2021 College Football Class Review: Nebraska

By Corey Long - @CoreyLong
Updated Nov. 16, 2020.

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This is everything we got college recruiting wise for Nebraska but don't take our word for it...be sure to click around the site to drive up our traffic. :).

Conference Class Rank

Last Updated/Ranked: June 11, 2020
1 Ohio State logo Ohio State
2 Michigan logo Michigan
3 Iowa logo Iowa
4 Minnesota logo Minnesota
5 Penn State logo Penn State
6 Maryland logo Maryland
7 Wisconsin logo Wisconsin
8 Nebraska logo Nebraska
9 Rutgers logo Rutgers
10 Indiana logo Indiana
11 Purdue logo Purdue
12 Northwestern logo Northwestern
13 Michigan State logo Michigan State
14 Illinois logo Illinois

2021 College Recruiting - 17 Commits

Last Player Grade Published on Nov. 16, 2020
Nebraska logo S Koby Bretz (Omaha, NE) commits to Nebraska  View Class

Bretz (6-2, 185) is one of the top players in Nebraska during this cycle and a big in-state commitment for the Cornhuskers. One of the film clips that got fans excited about Bretz saw him coming from across the field to stop a ball-carrier from scoring at the 1-yard line and delivering a knockout hit that forced a fumble and a turnover. Nebraska could use some playmakers on the defense, and Bretz could make things happen as a big safety or potentially safety/linebacker hybrid. Bretz flashes some promising potential at deep safety. He is good at tracking the ball and taking the right angles to make the play.

Koby Bretz's Player Grade: B-
Nebraska logo TE Thomas Fidone (Council Bluffs, IA) commits to Nebraska  View Class

Nebraska has been on the hunt for a big-time tight end and got its guy when Fidone, the No. 3 tight end in the 2021 class, picked the program over Iowa and LSU. It's frustrating that the All-American Bowl - and Under Armor All-America Game - are canceled this year, because I want to see Fidone against top competition to make sure my eyes aren't completely deceiving me. At worst, he's a top 3-4 tight end in the nation, but Fidone does things that make me think he's the best tight end in the country as well. He can line up in the slot, on the outside, and even in the backfield if you want. He's a playmaker anywhere and a matchup nightmare. He isn't afraid to block, although he'll need more reps as an inline blocker. Fidone is a high-level athlete and a potential game-changer on offense for Nebraska.

Thomas Fidone's Player Grade: A-
Nebraska logo TE A.J. Rollins (Omaha, NE) commits to Nebraska  View Class

Rollins (6-6, 220) is a good athlete with a basketball background and gives the Cornhuskers a nice player at the position a few days after Thomas Fidone committed to the programs. Rollins has a big frame, and I think he's going to put on 35-40 pounds when it's all said and done. He is still developing his football skills, and on film, he shows nice aggressiveness as a blocker. If Rollins can make some improvements as a receiver, he could be a name to watch out for a few years from now.

A.J. Rollins' Player Grade: C+
Nebraska logo ATH Kamonte Grimes (Naples, FL) commits to Nebraska  View Class

Grimes is a good athlete, and right now, I think Nebraska is going to bring him in the program and see how it works out. My gut feeling is that Grimes will end up on defense.

Kamonte Grimes' Player Grade: C+
Nebraska logo CB Malik Williams (Buford, GA) commits to Nebraska  View Class

Williams (6-0, 185) continues Nebraska's successful trend of recruiting in Georgia. He is the third player from the Peach State to commit to Nebraska during this cycle.

Williams has good length and plays a nice aggressive game. His top-end speed is a big question mark, and I don't know how well he'd fit into a scheme where he has to play a lot of man and single coverage. But as a zone cornerback and someone who can play on the boundary, Williams is a good tackler and should project as a solid program guy.

Malik Williams' Player Grade: C
Nebraska logo ATH Marques Buford (Cedar Hill, TX) commits to Nebraska  View Class

Buford (6-0, 185) has moved around a little bit already. He started his high school career in Bolingbrook, Illinois and also played for Oakdale Prep school before moving to Texas and playing at Trinity Christian, a small program that has a few top-level FBS prospects. Buford made his name going through the camp circuit last year and turning a lot of heads.

Buford is a quick-twitch athlete who is likely to end up at cornerback. He has very good feet and reacts well to the play. Buford just needs more snaps and experience in real-game settings.

Marques Buford's Player Grade: C+
Nebraska logo CB Lardarius Webb Jr. (Jackson, MS) commits to Nebraska  View Class

Webb (5-10, 171) received his first Power Five offer from Nebraska and quickly committed soon after. He comes from a football background. Webb's father, Lardarius Sr., played college football at Nicholls State and spent nine seasons with the Baltimore Ravens from 2009-2017.

