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Husker recruiting: Best friends from Kansas among Nebraska's growing list of official visitors
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Husker recruiting: Best friends from Kansas among Nebraska's growing list of official visitors

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Both Husker coordinators met with the media after practice on Wednesday.

LINCOLN — Nebraska football is recruiting for the 2022 class a pair of teammates and best friends in Jaren Kanak and Gavin Meyers from Hays (Kan.) High School.

Kanak (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) also runs track and recorded a 10.66-second 100-meter dash on April 1. The three-star prospect's size and speed make him versatile, and Nebraska thinks he can play multiple positions on either side of the ball.

For his high school — located in a town along Interstate-70 roughly the size of North Platte — Kanak played receiver, running back and linebacker, took snaps at quarterback on designed run plays, and contributed to special teams. He said he hasn't honed in on a specific position because he’s dabbled in everything, but that knowledge has deepened his football IQ.

Nebraska will host Kanak, Meyers and at least four other recruits on June 4 for official visits. Kanak then travels to Iowa, Kansas and finishes a full month of official visits at Kansas State. Meyers, a three-star inside linebacker, is also taking his official visit to Kansas State at the end of June.

Kanak and Meyers met in elementary school and are experiencing their recruiting process together.

"It's definitely been helpful with Jaren, having your best friend in the same situation you are," Meyers said. "Going through the same obstacles and challenges that you are throughout the recruiting process. It's helpful when you have a friend to go with to these places and check it out."

Meyers (6-2, 205) had 87 total tackles in eight games during his junior season, including 13 tackles for loss, four sacks and a few interceptions and forced fumbles.

Meyers is drawn to Nebraska because they're "blue-collar workers" and play like it, which he said he relates to.

"I want to visit Nebraska because they were one of the first teams that believed in me, and I just have a great connection with them," Meyers said. "I think Nebraska could be a great home for me if I decide to choose them."

Since their official visits are in the summer, Meyers and Kanak will also attend the spring game on May 1 to gauge the energy in Memorial Stadium on game day.

"I just want to try and get a little bit of a taste of what it would be like on a game-day atmosphere and see the team in live-action and determine what it would be like to play there," Kanak said.

Meyers said he and Kanak talk often about Nebraska and other schools recruiting both players. He also said it's possible both commit to the same school if they each see a future in the program.

But for Meyers, just going through the recruiting process with his best friend is special.

"We've been dreaming of this as little kids and growing up," Meyers said, "and then it actually being a reality is just awesome."

Other official visitors

NU’s official visit list is filling in quickly for that first weekend in June. In addition to Kanak and Meyers, four more defensive recruits have announced they will also be visiting:

» Defensive lineman Nico Davillier (Maumelle, Arkansas): The 6-foot-3, 275-pounder from a Little Rock suburb has a strong offer list — including Georgia, Arkansas and Tennessee — and one of his teammates recently committed to the Razorbacks. But Nebraska is the only official visit Davillier has set so far. He's focusing on his recruitment now after helping lead Maumelle to the state title game in basketball. He was described as "absolutely brilliant" at a Rivals camp on April 11.

» Defensive lineman Jalen Marshall (Overland Park, Kansas): The 6-foot-5, 270-pounder has Oklahoma State high on his list and just took in Kansas on a self-tour. He projects as a defensive end at NU.

» Cornerback James Monds III (Fort Pierce, Florida): The nephew of former Husker All-American Wonder Monds is one of NU’s top secondary targets. The Huskers have major competition — Michigan State, Indiana and Mississippi State — for James Monds (5-10, 177), whose game compares favorably to Tiawan Mullen, an All-America and All-Big Ten pick in 2020 who picked Indiana over Nebraska a few years ago.

» Pass rusher Popeye Williams (Westfield, Indiana): The defensive line MVP at an April 11 Under-Armour camp, Williams (6-3, 230) is a priority target for Nebraska, Cincinnati, Purdue and Louisville. He’ll visit all four in June, but Williams told 247Sports that NU and Cincy are his top two.

Two more prospects have set up visits for later in June.

Receiver Grant Page of Boulder, Colorado, will visit June 11. He attends the same high school that produced former Husker receiver Kenny Bell.

Safety Mumu Bin-Wahad of Loganville, Georgia, will visit June 25. He has also scheduled visits to West Virginia and Georgia Tech.

Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander is grateful to have official visits again so he can see prospects in person. Several recruits in NU’s 2021 class — most notably 6-foot-8, 320-pound defensive end Jailen Weaver — signed with Nebraska without visiting.

“There’s a big trust factor right now — obviously high school coaches trusting us and us trusting high school coaches,” Chinander said. “It’s important to see — is a guy really 6-5, or is he going to walk in here and be 6-1? But also just trying to find out what that guy’s all about. Can you do it over the phone and Zoom? To some degree, but I don’t know if you’ll ever find out what somebody’s all about until you shake their hand and get your eyes on them.”

» Dallas (Georgia) running back Justin Williams. Having already scheduled official visits to Louisville, West Virginia and South Florida, the 6-foot, 200-pound Williams announced Thursday night he was visiting NU June 4. He rushed for 1,477 yards and had 19 total touchdowns as a junior.

World-Herald staff writer Sam McKewon contributed to this report.


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