It’s still a cliffhanger, but what we do know is Husker football has a big outcome on the line on the last Saturday of April.
Ochaun Mathis has publicly narrowed his list to the two schools that most speculation has centered on during his portal recruitment: Nebraska and Texas.
The defensive end transfer from TCU released a social media clip on Sunday announcing it was down to those two programs with a deciding announcement coming Saturday, April 30, according to a longer video released on YouTube. Mathis is regarded as one of the best portal options available and Nebraska is in need of bulking up the D-line with multiple additions seeming a pursuit.
Add in that the Longhorns are the other team in the hunt and it’s a recruiting battle with all the fixings.
A native of Manor, Texas, Mathis said he wants his school of choice to be “where I can ball and be one of the next legendary defensive ends to come out of whatever school I go to.”
— Ochaun Mathis (@OchaunDevon) April 24, 2022
With much attention on Mathis, another possible option for Nebraska to add is Devin Drew, an interior D-lineman who is transferring from Texas Tech and visited Lincoln over the weekend. Drew had 34 tackles last year for the Red Raiders and the 6-2, 280-pounder is from the Kansas City area, making NU an alluring regional option for him and his family. He also was known to recently visit Illinois.
Both Mathis and Drew raising their hands in favor of the Huskers would relieve some angst which further built up in the fan base with the recent portal departure of veteran Casey Rogers.
But no question the 6-5, 257-pound Mathis has been the most high-profile of anyone, and he had a top five of Nebraska, Texas, USC, Penn State and Ole Miss until narrowing it today.
After appearing in four games as a true freshman in 2018 and collecting 40 tackles with 2.5 sacks as a redshirt freshman in 2019, Mathis burst onto the scene with a huge sophomore campaign in 2020. That season Mathis finished with 9.0 sacks which ranked second in the Big 12 and his 14.0 tackles for loss ranked third in the conference. His nine sacks were the most since Mat Boesen recorded 11.5 in 2017. This past season he started all 12 games for TCU and had 4.0 sacks and 7.0 TFLs, finishing with 45 tackles and three pass breakups.
Mathis had what he described as an “unbelievable” visit to Lincoln during the Spring Game, and Nebraska’s NIL possibilities have been well demonstrated to him and his family along the way too. The Huskers rolled out the red carpet on the visit, with Huskers athletics director Trev Alberts even out there at midfield prior to the scrimmage having a good chat with him.
But he also has had plenty of speculation center around him and Texas, and his former TCU coach Gary Patterson is a special assistant to Steve Sarkisian for the Longhorns now. It was reported he visited Texas one more time after his Nebraska visit this month. His hometown of Manor rubs right up against Austin.
Whatever attempts there have been at reading the tea leaves, Ochaun’s mother, Ochana Daniels, recently responded to any speculation on Twitter by saying, “If you haven’t heard details from me or any one of my kids it’s fabricated for attention! We are solid because it’s just us! One band…one sound!”
The sound will be trumpets from one fan base in six days.