Webb Jr. has the size of a nickelback, but he has long arms and could probably match up with some receivers on the outside. He has had very little recruiting traction, so Nebraska is clearly trusting its evaluations on Webb. From the film, it looks like he has good game speed and instincts. His background and upbringing have probably helped his football IQ.

Lardarius Webb Jr.'s Player Grade: C+
Nebraska logo WR Latrell Neville (Missouri City, TX) commits to Nebraska  View Class

Neville (6-3, 192) is a good-looking prospect off the hoof. His numbers worry me a bit though. Neville plays at wide receiver and in the backfield a little bit, but he doesn't have the touches you would expect at this point. That could be a situation where his high school team doesn't have the players to get him the ball or something else.

On film, Neville looks like he's an adequate receiver who knows how to make himself a big, inviting target. He is still not fundamentally sound as a wide receiver and tends to let the ball catch him instead of vice versa. Neville isn't necessarily fast, but he's a long strider and strong enough to break a tackle after a catch. There's some upside here, but Neville needs to be developed.

Latrell Neville's Player Grade: C
Nebraska logo RB Gabe Ervin (Buford, GA) commits to Nebraska  View Class

Nebraska has made some inroads in Georgia, and Ervin represents the second prospect from the Peach State who has verbally committed to the Cornhuskers in this recruiting cycle. I'm not sure what's happened with Nebraska running backs in the past decade, but Ervin (6-0, 200) looks the part of what I expect to see from a back at Nebraska.

Ervin has good size and is a explosive out of the backfield, but he also runs with some power and toughness. Ervin runs through arm tackles and knows when to lower his shoulder. He fits the identity of a bigger back who runs between the tackle. Ervin is built well in the lower body and has great balance. I think he's much better than some of the rankings suggest.

Gabe Ervin's Player Grade: B
Nebraska logo LB Will Schweitzer (Los Gatos, CA) commits to Nebraska  View Class

Schweitzer (6-4, 205) is probably going to have to find a place on the field. He is a natural edge rusher and does it very well. Schweitzer has the quickness to be capable in coverage, but I think he lacks the experience to know how to do it consistently.

Schweitzer looks like a situational pass rusher who will have to be put in different places to make an impact. I'm not sure if he's a natural outside linebacker. Once Schweitzer fills out, we'll know more. He might not be big enough to put his hand in the ground. That being said everyone's looking for pass rushers, which Schweitzer can definitely do.

Will Schweitzer's Player Grade: C+
Nebraska logo LB Seth Malcom (Tabor, IA) commits to Nebraska  View Class

Malcom plays 8-man football in high school, making it a little more difficult to project those skills to the 11-man game. The 8-man variety is played with a lot of space, so Malcom (6-3, 190) should be comfortable dropping back and seeing the whole field. He was a man among boys athletically, however, so he will have to show that he can produce against a much higher level of competition.

Malcom has the length and the measurable to play on the outside, but depending on how he grows and how comfortable he is in coverage, Malcom's future spot could be in the middle and playing up on the line of scrimmage. Malcom has some athletic upside and a skill set that will need to be developed.

Seth Malcom's Player Grade: C+
Nebraska logo WR Shawn Hardy (Kingsland, GA) commits to Nebraska  View Class

It took a while for the Cornhuskers to address the wide receiver position, but they extended an offer to Hardy (6-2, 191) and quickly got a response in the way of a verbal commitment. Hardy is a tremendous athlete who also plays basketball and runs track. He is not the most refined wide receiver ,but he's an explosive talent with speed and the ability to make plays down the field. Hardy has great size and length too, both of which Nebraska needs at the skilled position. There is a lot of upside with Hardy, and he's a player who checks several boxes for the Cornhuskers.

Shawn Hardy's Player Grade: B-
Nebraska logo QB Heinrich Haarberg (Kearney, NE) commits to Nebraska  View Class

Haarberg (6-5, 187) is a long, tall athletic quarterback with a big frame and some very intriguing upside. He is a good runner who has a recorded time of under 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Haarberg gets most of his big gains on the ground come from when he finds open field and is able to sprint though. He is fast, but not elusive. He is spotty as a passer, but it's an area he has improved from his sophomore to his junior year, and he should continue to show improvements in ball placement and accuracy. Haarberg is pretty light on the frame, but he has room to add 30-40 pounds to fill it out. He needs development as a passer, and I think Haarberg might need a few years to put it all together, but I could see him becoming the starter after 2-3 years of seasoning.

