Huskers land first 2020 commit
Logan Smothers brought his entire family for what became the biggest day of his life.
A consensus three-star quarterback prospect in the Class of 2020, Smothers knew deep down Nebraska was the school for him when he and his father visited the campus last month. But he needed to know his mother approved and wanted to know what his four brothers thought.
So the family of seven loaded into their GMC Yukon XL and drove most of the 13 hours from Athens, Alabama, on Wednesday. They spent Thursday with the Nebraska coaching staff in and around Memorial Stadium.
As evening crept close, coach Scott Frost asked the speedy QB one question: Where are you at with us right now?
“I told him, ‘I’m in. I’ll do it right now. I’ll commit,’ ” Smothers told The World-Herald on Thursday night. “We were sitting down. He put his hands out and gave me a big hug.”
Smothers becomes Nebraska’s first 2020 commit and Frost’s third quarterback recruit since he took over in December. While 2018 signee Adrian Martinez has yet to see the field, the Huskers already have QBs locked down for the 2019 and 2020 classes in Luke McCaffrey (Littleton, Colorado) and Smothers.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound prospect didn’t want to wait any longer to make it official, partly because NU is only planning to sign one scholarship quarterback in his class and partly because the “football-crazy atmosphere” is something he relishes.
After Thursday, he had his family’s full blessing, too.
“Since we left there (in June), it’s been on my heart,” Smothers said. “I loved it and that’s just where I knew I wanted to go. But I wanted to let the rest of my family see it, my mom, let her ask her questions and everything. At the end of the day, they loved it.”
Despite a relatively modest number of offers — Southern Mississippi was probably his best other than Nebraska — Smothers had drawn interest from Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn and Mississippi State among other schools. But the Huskers were the only Power Five program to make an official overture, which was a key factor.
Rivals ranks Smothers as the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback in his class nationally, while 247Sports pegs him 12th. He clocked a 4.48-second 40-yard dash during an Ohio State camp last month and rushed for 719 yards and eight touchdowns on 110 carries (6.5 yards per carry) last fall. While leading a spread attack similar to Scott Frost’s, he also completed 65 percent of his passes for 2,041 yards along with 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
“He’s extremely explosive,” Athens coach Cody Gross said earlier this month. “He has the ability to go the distance every time he touches the ball, which is every play.”
Smothers grew up around football. His father, Shane, is Athens High’s offensive coordinator, and his two older brothers both went through the recruiting process before signing with North Alabama. He also is a 4.0 student planning to enter the medical field when his football career ends.
“Where I came from, being a coach’s son, that’s all you ever know is hard work,” Smothers said. “That’s there (at Nebraska), and that’s what I want to be a part of.”
Smothers took an unofficial visit to Lincoln on June 13 and said he thought about committing then. Ohio State reached out a couple of days later and gave him reason to pause, but the Buckeyes accepted the verbal pledge of another quarterback since then.
Still, Smothers said, the Huskers never left the top of his board.
“They want a quarterback with a lot of speed and who is very athletic and they think I fit that perfect,” Smothers said. “And I think I fit it because our offense back in Athens, we run a lot of similar stuff. That’s a big plus for me is being prepared.”
Nebraska has 14 commits for the 2019 class — it ranks 24th nationally according to the 247Sports composite — and now has its first 2020 pledge. Smothers said he is ready to work behind the scenes to help add to both totals.
“I want that role; I want to help recruit and help bring guys here and win a national championship,” Smothers said. “I want to do whatever it takes to get those guys here in order to do that because I’m a winner, I’m a competitor and I want to win. Offense, defense, it don’t matter. I want to help win a national championship here.”