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McKewon: Wynden Ho’ohuli adds to a potentially program-changing linebacker class

McKewon: Wynden Ho’ohuli adds to a potentially program-changing linebacker class


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.

Omaha World-Herald: Big Red

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