Heinrich Haarberg's Player Grade: C+
Nebraska logo LB Patrick Payton (Miami, FL) commits to Nebraska  View Class

Payton (6-5, 196) is a long, lean, quick-twitch athlete from the storied Miami Northwestern program. I actually had a chance to see him live against Miami Columbus, which eventually won the state title in Florida's highest classification. Payton had five sacks in the game and played like he owned real estate in the backfield. Nebraska's had a couple of trying years under Scott Frost, but the program can't keep losing as Frpst continues to recruit high-upside players like Payton.

As of now, Payton is a stand-up speed rush end. He has a nice swim/slash move to get to get past a blocker, and that's been good enough. Payton has a big frame and wide shoulders, so getting to 240-250 pounds might not be a big issue. Whether he's a defensive end, a linebacker or a combination of both, I think Payton is a player.

Patrick Payton's Player Grade: B+
Nebraska logo OT Branson Yager (Grantsville, UT) commits to Nebraska  View Class

Yager (6-7, 329) is a large offensive tackle prospect who is probably college ready in terms of size. As a run blocker, Yager uses his size to bulldoze the guy in front of him. He has good strong legs and can drive a defensive lineman off the ball. Yager has a real nasty streak, and he'll play until the officials tell him to stop. He has plus-level strength in his upper body as well. Yager's pass protection is all right, but he's not a great athlete and could get off the snap a lot quicker. Sometimes, Yager springs up a little high and loses leverage. He should be able to develop into a starter at one of the tackle positions over time.

Branson Yager's Player Grade: C+
Nebraska logo LB Christopher Paul Jr. (Cordele, GA) commits to Nebraska  View Class

I could see the Cornhuskers taking up to five linebackers in this class, so Scott Frost and his staff had to jump on targets early. Paul (6-1, 215) actually visited the campus last season for a game, so he's had a long time to build a relationship with Frost and the rest of the Nebraska staff. Paul is going to be a middle linebacker in college, and he has shown to be a tackling machine so far in high school. He had over 150 tackles as a junior. Paul is a physical player who can run and plays with a lot of effort. He can diagnose a play quickly, and when he has the chance to lay in a big hit, he doesn't miss.

Christopher Paul Jr.'s Player Grade: B-
Nebraska logo DE R.J. Sorensen (Fort Lauderdale, FL) commits to Nebraska  View Class
Sorensen already has good size and length (6-4, 235), and given that he's just 16, he hasn't stopped growing. He is the first commitment for Nebraska in the class of 2021. Rutgers and Colorado were also early offers. In his first two games on film, Sorensen is all over the place and getting into the backfield regularly. It's clear he plays with a high motor and has a nose for the football. One thing that really stands out with Sorensen is his strong hands. He is tough to control on a block. R.J. Sorensen's Player Grade: B-

All Commitments - 18

Most recent Commitment on Aug. 28, 2020
  • 8/28 - A.J. Rollins TE
  • 8/26 - Thomas Fidone TE
  • 8/24 - Koby Bretz S
  • 8/16 - Kamonte Grimes ATH
  • 7/21 - Malik Williams CB
  • 7/18 - Marques Buford ATH
  • 7/7 - Lardarius Webb Jr. CB
  • 7/4 - Latrell Neville WR
  • 6/23 - Gabe Ervin RB
  • 6/11 - Will Schweitzer LB
  • 6/6 - Seth Malcom LB
  • 5/29 - Shawn Hardy WR
  • 5/9 - Heinrich Haarberg QB
  • 5/1 - Patrick Payton LB
  • 4/27 - Branson Yager OT
  • 3/20 - Christopher Paul Jr. LB
  • 1/2 - Randolph Kpai LB
  • 9/1 - R.J. Sorensen DE

Last Season's Roster:

