“It’s all happening!”
That’s Kate Hudson in “Almost Famous.” That also aptly describes the furious recruiting activity around Nebraska’s 2014 class in the last 48 hours. Some quick updates with hat tips to the recruiting folks whose engines are running into the red this week:
>> Charlton Warren = Doing work. First, Nebraska’s newest assistant and defensive backs coach headed to cornerback commit Trai Mosley’s house and, according to Mosley’s Twitter feed, “sealed the deal.” So Mosley’s in the boat, and this Huskers Illustrated story explains why.
Warren also has strong connections in Georgia, and he’s tapped them late to create some new prospects on NU’s board. According to Husker Online, two of them are guys for that second quarterback spot.
One is Jaquez Parks, the Atlanta high school football player of the year according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Parks led Griffin High School to a 15-0 record and a state title in Georgia’a third-largest class, operating a spread pass offense. (Though Parks ran for more than 1,000 yards, many of those yards were gained on scrambles.)
Parks is simply not on the ratings board, despite being a Max Preps All-American. His height/weight listing — 6-foot-1/205 pounds — seems generous, but his 30-minute long highlight film shows some good throws and legitimate, breakaway speed. He’s being recruited by Air Force (ding ding!), Harvard, Yale, Georgia Southern and a few others. He’s well under the radar, and it’s not because of grades. Why?
Another prospect is three-star athlete Tez Parks, a 6-foot-1, 185-pounder from Hogansville, Ga., who claims offers from schools like Tennessee, North Carolina and Florida State, but has little visit activity to speak of other than an unofficial visit to the Iron Bowl. 247 Sports lists Parks as a safety prospect. He ran the wingbone offense at Hogansville Callaway High School, an hour southwest of Atlanta and an hour northeast of Auburn.
Then there’s defensive tackle Jamiyus Pittman, a 6-foot-2, 285-pounder from Moultrie, Ga. He’s currently committed to Central Florida after decommitting from Ole Miss. The highlight film shows a pretty agile kid who shoots a lot of gaps, which college offensive lines cut off pretty quickly.
Any assistant coach brings recruiting bona fides with him. It’s part of his pitch to be hired. Warren’s not wasting much time showing his portfolio for 2014. And watch Hogansville Callaway — where Tez Parks goes — for the future. That school turns out a lot of good cornerbacks.
More quarterbacks other than Warren’s contacts are in the mix. One of them appears to Jeff George, Jr. — son of Illinois and NFL quarterback Jeff George — who told the Indianapolis Star he might visit Nebraska. George has a grayshirt offer to Illinois — you’d think Illinois would be smarter than that, but it’s Illinois — and interest from SMU and apparently NU.
Omaha Creighton Prep quarterback Easton Stick texted me that he hasn’t talked to Nebraska recently and appears headed for North Dakota State.
>> Nebraska closing in on Nick Gates. Bo Pelini took a contingency with him to Las Vegas for an in-home visit with Gates Tuesday. Gates told all Nebraska recruiting sites he canceled a visit to UCLA, and, coming off the heels of a visit to Arizona, it would appear NU’s confidently in the lead for the top offensive tackle prospect on their board. However Husker fans might feel about Gates, Nebraska’s loved the guy, and if Gates pulls the trigger, NU will have landed their top two guard prospects — Tanner Farmer and D.J. Foster — and their top tackle guy in Gates. Barney Cotton and John Garrison have recruited their position well for several years now.
Look for Gates to make his decision soon. End of the week, perhaps. Or earlier.
>> Honing in on needs. Apparently, with Chris Jones’ commit Monday, Deion Hallmon lost his spot in the class. That would explain his visit being moved back. I liked Hallmon more — I think he could have been taught how to be physical, while you can’t teach his closing — but whatever. Nebraska feels as though it’s done. I’ll be curious to see if Hallmon lands elsewhere and plays his way into notoriety.
But NU’s still working on defensive end and running back. At d-end, Houston-area prospect Isadore Outing is a recent name in the mix. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound three-star is a Cal decommit. The other usual names — big Kevin Bronson out of Delray Beach, Fla., who looks like an Avery Moss clone — are still there, too. Bronson’s high school competition is the only pause piece with him. Otherwise, Nebraska may be pulling a steal there.
At running back, Nebraska’s in it with Mikale Wilbon — a shortish, stacked guy who visited last weekend and has some Ameer Abdullah attributes to him — is still in the mix and Dallas athlete Corey Avery visits this week. At 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, Avery is a three-star guy, built like current Husker Terrell Newby, who himself is built like some of the older Husker I-Backs — lean muscle. My concern with Avery is his similarity to Newby, and perhaps that he doesn’t have the biggest upper body; Wilbon — who has now canceled a visit with Missouri and seems really high on Nebraska — is more compact and bounces off tacklers better. Avery runs pretty high, but the skillset is there. Quick feet, good stiff arm, strong change of direction. It’ll be an interesting choice Nebraska has to make between those two.