USA TODAY High School Sports’ Friday Night Notes en a weekly high school football recruiting roundup that breaks down the latest news from around the country, from the Class of 2022 to ’23 and beyond.
Look back 30 years in the world of college football and you’ll see that part of the battle for supremacy included the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Tommy Frazier, Ahman Green and Lawrence Phillips. Osborne is in command. A lot of defensive standouts, Ed Stewart and the Blackshirt dynasties. The overall product made the Cornhuskers a power contender and recruiting mecca for top high school football year after year.
And while Nebraska has been successful ever since, nothing has matched the stretch’s overall dynamic in the 1990s.
Instead, it’s been more of a spiral into a gray area among college football teams, where coaching problems and atypical records have been more the norm at Lincoln. Externally, those shortcomings had left fans, alumni and patrons, one and the same, hoping for a revival, for the trend to return to the days when Nebraska ruled.
And with that, we come to a time where the 2020s is the new 1990s for Nebraska football.
Where, in general, things… things don’t seem so bad.
While head coach Scott Frost’s latest run isn’t a 5-star bonanza, there’s something remarkable about landing the best recruits in the state. (Won’t they leave the state? Check.) Casey Thompson and Chubba Purdy highlight a transfer portal group that only adds to the updates for 2022 and beyond.
Amazing? Me. Much. And credit Mark Whipple, who starts the first year as offensive coordinator, for much of that. Pitt’s former OC has been in the recruiting game for decades, including the years when Nebraska was at the top. So he knows what it takes.
You also know that recruiting is simply a sneak peek for the bigger job ahead.
“Recruiting, without a doubt, is very, very important,” Whipple told 247 Sports. “But a lot of that still has to do with coach development and culture.”
Here’s more of the notebook…
Notre Dame lands a Carr
As in Lloyd Carr’s grandson, CJ. The 6-foot-2.5-inch slinger announced that Notre Dame was the “right place” for him, leaving behind a lineage of Wolverines that also includes his father, Jason.
It’s not a big deal, is it? (I’ll allow Michigan fans to lie here, without judgment.)
Speaking of throwback to the early 1990s, the recruit classes the Fighting Irish are showing for 2023 and now 2024 are impressive.
Read the full story about Carr here.
More than one elite 2023 safety for the Gators?
SEC offenses aren’t going to be downgraded anytime soon, so when the opportunity to land a top defensive prospect presents itself, you need to attack (or chew in this case).
Four-star safety Joenel Aguero listed the Florida Gators as one of the four schools he is considering. Aguero ranks second among safeties in the class of 2023, so signing the talented defender would be a big plus for new coach Patrick Toney.
Keeping him out of Georgia, another program Aguero is considering, would be a plus-PLUS.
Having him in the same high school class as five-star AJ Harris (who visits Gainesville on June 17)? MORE MORE MORE!
Expect. How much did Chase Bisontis squat?
My knees hurt when I read the answer: 595 pounds.
To put that momentum into perspective, the four-star offensive lineman from Don Bosco Prep (NJ) squatted a quarter ton. Almost four Nick Saban. That’s epic.
If that power continues to grow at the college level, watch out!
And where will that university be? Bisontis has some interesting teams marked as potential landing spots, with an official visit to Rutgers on the schedule this weekend. Texas A&M, Georgia, LSU Y state of michigan are also on the list.
Read here how Bisontis’ herculean reputation ranks among mere mortals in the weight room..
Welcome to the state of Michigan. Welcome to the state of Michigan. Welcome to the state of Michigan. Hello welcome. Hello! Etc.
It’s very early in the 2023 recruiting cycle, but you can’t miss what’s happening at Michigan State. Head coach Mel Tucker and the Spartans have commitments of eight recruits so far, including four-star wide receiver Demitrius Bell of Blackman (Murfreesboro, Tenn.). And the team welcomes 11 four-star prospects this weekend—11!—plus five-star OT Samson Okunlola.
Read more about the 2023 Michigan State Tour here.