Nebraska received a commitment Saturday from Mililani (Hawaii) linebacker Wynden Ho’ohuli. Three takes on the decision from the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder:
1. On paper, the Huskers have a program-changing recruiting class at linebacker. Ho’ohuli might be the best of the bunch, but look at the strength of it. Mikai Gbayor, Seth Malcom, Randolph Kpai and Ho’ohuli give NU a nice foundation to work from in future years, and Koby Bretz, as a big safety, may eventually drop down into that nickel role currently inhabited by JoJo Domann. Nebraska asks a lot of its ‘backers to combat the Big Ten’s best running teams — especially the inside guys — and the Huskers often met that challenge in 2020. This recruiting class helps ensure continued strength against the run.
2. Ho’ohuli has the goods to play college linebacker. The pandemic will likely prevent him from getting a senior season, so Ho’ohuli may be a little rusty upon arrival. But he’s a legitimately big guy who carries his weight well and hits with force. Like current Husker linebacker Will Honas, he can get downhill in a hurry. It’ll be interesting to see what his lateral speed is at the collegiate level. He appears to be an early contributor at NU. He's even a pretty good punter.
3. The Hawaii pipeline begins again. Longtime followers of Husker football know NU got two of its best offensive linemen — Dominic Raiola and Toniu Fonoti — out of Hawaii more than 20 years ago. Nebraska landed some defensive linemen too — though they weren’t as good. If the Huskers can get one or two players per cycle from Hawaii, it’d be a nice bonus. Thanks to the play of Marcus Mariota, McKenzie Milton and Tua Tagovailoa, quarterbacking is a big deal in Hawaii. It’s possible Scott Frost, who struck gold twice recruiting quarterbacks in Hawaii, can do so again.
Signee Spotlights: Get to know the players in Nebraska football's 2021 recruiting class
The "Signee Spotlight" provides all the information you need on the newest batch of Huskers, including rankings, evaluations and a look at how they landed at Nebraska.
Get to know new Husker football signee Mikai Gbayor, an inside linebacker from New Jersey who already seems physically ready to play in the Big Ten.
Get to know new Husker football signee Marques Buford, who's coming to Nebraska from a prep school in Connecticut and found the Huskers through a connection to a childhood friend.
Get to know new Husker football signee Heinrich Haarberg, an athletic quarterback who comes from within Nebraska's borders.
Get to know new Husker football signee Jailen Weaver, a 6-foot-9, 300-pound defensive end from California who's main goal is to try to humiliate blockers on his way to the quarterback.
Get to know new Husker football signee Teddy Prochazka, a towering offensive lineman from Elkhorn South who has the skills to be ranked among the nation's top prospects.
Get to know new Husker football signee James Carnie, a tight end from Norris High School who landed a scholarship offer from Nebraska off the strength of his senior season.
Get to know new Husker football signee Seth Malcom, an eight-man football star from southwest Iowa who said it was "very clear" that Nebraska was right for him.
Get to know new Husker football signee AJ Rollins, the Creighton Prep standout who could be a speedy and athletic tight end for Nebraska. "The sky’s the limit for him."
Get to know new Husker football signee Randolph Kpai, a versatile linebacker who comes from a South Dakota high school that has a track record of producing Nebraska football players.
Get to know new Husker football signee Henry Lutovsky, a massive offensive lineman from Iowa who has big-time potential.
Get to know new Husker football signee Thomas Fidone, a four-star prospect out of Council Bluffs who ranks as one of the top recruits in the nation.
Get to know new Husker football signee Latrell Neville, a wide receiver from the Houston area who fits the mold of what the Huskers want in their pass-catchers.
Get to know new Husker football signee Kamonte Grimes, a wide receiver from Florida who should be a formidable threat in the red zone for Nebraska.
Get to know new Husker football signee Branson Yager, an offensive lineman from Utah who has all the tools necessary to play in the Big Ten.
Get to know new Husker football signee Koby Bretz, who won a state title with Omaha Westside and has a background doing gymnastics and diving, which makes him an all-around athlete.
Get to know new Husker football signee Gabe Ervin, who comes from a powerhouse high school program Georgia and is the lone running back in Nebraska's 2021 recruiting class.
Get to know new Husker football signee Ru'Quan Buckley, a 6-foot-6, 280-pounder from Michigan who most schools recruited to play offensive tackle, but Nebraska likes him for the defensive line.
Get to know new Husker football signee Shawn Hardy, a receiver from Georgia with a 4.0 grade-point average and enough speed to be the vertical threat Nebraska needs.
Get to know new Husker football signee Malik Williams, a cornerback out of Georgia whom coaches say "is the total package" for his position.