  • Seniors: 21
  • Juniors: 20
  • Sophmores: 21
  • Freshmen: 47
: 1 Players | 5 games played
Sr:0 Jr:0 So:1 Fr:0
Player Class Games|Starts
Lane McCallum So 5|0
DB: 20 Players | 105 games played
Sr:5 Jr:5 So:2 Fr:8
Player Class Games|Starts
Dicaprio Bootle Jr 9|9
Marquel Dismuke Jr 9|9
Lamar Jackson Sr 9|9
Braxton Clark Fr 9|1
Eric Lee Jr. Sr 9|1
Reid Karel Sr 9|0
Jeramiah Stovall Sr 9|0
Eli Sullivan Jr 9|0
Cam Taylor-Britt So 8|7
Isaiah Stalbird Fr 8|0
Quinton Newsome Fr 7|0
Tony Butler Jr 3|0
Deontai Williams Jr 2|1
Myles Farmer Fr 2|0
Noa Pola-Gates Fr 2|0
Javin Wright Fr 1|0
Avery Anderson Sr 0|0
Ethan Cox So 0|0
Tyson Guzman Fr 0|0
Mosai Newsom Fr 0|0
DL: 15 Players | 68 games played
Sr:6 Jr:2 So:4 Fr:3
Player Class Games|Starts
Darrion Daniels Sr 9|9
Carlos Davis Sr 9|9
Ben Stille Jr 9|1
Damion Daniels So 9|0
Deontre Thomas So 9|0
Khalil Davis Sr 8|8
DaiShon Neal Sr 8|0
Fyn Anderson Sr 2|0
Casey Rogers Fr 2|0
Jahkeem Green Jr 1|0
Damian Jackson So 1|0
Tate Wildeman Fr 1|0
Ty Robinson Fr 0|0
Vaha Vainuku Sr 0|0
Chris Walker So 0|0
K: 2 Players | 4 games played
Sr:0 Jr:0 So:1 Fr:1
Player Class Games|Starts
Dylan Jorgensen Fr 2|0
Barret Pickering So 2|0
LB: 20 Players | 83 games played
Sr:3 Jr:3 So:2 Fr:12
Player Class Games|Starts
Mohamed Barry Sr 9|9
Alex Davis Sr 9|9
Collin Miller Jr 9|9
JoJo Domann Jr 9|4
Caleb Tannor So 9|4
Will Honas Jr 9|0
Garrett Nelson Fr 9|0
Luke Reimer Fr 7|0
Tyrin Ferguson Sr 5|0
Simon Otte Fr 3|0
Joseph Johnson Fr 2|0
Chris Cassidy Fr 1|0
Ryan Schommer Fr 1|0
Garrett Snodgrass Fr 1|0
David Alston Fr 0|0
Jamin Graham Fr 0|0
Jackson Hannah Fr 0|0
Nick Henrich Fr 0|0
Caden McCormack Fr 0|0
Jordan Paup So 0|0
LS: 1 Players | 8 games played
Sr:1 Jr:0 So:0 Fr:0
Player Class Games|Starts
Chase Urbach Sr 8|0
OL: 15 Players | 65 games played
Sr:0 Jr:5 So:4 Fr:6
Player Class Games|Starts
Matt Farniok Jr 9|9
Trent Hixson So 9|9
Cameron Jurgens Fr 9|9
Boe Wilson Jr 9|9
Brenden Jaimes Jr 9|8
Matt Sichterman So 9|1
Broc Bando So 7|0
Will Farniok Fr 2|0
Bryce Benhart Fr 1|0
John Raridon Jr 1|0
Brant Banks Fr 0|0
AJ Forbes Fr 0|0
Hunter Miller So 0|0
Ethan Piper Fr 0|0
Josh Wegener Jr 0|0
P: 2 Players | 17 games played
Sr:1 Jr:0 So:0 Fr:1
Player Class Games|Starts
Isaac Armstrong Sr 9|0
William Przystup Fr 8|0
QB: 5 Players | 15 games played
Sr:1 Jr:1 So:1 Fr:2
Player Class Games|Starts
Adrian Martinez So 7|7
Noah Vedral Sr 5|2
Luke McCaffrey Fr 2|0
Andrew Bunch Jr 1|0
Matt Masker Fr 0|0
RB: 8 Players | 37 games played
Sr:1 Jr:1 So:2 Fr:4
Player Class Games|Starts
Dedrick Mills Jr 9|3
Brody Belt Fr 9|0
Maurice Washington So 7|5
Wyatt Mazour Sr 7|0
Rahmir Johnson Fr 4|0
Zach Weinmaster Fr 1|0
Jaylin Bradley So 0|0
Ronald Thompkins Fr 0|0
TE: 5 Players | 24 games played
Sr:0 Jr:1 So:2 Fr:2
Player Class Games|Starts
Jack Stoll Jr 9|9
Austin Allen So 9|3
Kurt Rafdal So 4|0
Chris Hickman Fr 2|0
Katerian Legrone Fr 0|0
WR: 15 Players | 51 games played
Sr:3 Jr:2 So:2 Fr:8
Player Class Games|Starts
JD Spielman Jr 9|9
Kanawai Noa Sr 9|8
WanDale Robinson Fr 9|4
Mike Williams Sr 9|1
Kade Warner So 4|2
Darien Chase Fr 3|0
Miles Jones Fr 3|0
Jaevon McQuitty So 3|0
Jaron Woodyard Sr 2|1
Bennett Folkers Fr 0|0
Todd Honas Jr 0|0
Demariyon Houston Fr 0|0
Andre Hunt Fr 0|0
Wyatt Liewer Fr 0|0
Jamie Nance Fr 0|0


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