LINCOLN — After 48 whirlwind hours of sealing deals and trumpeting recruiting success on Twitter, Nebraska football coaches won't have to endure many hat dance announcements on signing day.
How much drama and procrastination remains? Very little after NU did major weekend work.
The Huskers landed six prospects Saturday and Sunday, three for 2014 and three for 2015. The haul included a 2014 defensive end, 6-foot-3, 250-pound DeAndre Wills of Lineville, Ala., who committed Sunday after zooming onto Nebraska's radar in the last two weeks. He's likely the last defensive lineman NU will take in the class after getting a Saturday commit from Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood tackle-end Blake McClain.
In an interview, Wills — who said he has offers from Clemson and Ole Miss despite not taking official visits to either school — told The World-Herald he liked the visit and coach Rick Kaczenski's plan for him. Wills' relationship at Ole Miss was with former Nebraska intern and current Rebels ace recruiter Chris Kiffin.
Wills is rated as a three-star by Scout and a two-star by 247 Sports, but remains unrated by Rivals or ESPN.
Wills said Nebraska is “really a wonderful place, just going there and seeing everything. The coaches, the facilities, all the trophies, meeting players, the academics, the equipment ... the whole thing.”
Wills was joined Sunday by Norcross (Ga.) quarterback A.J. Bush, who had all but guaranteed he'd commit on his visit to Nebraska. The 6-4, 210-pounder — rated as a three-star by ESPN and a two-star by other services — made it official Sunday, joining already-enrolled Zack Darlington as quarterbacks in the 2014 class.
Bush was recruited as a wide receiver by other teams, including Boston College, but said he fits NU's style of offense. Bush's junior film from Milton (Ga.) High School and senior film at Norcross suggest as much. Lots of zone read, quick throws and check-with-me deep routes.
“It's actually brought a lot of happiness to my family, just knowing that a good and traditional program like Nebraska was interested in me,” Bush said. “The first thing you think of is a powerhouse program and a successful program that's used to winning.”
The third Sunday commit was 2015 safety Avery Anderson. The four-star prospect from Colorado Springs Pine Creek flipped from Arizona State not long after a friend and fellow 2015 defensive back prospect, four-star corner Eric Lee from Highlands Ranch, Colo., committed to Nebraska on Saturday night.
The 2015 pledges created as much noise in the recruiting world as the 2014 weekend commits. But Lee, Anderson and 2015 New Orleans Isidore Newman running back Kendall Bussey won't hit campus for at least 11 months.
So Nebraska's focus can now turn to the final prospects still considering a 2014 commit.
Nebraska's 2014 class lists 25 names after Hinds (Miss.) Community College wide receivers coach Dwike Wilson told Husker Online on Sunday that receiver Robert Lockhart won't sign with Nebraska on signing day. Lockhart, who tore his ACL late in the season, still has “some issues” to work out, Wilson told Husker Online.
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Other potential late additions:
» Kenyon Frison: The 6-5, 290-pound four-star offensive tackle from West Valley City, Utah, has narrowed his list to Nebraska, Oklahoma and Arizona State for at least a week. He could wait until signing day to make his call. If the Huskers get Frison, they'd finish off one of the strongest offensive line classes in the nation.
» Markell Boston: At 6-2, 200 pounds, the Newnan (Ga.) athlete would make a good safety prospect for the Huskers. The East Carolina commit visited Nebraska over the weekend, didn't commit on his trip, and could still get an offer from SEC powers Alabama or Auburn. Boston visited the Crimson Tide on Jan. 24. Boston's rated as a three-star or two-star, depending on the service, but has a highlight film and raw measurables.
» Desean Blair: With Lockhart's delay and the possibility that four-star prospect Monte Harrison of Lee's Summit, Mo., may choose professional baseball, Blair's potential commit becomes even more important to the class. The 6-4, 185-pounder was firmly committed to Louisville until Charlie Strong left for Texas. Blair opened up his recruitment after that, took visits to Nebraska, Louisville and Missouri, and confirmed to Rivals that he'd decide between the three on Tuesday.
Even if Blair doesn't commit to Nebraska, wide receivers coach Rich Fisher's pursuit of him opened the door to signing Sandalwood cornerback Chris Jones and McClain.
» Corey Avery: The 5-10, 180-pound three-star running back from Dallas Carter High School visited Lincoln two weeks ago, but appears headed for Kansas unless one of NU's two running back commits (Larenzo Stewart and Mikale Wilbon) pulls out.
» Mystery commit: So many names have popped out of virtually nowhere in January — Jariah Tolbert, Sedrick King and Wills are three of them — that one can't discount the Huskers finding another prospect at a position of need — like defensive end. Wills was especially unexpected.
Sunday night, the Huskers had surged in the team rankings of all four major recruiting services. Only Rivals does not include Lockhart among the projected signees:
» 247 Sports Composite: No. 34/No. 5 in the Big Ten
» ESPN: No. 40 nationally/No. 6 in the Big Ten
» Rivals: No. 31 nationally/No. 6 in the Big Ten
» Scout: No. 28 nationally/No. 5 in the Big Ten