As the 2019 recruiting cycle winds down, Nebraska finds itself in a position that it hasn’t enjoyed in several years. There are more players interested in committing to Scott Frost and his Cornhuskers than there are spots available on the roster. Following the departure of Stanley Morgan Jr., the Big Red could certainly use another sturdy receiver to throw into the mix.
While Nebraska is searching for defensive backs and pass rushers, three wide receivers with eyes towards the Huskers may be too good to pass up. With space being limited, Frost and his staff need to choose carefully between a trio of wideouts each with their own unique resumes.
Charles Njoku – Wayne Hills High School (Wayne, N.J.)
The younger brother of Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku, Charles provides an even bigger target than Morgan, Jr. at 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds. The 247Sports Composite three-star prospect recently visited Lincoln and, by all accounts, loved what he saw. Njoku is a curious talent as while he would make a mammoth target for Adrian Martinez, he might not end up at wide receiver.
In fact, the younger Njoku may end up being taller than his brother and could be just as stout after participating in a strength and conditioning program. This would be less than ideal considering Nebraska has a logjam at the tight end position. Even if Njoku went through a redshirt year, the Huskers have four other tight ends likely in the mix with Jack Stoll, Austin Allen, Kurt Rafdal and the incoming Chris Hickman.
The key to keeping Njoku out of that gridlock would be to ensure he stays at about 225-230 pounds. He would have the chance to develop into the same red-zone threat that Maurice Purify was in 2006-07. He could either give Nebraska’s passing game a bigger receiver threat coupled with its current speedsters or another athletic big man with two or three tight ends in the formation for a splash of power. He visited Nebraska during the Jan. 12-13 weekend and UCLA this past weekend, setting up a former Oregon Duck scrap between Chip Kelly and Frost.
Demariyon Houston – Millwood High School (Oklahoma City)
While Njoku provides size, Houston offers more of what we’ve seen Nebraska lean towards lately. The 247Sports Composite four-star recruit and former Texas commitment is in the mold of JD Spielman or recent signee Wandale Robinson. His game would bring the Huskers’ offense even closer to something Frost would’ve trotted out at Oregon with the Marcus Mariota-like style of Martinez and several agile threats around him.
At 6-foot and 165 pounds, Houston could be used to spell Spielman (5-9, 185), assist Robinson (5-10, 180) and running back Maurice Washington or be used with all three to create a nightmare for defensive coordinators. Houston spent time on an official visit in Lincoln this past weekend.
Lawrence Cager – graduate transfer (Miami)
Cager is much like Njoku in that he’s got size (6-5, 220), but he also has valuable experience at the Power 5 level. In 2018, he contributed 374 yards and six touchdowns to the Hurricanes’ offensive output. The biggest x-factor with Cager is his timing. He’s currently exploring several schools including Georgia, Iowa State, Maryland, Oregon, and Penn State. He also isn’t planning on making his final decision until roughly February or March before showing up on his future campus in the summer. That said, he’ll be visited by Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell and staff shortly, so he may come off the board quicker than anticipated. Expect Nebraska to keep a scholarship or two open coming out of spring for just such a transfer, but Cager may very well be gone by then.
Out of all three, Njoku appears the most likely to end up in Lincoln. With only a few weeks before National Signing Day, not only will it be interesting to see the Njoku-Houston situation unfold, but whether or not there is room for Cager if he’s interested in joining the Huskers’ wide receiver corps.
— Written by Brandon Cavanaugh, FWAA member and part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Be sure to follow him on Twitter (@eightlaces). To contact him with tips, story ideas or for interview purposes, click here.