Nebraska’s first priority of the spring evaluation period was to “swarm” its own state. The Huskers hit high schools in every corner of Nebraska over the last week, but now the coaches are expanding their range.

According to a tweet sent Tuesday from the official football account, the next priority on the list is the “Husker Heartland.” That essentially is the often-discussed 500-mile radius. The map included with the tweet included pins over the cities of Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and St. Louis.

Those are all pivotal cities for NU for various reasons and have produced many Huskers over recent years. They’ll be heavily recruited in the coming years as well. The coaches will be evaluating and targeting recruits for not only 2018, but 2019 and beyond as well.

Let’s take a closer look at those cities in the “Husker Heartland” and some key recruits to know from each city:

Chicago: The most populous city within Nebraska’s 500-mile radius, the Chicago area has produced several recent Huskers like Bryan Brokop, Mikale Wilbon and Jordan Westerkamp. The Huskers’ biggest target for the 2018 class from Chicago was cornerback Houston Griffith, though he now plays at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Nebraska has offered one 2019 prospect from the Chicago area in offensive lineman Will Putnam, who visited Lincoln earlier this month.

Dallas: Though most of the Dallas metroplex falls just outside the “500-mile radius” it’s still a major city in the “Husker Heartland.” Nebraska made a big splash there in 2017 by signing Damion Daniels and Deiontae Watts. Huskers Devine Ozigbo and Drew Brown also come from the Dallas area. Landing Daniels will pay dividends in the future as well. Nebraska has already received a commitment from one of his teammates in Marquez Beason, and it’s targeting Calvin Avery and Brian Williams as well — all of them visited for the spring game.

Denver: The Rocky Mountains have been good to Nebraska in recent years with players like JoJo Domann, Jack Stoll, Avery Anderson, Eric Lee, Kenny Bell and Jeremiah Sirles all coming to Lincoln from Denver or the surrounding area. The Huskers also landed a commitment this month from defensive end Tate Wildeman, who comes from the Denver suburb of Parker. Linebacker Adrian Jackson and Dimitri Stanley are two other 2018 prospects from Colorado with Husker offers, though no offers have gone out yet to that state in the 2019 class.

Minneapolis: Wide receiver JD Spielman is the most recent prospect from Minneapolis to come to Nebraska. Pass rusher David Alston is the top target from that area in the 2018 class, and after offering him earlier this month, the Huskers are hoping to get him to Lincoln soon for a visit. Minnesota’s hiring of PJ Fleck as its new football coach could make it tougher to pull recruits from there. Fleck already has commitments from the top two recruits from the state in 2018.

Oklahoma City/Tulsa: Nebraska’s recent pulls from Oklahoma include defensive lineman Deontre Thomas and offensive lineman Jalin Barnett. Both were considered among the state’s top prospects in their respective recruiting classes. The Huskers have offered five recruits from that state between the classes of 2018 and 2019, though more could come during and after this evaluation period.

St. Louis: On the other side of the state from Kansas City lies St. Louis, which is seeing a resurgence as a hotbed for football talent. In the past, Nebraska has pulled Tre Bryant, Tanner Farmer and Vincent Valentine from that area, but moving forward, the Huskers have several top targets from there. Some of the names to know for 2018 are Kamryn Babb, Trevor Trout, Michael Thompson, Cameron Brown and Ronnie Perkins. And for 2019, Nebraska has offers out to Cameron Coleman, Kyren Williams, Jalani Williams, Isaiah Williams and Marcus Washington.

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