Within three hours of the announcement of his hiring, new Husker assistant Donté Williams was boarding a flight to leave Nebraska.
That’s how eager he was to get out and recruit for his new team. Williams has already joined the other Husker coaches on the recruiting trail where he’ll make visits to schools and homes, spreading Big Red for the first time.
He’s even extended his first Nebraska scholarship offer. Jaiden Woodbey, a 2018 safety from St. John Bosco High School near Los Angeles, announced Tuesday that he had received an offer from the Huskers, and Williams has been recruiting him for quite some time.
Williams extended an Arizona scholarship offer to Woodbey in March and convinced him to take unofficial visits during the summer and fall. Now, he’ll try to get Woodbey to check out Lincoln. Woodbey is a consensus four-star recruit ranked as the nation’s No. 3 safety, according to the 247Sports composite.
But Williams’ more immediate focus will be on helping the Huskers close out their 2017 recruiting class, one that doesn’t yet include a defensive back.
The good news for the Huskers is Williams already has a relationship with several of their top targets. One of the biggest is Greg Johnson, who decommitted from Arizona on Sunday and visited Nebraska in October. Johnson’s high school coach said Williams has done a “phenomenal” job recruiting Johnson in the past and expects that to continue now that he’s coaching for Nebraska.
Williams also steered Arizona’s recruitment of Husker targets Darnay Holmes and Thomas Graham, both of whom visited Nebraska during the season. Another one to watch is Elijah Blades, an L.A.-area defensive back NU has pursued. He’s committed to Florida, but the Huskers hope the addition of Williams will provide him even more reason to give Nebraska a look.
And Williams already seems to know his Husker recruiting pitches. He tweeted this Tuesday morning:
“In just a few days with the resources and support I've seen at NEBRASKA, I know it's not a 3-5yr college, it's a lifetime commitment.”
Spread the Red
Nebraska released graphics on Tuesday that showed where the Husker coaches will be recruiting over the next couple days. Here's a look at where the staff will be:
>> Mike Riley and Donté Williams are headed to Rancho Cucamonga, California, to visit with defensive back Thomas Graham. He visited Nebraska for the Fresno State game and is expected to announce his commitment to a school this month.
>> Brian Stewart will be in Jacksonville, Florida, to see cornerback target Quran Hafiz. Nebraska is one of four finalists for him, and he will announce his decision on Dec. 19.
>> Mike Cavanaugh and Danny Langsdorf will be in Aledo, Texas, for a visit with offensive tackle Chuck Filiaga. The Huskers want him to take an official visit this coming weekend before he chooses a school in early January.
>> Reggie Davis will be in Orlando, Florida, where he will likely focus on evaluations for underclassmen.
Upcoming official visits
Nebraska will host its first batch of official visitors of the postseason. The Huskers are expected to bring in three recruits this weekend, though that list is subject to change. Here’s an early look at the prospects planning to check out Lincoln:
Wide receiver Gavin Holmes: The former Iowa commit from Texas is set to visit Nebraska less than two weeks after he received an offer from the Huskers. The three-star prospect had more than 1,500 yards receiving and 17 total touchdowns this past season. Holmes has also received offers from Arizona State, Cal, Houston, Indiana, Virginia and Washington State since he dropped his commitment to the Hawkeyes on Nov. 22.
Fullback Ben Miles: The son of former LSU coach Les Miles will return to Lincoln for the first time since the spring. He’s been committed to the Huskers for more than four months and is one of the nation’s top fullback prospects.
Linebacker Isaac Slade-Matautia: Defensive coordinator Mark Banker took a trip to Hawaii last week to lock down an official visit from this four-star linebacker. It will be the first official visit Slade-Matautia has taken, and the Huskers will hope the Hawaiian isn’t scared away by the cold Nebraska weather. Arizona, Colorado, Washington and Washington State are some of the other schools involved in Slade-Matautia’s recruitment.
Another from Calabasas
Add another name to the list of Husker targets at Calabasas High School.
2018 linebacker Reggie Hughes announced Monday that he’d received an offer from Nebraska. Husker coaches were in attendance for the Calabasas game over the weekend and apparently saw enough from Hughes to warrant an offer.
NU is the second school to offer Hughes after UCLA extended one last month.
The Huskers recently offered another Calabasas underclassman — Johnny Wilson — to go with 2017 commits Keyshawn Johnson Jr. and Tristan Gebbia, plus targets Darnay Holmes and Brendan Radley-Hiles. NU landed Marquel Dismuke from Calabasas in the last recruiting class.
» Darnay Holmes took an official visit to USC over the weekend. That was his second official visit after he checked out Ohio State a couple weeks ago. The Huskers still hope to receive another visit from him before he chooses a school.
» Offensive tackle Chuck Filiaga took an official visit to Texas over the weekend and is expected to host Mike Cavanaugh for an in-home visit Tuesday night. Cavanaugh also visited him last week. The Huskers hope to lock down his fifth official visit for this weekend, though his high school team has a state semifinal game Friday night. Filiaga plans to announce his commitment at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 7.
» Nebraska extended a walk-on offer to Omaha Skutt lineman Trent Hixson on Tuesday.