As of Tuesday night, Scott Frost and his coaching staff are just slightly more than 72 hours past winning the American Athletic Conference title in Orlando, Florida, but already they are scouring the nation for talent for 2018 and beyond.
Through three days, that includes more than 30 scholarship offers and many visits to schools and homes around the country to see new recruits and also players who committed to Mike Riley’s staff.
Frost has worked the phones and visited some in-state prospects. He and inside linebackers coach-to-be Barrett Ruud visited Lincoln Southeast standout and Wisconsin verbal commit Bryson Williams on Sunday. On Tuesday evening, Frost was expected to conduct an in-home meeting with Beatrice tight end and Husker verbal commitment Cameron Jurgens, though Jurgens could not be reached for comment before press time.
At the same time, much of the staff has been out on the road, just as the head coach predicted Sunday.
“We already have boots on the ground getting out to see recruits and letting them know where we are and who’s going to be here,” Frost said then. “The response already has been tremendous and I think even with a short amount of time that we’re going to be able to get a lot of things done.”
Quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco was in Fresno, California, on Monday night for an in-home visit with four-star dual-threat quarterback Adrian Martinez, who has a Husker offer even though he’s still verbally committed to Tennessee.
Jovan Dewitt was in Florida on Sunday to see four-star cornerback C.J. Smith.
Offensive line coach Greg Austin was in Memphis, Tennessee, on Monday to see prep offensive lineman Jerome Carvin and running back Jeremy Banks, who are teammates at Cordova High. Banks had an offer from Mike Riley’s staff and tweeted Monday that Frost’s staff had confirmed that they still wanted him in Lincoln. On Tuesday night, Austin traveled to Schertz, Texas, to see four-star wide receiver Tommy Bush.
Frank Verducci, on NU’s staff after a year as an offensive analyst with Frost at Central Florida, drove up to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to see verbal commit Will Farniok.
“This coaching staff is great and they have great people and just meeting him last night I really got to know him and see that they are good people and really good coaches,” Farniok said Tuesday. “Just a lot of excitement.”
Verducci spent two years as Bob Diaco’s offensive coordinator at UConn before making his way to Orlando and has coached tight ends in the past. The Huskers do not currently have a tight ends coach, though Farniok said Verducci is expected to be an analyst again in Lincoln.
Farniok said he and Verducci talked about, “Just having Frost back and the direction the team is headed and just that they want to do the best they can and bring back the old Nebraska.”
Farniok said Austin is scheduled to visit later in the week and that he had not yet talked to Frost, but was looking forward to it.
And then there’s running backs coach Ryan Held, who’s been on both sides of the country in his short stint at Nebraska already.
Held visited former NU verbal commit Brendan Radley-Hiles — newly a five-star prospect according to Rivals’ rankings — in Bradenton, Florida. He also made his way to Rockledge High (Rockledge, Florida) to see four-star cornerback Jashaun Corbin and three-star wide receiver Antoine Green before heading to Arizona.
By Tuesday morning, he was meeting with Arizona Western Community College standouts Jahmir Johnson (offensive tackle), Jaron Woodyard (wide receiver), Greg Bell (running back) and Dominick Wood-Anderson (tight end).
It’s also clear the Husker staff’s collective experience in Florida bleeds at least a little bit north of the state line. They’ve offered four 2018 prospects from Georgia already in four-star safety Trey Dean (Hampton), three-star tight end Katerian Legrone (Atlanta) — he’s currently verbally committed to UCF — three-star safety Tyrese Ross (Atlanta) and three-star cornerback Jaycee Horn (Alpharetta).
As the staff crisscrosses the country looking for future Huskers, they are racing the clock before a dead period that begins Dec. 18. From then, through the early signing date to Jan. 11, coaches cannot visit schools or have any face-to-face contact with prospects.
Expect, then, that each of the next two weekends will feature several official visitors. There are already a handful lined up for the coming weekend and more are expected to filter in.