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FOOTBALL

Huskers' recruiting weekend includes multiple defenders, recent USC decommit and transfer target

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Multiple defenders from around the country with varied recruiting backgrounds will make their way to Nebraska this weekend for official visits.

A pair of two-way Class of 2022 prospects that NU likes for defense will be in — defensive back Malcolm Hartzog (Bassfield, Mississippi) and defensive lineman Brodie Tagaloa (Concord, California). So will recent USC decommit and DB Jaeden Gould, according to recruiting reports, and transfer portal target Ryan Stapp, a cornerback from Abilene Christian.

Husker commit Gage Stenger of Millard South will also be in town.

All but Stenger are set for their first look at the NU campus as the Huskers continue to push toward the Dec. 15 early signing period.

Nebraska was Tagaloa’s first offer in May, and Big Red offered Hartzog on Monday. Hartzog, with at least three interceptions this season, is also a dynamic running back and playmaker, accounting for more than 1,200 yards and 40 total touchdowns. Hartzog plays in the Class 3A state title game Friday, with an 11 a.m. kickoff, and makes his way to Lincoln from there.

Hartzog, currently not rated by recruiting services, will participate in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star game Dec. 11. He also holds offers from Ole Miss, South Alabama, Southern Miss and Marshall.

Tagaloa has been talking with the Huskers for months and may opt to sign somewhere in December after long planning to wait until the traditional February date. The consensus three-star prospect who also plays tight end has told recruiting sites that fellow finalists Cal and Washington State are pursuing him for offense, while Nebraska sees him on the defensive line. NU D-line coach Tony Tuioti visited the 6-foot-4, 260-pounder in the Bay Area earlier this week.

Tagaloa has two older brothers with college football experience: Boss Tagaloa was a center at UCLA, and Beaux is a fullback at Cal. Brodie Tagaloa — who spent seven years away from football to focus on basketball before jumping back in as a prep sophomore — will participate in the Polynesian Bowl on Jan. 22 in Honolulu.

Gould’s recruitment has moved quickly since he backed off his USC pledge on Wednesday, with Missouri another recent offer. The defender made 27 tackles with four interceptions this year for Bergen Catholic, a powerhouse program in New Jersey that just finished off a state title and produced current NU running back Rahmir Johnson.

Stapp has multiple years of eligibility left after completing this season with 44 tackles and a team-high 10 pass breakups as a redshirt sophomore cornerback. He also has new offers from Washington State, Mississippi State and Minnesota.

Stenger, who flipped from Kansas State to Nebraska in October, is the last current NU commit to take an official visit.

Nebraska’s 2022 class has nine commits and is likely to finish with 3-5 more prep pledges while supplementing with additions from the transfer portal. The Husker class ranks 71st nationally by 247Sports, though only one team ahead of it (Miami, 56th) has fewer commits (eight).​


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