HuskerOnline - Three & Out: NU early enrollees, Reese Mooney, Nebraska vs. Iowa recruiting
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Three & Out: NU early enrollees, Reese Mooney, Nebraska vs. Iowa recruiting

This is HuskerOnline.com's feature in which recruiting analysts Mike Matya and Bryan Munson give their weekly takes on topical issues concerning Nebraska football, baseball and recruiting.

Today in our next installment of "Three and Out" we hit on NU early enrollees, Reese Mooney goes elsewhere, Nebraska vs. Iowa recruiting battles.

Ernest Hausmann will be one of the Husker early enrollees in this class.
Ernest Hausmann will be one of the Husker early enrollees in this class. (Sean Callahan)

Cornhusker Early Enrollees

Just as the overall numbers for signees in this 2022 Nebraska football recruiting class will be less than previous cycles, so too the number of early enrollees will be down significantly from prior classes signed by Scott Frost.

Before this particular class, Nebraska was averaging over nine December graduates and early enrollees per cycle under Coach Frost, and it's looking as if NU will we have only three of them in their Class of 2022.

Husker early enrollees under Scott Frost
Class Junior College High School All

2018

4

5

9

2019

0

7

7

2020

3*

6

9

2020

0

12

12

2021

0

3

3

Totals

7

33

40

The three Husker verbal commitments who have confirmed to us that they will be graduating early and enrolling in Lincoln in January for the start of the second semester are below:

In-state linebacker Ernest Hausmann, as well as both of their receiver commits, Grant Page and Victor Jones, will be on hand for winter conditioning and spring practice next year.

All the rest of the signees plan to complete their senior years of high school, some in order to be able to play basketball or run track.

Husker fans will get their first look at the new freshmen early enrollee additions to Nebraska's team in action at the Red-White spring game in April.

- Mike Matya

Reese Mooney
Reese Mooney (Twitter)

Not surprising with Mooney

First off let me just say that Reese Mooney and his father are on the RSS board and that I have enjoyed talking to both of them. They are Big Red fans and I am sure that Reese’s commitment was exciting and at the same time a little bittersweet.

I don’t know how Nebraska could have accepted Mooney’s commitment without a majority of the offensive staff being let go a couple of weeks ago. The connections for Mooney were back to Frost but also to Verduzco.

It seemed a little like destiny from right off the bat in April of 2020 that Mooney would eventually play two sports at Nebraska. But then the process drug out and recently felt like it had started changing between Mooney and Nebraska. The offer by Nebraska to Ankeny (Iowa) quarterback JJ Kohl really punctuated that feeling as well.

In the days and weeks leading up to Verduzco being shown the door at Nebraska, the Huskers were not the team chasing Mooney the hardest. There may have been a handful of teams recruiting Mooney harder, actually. Another indicator.

Maybe it was the injury? Maybe it was that Verduzco was really Mooney’s biggest fan at Nebraska and things were changing for him with Nebraska, too? I am not sure.

All I know is that Mooney felt like he needed to make a decision now and he is now a Vanderbilt Commodore commit. I also know there are a lot of things Nebraska needs to do before not having a quarterback commit in the 2023 class before it becomes an issue.

It’s time to start addressing those things firstand then get to the 2023 quarterback need.

- Bryan Munson

Iowa snatched tight end Noah Fant out of Omaha and he eventually became an NFL 1st round draft choice.
Iowa snatched tight end Noah Fant out of Omaha and he eventually became an NFL 1st round draft choice. (Getty Images)

Nebraska vs. Iowa recruiting competition

The Nebraska and Iowa college football programs have regularly crossed the Missouri River in search of top football prospects to raid from each other's states.

Whether it be the Huskers stealing Curtis and Roger Craig, Jamie Williams, and even NU athletic director and Husker Butkus Award winner Trev Alberts, or Iowa snatching away Larry Station, Drew Ott, Noah Fant or Keagan Johnson, each program has had their share of recruiting triumphs in head to head match-ups against their border rival.

That recruiting competition has only increased since Nebraska joined the Big Ten conference a decade ago, and with former Iowa Hawkeye Erik Chinander now the Huskers' defensive coordinator.

Huskers vs. Hawkeyes recruiting battles
Class Nebraska commits-signees with Iowa offers Iowa commits-signees with Nebraska offers

2019

4

2

2020

2

5

2021

4

9

2022

1

2

Totals

11

18

2019

2020

2021

In the past four full recruiting classes under Scott Frost, Iowa has signed more recruits with Nebraska offers than vice versa. But the Huskers have taken three players out of the state of Iowa, and the Hawkeyes only returned the favor once.

Looking ahead, Nebraska has already tendered scholarships to eight recruits of Iowa for the Class of 2023, whereas Iowa has only offered one thus far: NU offensive tackle commit Gunnar Gottula.

Expect this competition between the two programs to continue in future recruiting cycles, no matter who the head coaches are at Nebraska and Iowa.

- Mike Matya