On December 20, three-star Miami cornerback Amare Sanders will choose between Duke, Louisville, Miami, Nebraska, and Virginia. However, the Cornhuskers seem like the most likely place for him to land. This is because they have had a foothold in his recruitment from the very beginning. Let’s break it down.
Sanders’ Nebraska Interest
After another disappointing season for the Big Red, many recruits would be disinterested in the program’s lack of progress. However, this isn’t what we hear from Sanders. According to 247Sports Steve Wiltfong. The three-star prospect is intrigued by the Huskers because he has said he has a “great relationship with head coach Matt Rhule as well as coach Evan Cooper.” This has led him to “believe in what they are doing and the change that they are trying to make happen.” And there’s a good reason for his optimism. In the Blackshirt defense, senior cornerback Quinton Newsome was one of the team’s anchors. He had 20 tackles, one interception and three pass deflections. Also, his teammate Tommi Hill put on an excellent showing for the Big Red this season. All told, the Orlando native had 17 tackles and 4 interceptions for the Huskers in 2023. Can Cooper and defensive coordinator Tony White look to recreate this type of play in Lincoln? It’s certainly possible if he can learn the 3-3-5 defense quickly.
Where Will He Fit In?
In his first year of football at Gulliver Prep, Sanders was all over the field in his eight games at the cornerback position. According to Max Preps, he recorded 32 total tackles as well as 17 assists and one tackle for loss. And in his senior season, he would double this production, recording 38 solo tackles as well as 16 assists. Granted, these aren’t eye-popping numbers, but his raw athleticism and football savvy speak for themselves. But, he still has imperfections. He would come in at 175 pounds, which means that he would still need to develop under strength coach Corey Cooper in the weight room. And he also needs to learn the playbook. This is an important step because his efficiency with the 3-3-5 will predict if he will be in a starting role in the spring or be used on the scout team or the practice squad.
A Look At NU’s Secondary Commits
If Sanders were to commit to Nebraska on December 20, he would join longtime headliner Mario Buford as well as a developmental prospect in North Carolina native Evan Taylor. But it doesn’t stop there in the Huskers 2024 recruiting push. The Huskers also were able to obtain Omaha Westside legacy Caleb Benning as well as Omaha North cornerback Donovan Jones. For Cooper, this is an impressive group of players for the Huskers to bring in. However, there is still a major problem within that unit. The freshmen have to be paired up with veterans. Last season, Newsome and Hill were two quality options in coverage for the Cornhuskers. This leaves Marques Buford Jr and Malcolm Hartzog with the most experience. Because of this, will Nebraska elect to go to the portal to fill the holes?
Will Another Prospect Join Him?
On June 28, three-star cornerback Larry Tarver Jr announced his commitment to Maryland Terrapins DC Brian Williams as well as cornerbacks coach Henry Baker. But since his summer pledge, the prospect visited Lincoln for the Purdue matchup. And there’s no doubt that he liked what he saw. In the October matchup, the Huskers only allowed 195 yards in their 31-14 win over the Boilermakers. And the Huskers also showed their dominance in the secondary when Newsome returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown. Because of this, On3 predicts that they have a good chance of landing his services. He’s been trending towards Cooper and the staff recently, but it’s not a done deal yet. He’s still committed to the Terps, and the Cornhuskers aren’t pushing his direction right now. Does their meddling in the portal impact his chances to be a part of the Husker’s recruiting class? We’ll see on December 20.
Read more about Quinton Newsome‘s dominant day against the Boilermakers in What Did We Learn About Nebraska’s Win Over Purdue?