Recruiting: Nebraska hosts four-star lineman, key offensive line target commits elsewhere (2024)

While Nebraska football’s major official visit weekends will take place later this month, the Huskers still brought one of their top recruiting targets onto campus this week.

Las Vegas Bishop Gorman offensive lineman Douglas Utu took a mid-week official visit to Nebraska, a key development for the Huskers in their pursuit of the four-star prospect. Ranked as the nation’s fourth-best interior offensive lineman recruit by 247Sports, the 6-foot-5, 300-pound Utu has played as a multi-year starter for one of the nation’s top high school programs.

Due to his powerful frame, strong fundamentals and agility, Utu could play either guard or tackle for his future college. Many of the nation’s best programs are interested, with Alabama, Michigan and Washington also competing to earn Utu’s commitment.

The offensive lineman had previously unofficially visited Lincoln in October alongside a large contingent of Bishop Gorman teammates, several of whom are also 2025 recruiting targets for Nebraska. Fellow offensive lineman Alai Kalaniuvalu visited NU in April and SJ Alofaituli is scheduled for a June 21 official visit.

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Nebraska also hosted an unofficial visitor, Oakdale (Connecticut) St. Thomas More running back Mekhi Nelson, over the weekend. A three-star prospect who earned a Husker scholarship offer less than a month ago, Nelson’s status with the Huskers is slightly uncertain following running back Jamarion Parker’s Wednesday commitment.

NU now has two running backs in its 2025 class, Parker and Wahoo Neumann’s Conor Booth, and it’s unlikely the Huskers would add a third scholarship back in the same class. However, Nelson’s connection with Nebraska appears to be stronger than any other school recruiting him.

Other recruiting notes

* FNL camp quarterbacks: During Nebraska’s first Friday Night Lights camp of the summer, much of the attention was on the quarterbacks. With space limited within the Hawks Championship Center as thunderstorms pushed the camp inside, the participating linemen ran through their drills in the NU Coliseum while the quarterbacks and skill-position players remained inside the Hawks.

Among the participating quarterbacks was Mikey Gow, whose high school journey has led him back to the state after several years away. Formerly the starting quarterback for Bellevue East in 2021 and 2022, Gow transferred to Allen (Texas) and then Mustang (Oklahoma) but struggled to find playing time. Now back in the state, Gow has reclassified into the Class of 2026 and will play for Omaha North this fall.

Another in-state prospect, Millard South’s Jett Thomalla, had an impressive camp showing as Husker coaches closely evaluated his arm strength and accuracy. The 2026 recruit threw for 2,800 yards and 26 touchdowns as a sophom*ore but has not earned an FBS scholarship offer yet.

2027 Park Ridge (Illinois) Maine South quarterback Jameson Purcell earned an offer following his performance at the camp. 2028 quarterback Ace Amina, who will be heading into his freshman season of high school at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman this fall, also threw in front of Husker coaches at the camp and received an offer.

* OL target off the board: Bixby (Oklahoma) offensive lineman Broderick Shull looked hard at Nebraska,but the four-star recruit has decided to commit elsewhere.

After unofficially visiting Nebraska in April and returning in May for an official visit, Shull scheduled three June official visits to Auburn, Texas A&M and Texas Tech with the goal of making a summer decision about his future school.

Two of those visits will no longer have to take place following Shull’s commitment to Auburn on Friday. The 6-5 prospect had been one of Nebraska’s top options at offensive tackle, but the Huskers will now have to move on to other recruiting targets.

* Top-four lists: One player’s top-four list of schools confirmed Nebraska is still in the hunt for his commitment; another player’s list indicated that he’d eliminated the Huskers from contention.

The good news came from Palatine (Illinois) defensive lineman Jaylen Williams, who listed Michigan, Nebraska, Tennessee and Texas A&M as his top remaining schools. NU has pushed heavily for Williams in the last six months, and the four-star recruit will visit Lincoln on June 21 following official visits to his other key schools.

Phoenix Mountain Pointe defensive back Rylon Dillard-Allen, however, has narrowed his list of schools to Alabama, Texas A&M, UCLA and Washington. A three-star recruit who’d previously hoped to visit Nebraska this spring, Dillard-Allen briefly three weeks as an Arizona State commit before reopening his recruitment. It was then that Alabama extended an offer, a development which will lead the Huskers to seek other defensive back options.

* New 2025 offer: One of those options may be Hamilton (Ohio) defensive back Noah King, who received a scholarship offer from defensive backs coach Evan Cooper on Thursday. A 2025 recruit, King is a 6-2 safety prospect with impressive speed who also holds offers from Kentucky, Oregon State and West Virginia.


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Recruiting: Nebraska hosts four-star lineman, key offensive line target commits elsewhere (2024)


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