these rarely make it into my updates, but here I think it’s illustrative of how loaded down Johnson seems. It will be a tough pluck for NU. Johnson may end up in the SEC no matter how badly Nebraska could use him.
The second target is Trinty Valley (Texas) Community College tackle Quincy Russell, a former Texas commit who’s looking hard at Big 12 schools plus Nebraska. He’s been keeping touch with Husker coaches John Papuchis and Rick Kaczenski through Facebook.
“They are really good coaches,” Russell told Huskers Illustrated. “I think they really know what they are doing. They are both really good defensive line coaches and could help make me better.”
Russell told Husker Online: “The thing that will really set a school part for me is the depth chart. I know that most teams recruit JUCO players to come in to have an immediate impact, so that’s one of my big things I’m looking for.”
If Russell ever makes an official visit to Lincoln, Nebraska has a remote chance. Otherwise, NU may be looking more toward California junior-college prospects to fill needs.