Stay updated with Nebraska Cornhuskers football recruiting in the latest edition of The Harvest, which posts at 7:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. Be sure to check out previous editions of The Harvest here.
Three names to keep an eye on after coaching hire
Not every Nebraska commit is going to be comfortable with whomever athletic director Bill Moos hires to be the program’s next football coach. Even if they have no problem with the selection, it’s possible they won’t be thrilled with their future position coach, especially if that hire is entirely new to them.
Here are three Nebraska commits to watch closely when the new coach and his staff are announced:
Joshua Moore: The 4-star wide receiver has repeatedly hinted on social media that he’s still committed to the Huskers, but his solid relationship with Mike Riley and former receivers coach Keith Williams was evident and greatly influenced his decision to commit to Nebraska.
“I was always taught that when you look a man in his eyes and give him your word then there is no turning back on that and on June 18th, 2017, I did exactly that. This is God’s plan for my life I’m not in charge here,” Moore wrote for Hail Varsity after the Riley’s firing was announced. “Whoever the next head coach is I hope he comes in with the right mindset because there is a lot of work to be done.
“You can never understand what it’s like to be on this side of the table as a recruit if you’ve never experienced it before,” Moore continued. “It’s very stressful and can be overwhelming at times but with God on my side I understand that I can never go wrong.”
I wasn’t built for backing down….
— KING (@_TheJoshuaMoore) November 30, 2017
Moore is currently the highest-rated player committed to the Huskers. Losing him would be a significant blow to the incoming coaching staff, and those coaches will do their best to assure Moore that Nebraska is the place for him.
RELATED: 2018 Nebraska recruiting big board
Mario Goodrich: The 4-star athlete had a solid official visit during the Northwestern game, but Mike Schaefer of 247Sports reported his sources from Goodrich’s hometown, Lee’s Summit, Mo., indicated his commitment status is rocky. The subsequent coaching change probably only added fuel to the fire in that case.
“People around him at Lee’s Summit felt at that time he’d be leaving Nebraska and that Oklahoma State was a possibility,” Schaefer wrote. “We’ll see if that ever takes shape, but don’t expect the defender to sign until February.”
Goodrich is expected to play cornerback at the next level. The No. 5 athlete in the nation, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, was primarily recruited by former cornerbacks coach Donte Williams. Without Williams in Lincoln anymore, it may be difficult for the Huskers to keep him on board.
Cameron Brown: A 4-star wide receiver also from Missouri (St. Louis), Brown has actually de-committed from the Huskers once already, only to commit again in August. The No. 56 wide receiver in the nation, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, took an official visit to Ohio State earlier this month. He also was supposed to visit UCLA, but then-coach Jim Mora got fired.
In the last couple of days, several recruiting experts on 247Sports’ Crystal Ball have flipped their predictions for Brown from the Huskers to the Buckeyes, as 56 percent of guesses have him heading to Ohio State. The new staff will have its work cut out with Brown once the coaches hit the recruiting trail in an effort to retain him. At this point, it’s looking like Brown will be playing for the Buckeyes regardless of who the new Nebraska coach is.
Two former Nebraska targets de-commit
The coaching carousel affects personnel and recruiting throughout all of college football. Several other programs can empathize with what the Huskers have endured this recruiting cycle, and Wednesday night was an example of how cruel the whole process can be.
Houston Griffith, a 4-star defensive back and the No. 62 player in this class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, announced Wednesday night on Twitter he was de-committing from Florida State. Griffith committed to the Seminoles on Oct. 8 after his official visit with the team that weekend. He was a one-time priority recruit for the Huskers and is a close friend of Moore’s after their time spent together at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
I’ve decided to reopen my recruitment.
— Houston Griffith (@___HG3) November 30, 2017
The Griffith de-commitment is clearly a reaction to the swirling rumors regarding Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher’s employment there; Fisher has repeatedly been linked to the Texas A&M opening. The Seminoles saw three de-commitments from their incoming class Wednesday night alone.
However, Griffith landing with the Huskers is a long shot right now. Notre Dame is now the likely destination for him.
Chris Bleich, a 3-star tackle from Wyoming Valley, Pa., flipped his commitment Wednesday night. He had been on flip-watch for the Huskers, especially after a strong official visit earlier this month and Mora losing his job at UCLA, where he committed to in May. I predicted that Bleich could be flipped, but the victor here was Florida.
Please respect my decision pic.twitter.com/M7hVtzIhWs
— GoldFish (@Bleich72) November 30, 2017
Bleich and Mississippi State held a mutual interest, and when Dan Mullen took the Gators job, he must have invited Bleich along, which was enough for him to flip his commitment. The Huskers will have to target a different offensive lineman now.
De-commitments nothing new for Huskers this cycle
The Huskers have endured two de-commitments within the last month to varying degrees of hurt. When Brendan “Bookie” Radley-Hiles announced his de-commitment on Oct. 31, it signaled a serious concern to the program. Radley-Hiles was the marquee prospect of the class and the primary peer recruiter. The 4-star cornerback would have been the highest-rated player to sign with the Huskers in almost a decade.
About three weeks later, fellow 4-star cornerback Chase Williams de-committed. While less of a blow overall, the impact was still severe. Other de-commitments in this class have come from a pair of 4-star wide receivers: Manuel Allen (Moreno Valley, Calif.) and Eric Fuller (Los Angeles).
But since the coaching change was announced, the Huskers have not lost anyone. That’s a testament to the work being put in by interim coach Trent Bray and the remaining support staff.
Missing out on Nebraska recruiting? Check out previous editions of The Harvest here.
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