Scott Frost and his Nebraska football staff have been on a mad recruiting dash since his first hour as the head coach here.
Recruiting never stops, the adage goes, but the first wave is set to pass in the next four days.
The Huskers are slated to have a half-dozen prospects on campus this weekend. Come midnight Monday, a dead period begins, meaning coaches around the country can have only written correspondence with recruits and can no longer see them face-to-face in homes, at schools or on university campuses.
And while Frost and company would surely take a few more days to get in front of young men and their families before Wednesday’s early signing date, the relative slow-down in the schedule may actually allow the 42-year-old to wake up and go to bed without leaving the state of Florida for a change.
After all, Frost ran Central Florida’s Peach Bowl practices Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but was out recruiting after each. Before the first practice, he was out recruiting and didn’t land in Orlando until 12:43 a.m.; Tuesday after practice, he flew to California and didn’t get back until 5:31 a.m. That didn’t stop him from leaving Wednesday night and flying to Lincoln for a walk-on event, arriving back in Orlando at 2:16 a.m.
That must have made Thursday night feel like a piece of cake. After practice, he got back to Lincoln shortly before 11 p.m. Now, he and NU host the last group of 2018 recruits before the first signing day arrives.
It includes: four-star verbal commitment Tate Wildeman (defensive lineman, Parker, Colorado); Butler (Kansas) Community College linebacker Will Honas; three-star athlete Marcus Riley (Tallahassee, Florida); three-star tight ends Katerian Legrone (Atlanta) and Messiah Swinson (Brookville, New York); and four-star safety Cam’ron Jones (Mansfield, Texas).
Several others at one time or another indicated they would visit Lincoln this weekend, but 247Sports and Huskers247 recruiting analyst Mike Schaefer said it’s been a fluid week around the country.
“I don’t know where (City College of San Francisco defensive end/outside linebacker) Jordan Allen is going, but that’s one I think a lot of people were hoping would be visiting Nebraska this weekend,” Schaefer said. “There’s just so much going on. Tennessee just offered him; maybe that excites him more than the Nebraska offer did. There’s just a lot of options and with the early signing period, I think people are super-aggressive right now in trying to get people to campus because if you get them there and they commit and you get them convinced to sign, you’re done.
“That’s why you see some of these sprawling, fluid lists right now because on Monday, a kid is like, ‘Yeah, I’m definitely going to (visit) Nebraska,’ on Wednesday he’s saying, ‘No, I’m visiting NC State instead,’ and then Friday he’s on a plane to Tennessee.”
Honas is maybe the most interesting of the group slated to be here. He’s considered by many to be the best or among the best junior college linebackers in the nation, but he describes his skill set as that of a 4-3 inside linebacker. The Huskers are expected to stay with a 3-4 under new defensive coordinator Erik Chinander, but Honas is interested enough to visit anyway.
Riley was among the first 15 or so players offered by this staff and is currently committed to Louisville. Legrone, meanwhile, is currently committed to UCF. Swinson is enormous (6-foot-8 and 232 pounds), and the staff must be drooling about the prospect of pairing Jones (6-0, 200) with fellow four-star safety C.J. Smith (6-2, 193), who verbally committed last week.
In addition to the coaching staff, Wildeman will be there to help sell the program. He visited unofficially during the fall but is using his official now. He’ll be both a recruit and a recruiter.
“I’m going to be recruiting a lot of guys, just hitting them with all the facts and what I know,” said Wildeman, who received an in-home visit from defensive line coach Mike Dawson on Wednesday and two visits from offensive analyst Frank Verducci.
The Huskers enter the weekend with 11 verbal commitments, though heralded wide receiver Cameron Brown’s status is up in the air ahead of his signing ceremony at his St. Louis-area school Wednesday afternoon. The dead period lasts until Jan. 11, at which point schools will have four more weeks before the second signing day arrives Feb. 7.