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Mike Riley, Nebraska quietly stealing the 2018 recruiting show in Big Ten

Huskers hot hand on the 2018 recruiting trail continues with another 4-star player in the fold.

Mike Riley isn’t going to steal the offseason headlines, that just isn’t his personality. However, sleeping on the Nebraska Cornhuskers this offseason would be a major mistake.

Riley and Co. have settled in nicely to life in Lincoln, Neb., and it shows on the 2018 recruiting trail in a big way. We all got a glimpse of the power behind Riley’s west coast ties and Nebraska’s name earlier this week.

That’s because 4-star defensive back Chase Williams gave his verbal commitment to the Huskers. 247Sports has him listed as a 6-1, 190-pound wide receiver, but Nebraska has been all over him as a defensive back of the future.

He is the second 4-star cornerback to join the fold and the fifth player inside the 247Sports Top 247 players in the country. The first came just over 10 days prior to Williams’ commitment, as Brendan Radley-Hiles of IMG Academy in Florida also pledged to the Huskers.

Radly-Hiles is the No. 9 ranked cornerback in the country and the No. 58 ranked player in the nation. He leads the Huskers eight total verbal commits so far in the 2018 recruiting cycle.

That kind of early output has Nebraska sitting at the No. 10 spot in the national team rankings and fourth in the Big Ten to date.

It also has to have others taking notice, especially as the team brings in defensive guru Bob Diaco as the defensive coordinator. Diaco’s 3-4 scheme is largely predicated on one-on-one coverage skills and it appears this squad is going to have some of the best high school talent at the cornerback position coming on board.

However, the defense isn’t the only area that is getting attention, as the No. 5 tight end in the country, Cameron Jurgens, is amongst the five 4-star players already in the fold for Nebraska.

There is also a pair of 4-star wide receivers from California in the mix, with Eric Fuller coming in as the No. 26 wide receiver nationally and 6-2 Manuel Allen also in the fold.

With quarterback Tanner Lee winning the quarterback job (at least out of spring camp), it is clear that Riley is adding all the pieces needed to really transform this offense in to the one we’ve all come to know from his time at Oregon State.

Lee may only get one season, if at all, with that kind of talent, but the plan Riley needs to have in place is falling in to place quickly.

Will that talent show quick enough on the field to get this program to the championship level everyone is going to require by year four of the Riley era? Or will recruiting like this buy him some extra time to get a B1G championship banner up?

Recruiting at the top of the national food chain certainly will be taken in to consideration, and the 2018 class is certainly one that could change the prospects for Riley and the Huskers program if the evaluations of talent are correct.


Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball


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