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Keeping up with Huskers’ offensive tackle recruiting

It’s a wild time during recruiting season for Nebraska (more so than usual). Wide receivers and defensive backs are getting tons of love lately, not to mention guys that can do it all like Micah Parsons.

That said, it’s time to focus on an area that’s been getting overlooked a bit, one that has some fans screaming for attention: the offensive line.

Nebraska’s looking for a good offensive tackle for this smaller class and to the surprise of many, one-time Penn State commit Chris Bleich up and committed to UCLA after expectations of him being the next Husker verbal had been at a fever pitch for a while. Trey Stratford‘s name popped up as his likely replacement, but before a week could go by, he committed to the Bruins as well.

This leaves us asking just who the Huskers are going to get to fill their last remaining spot. Sure enough, there are plenty of options left on the table.

Cade Beresford

Beresford may have taken the place of Bleich and Stratford as the guy that Nebraska wants but in this world, we cannot stress enough how fickle recruiting can be. Cade quietly visited Nebraska during Friday Night Lights and worked with coach Cavanaugh. Both sides were equally impressed with one another and an offer went out to Cade sooner after his visit.

While Cade’s offer list isn’t overly impressive, its quickly growing as more teams get to see him in person. Considered a late-bloomer by most Cade didn’t even play the position until just a few short years ago so he’s a kid that is rapidly growing into his body and the move from quarterback to offensive tackle. With quick feet and a good reach, you should expect his offer list to continue to grow. Since Nebraska’s offer he has added news offers from Washington State and ASU respectively. He also holds a smattering of other offers from the likes of Nevada, Wyoming, along with a smattering of FCS schools. Expect his stock to continue to rise.

Richard Gouraige

While the Huskers do need to grab a tackle for this class, they’re not going to take Beresford on impulse. Nebraska’s still after some major prospects such as Gouraige. Husker Nation is familiar with plenty of names that attended The Opening this year and you can add Gouraige’s name to that list.

At 6-5 and 271 pounds, while he doesn’t have what might be considered “ideal” height for a tackle, he’s much closer to being able to contribute immediately. Also, he has the potential to do one thing that Cavanaugh loves most and that’s being able to shift to other positions if need be.

Getting his commitment won’t be an easy task, though. He has a pile of offers including ones from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida and LSU.

William Barnes

Another four-star prospect, Barnes’ stomping grounds should sound familiar to Nebraska fans. He attends Apopka High School in Florida which is current Husker wide receiver/holder Zack Darlington’s alma mater.

Barnes already has plenty of weight packed on at 312 pounds. While a growth spurt wouldn’t hurt (he checks in at 6-4), he’s already considered one of the most dominant high school tackles in the nation, carrying a No. 4 ranking at the position according to the 247Sports Composite Index.

As you can imagine, in-state Florida likely has the inside track as does Ohio State and North Carolina.

Badara Traore

Many Nebraska fans feel this staff hasn’t targeted the junior college ranks enough, but that perceived trend is broken with Traore. A product of ASA College’s New York campus, Traore already has the size to step in and perform at 6-8 and 315 pounds.

It’d simply be a question of how quickly he can learn the system. A four-star prospect, it’s not a stretch to think that he could compete with Nebraska’s best immediately. Appropriately, he has a mountain of offers but if the Huskers put a full-court press on, they’d land a tackle well worth the effort.

Malik Besseck

Rounding out today’s Fab Five is another JUCO prospect, Traore’s teammate Malik Besseck. Besseck doesn’t have the size that Traore has, but he’s much closer to the swing frame that Cavanaugh is so fond of weighing in at 6’5″ and 280lbs.

He would likely need some more time in the system before being able to meaningfully contribute as while he’s physically closer to where he needs to be than many high school freshmen, he’s not the elite prospect that his teammate is. However, he has offers from over 20 different schools so he is no chopped liver.

Follow Brandon on Twitter (@eightlaces)

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