Mandela Tobin's past few weeks have been busy.
The class of 2021 defensive lineman from San Diego picked up a Nebraska offer on April 29 and his recruitment has continued to take off, adding more options over the spring.
The 6-foot-4, 270-pounder on Friday had a virtual visit of Nebraska's facilities hosted by defensive line coach Tony Tuioti, defensive coordinator Erik Chinander and head coach Scott Frost.
"I was also on there with the director of academics and the director of life skills," said Tobin, who plays for Westview High in Southern California. "Both of them showed how academics and life skills really play out at Nebraska. Then getting the football aspect, it was really nice to see. They showed me a video and a slideshow about what they're all about and it was great to see."
"The academics, looking at that, it just looks really good," he added. "Most Academic All-Americans, that's really impressive and that really opened my eyes and my mom's eyes, who was also on the virtual tour."
Virtual tours, of course, are not the way Tobin imagined the first big chunk of his recruitment would play out before the coronavirus pandemic. He said he's still hoping to make it to campuses before he makes a final decision in his recruitment later this year. Currently, the NCAA's ban on in-person recruiting runs through June 30.
"It's definitely changed the recruiting process for not just me but everyone else," Tobin said. "It's just a small part of the process, but it does give some insight of what you can do at the school when you're there. I know being there is the ultimate form of experiencing a college, but the (virtual visit) can give you a new perspective on a college, too.
"That's one of the biggest attributes along with the weight room and all of that."
Tobin also has offers from Kansas, Nevada, Air Force, Colorado State and several others.
Tobin has long arms — a 6-foot-9 wingspan, according to his Twitter account — and said his length is the starting point for his game.
"I use them to my advantage against my opponents, separating myself," he said. "I'm kind of like a bruiser as a D-end or tackle. I like to push people around. … I just can do a lot of things with my arms and natural strength as well."
Nebraska is almost certainly looking to take multiple defensive line prospects in its 2021 class that so far has seven known verbal pledges: three offensive linemen, three linebackers and a quarterback.
Local 2022 prospects keep picking up offers: This much was already clear, but Nebraska is going to have a tough fight on its hands for the best in-state prospects in the 2022 class.
On Friday, four-star offensive lineman Deshawn Woods (Omaha Central) picked up an offer from defending national champion LSU.
On Thursday, four-star tight end Micah Riley (Bellevue West) landed an offer from Oregon to add to his impressive early collection that also includes Penn State, Michigan, Iowa and many others.
Recruiting hasn't slowed down much for four-star linebacker Devon Jackson (Omaha Burke), either, as his most recent offer came late last week from Iowa.
All three already have offers from Nebraska.
Woods (6-5, 270) is considered the No. 202 overall player in the nation by 247Sports and is a four-star by Rivals, as well. Riley (6-5, 215) is a four-star by Rivals and a three-star by 247Sports. Jackson (6-2, 200) is the No. 25 overall player in the nation according to 247Sports and the top-ranked outside linebacker. Rivals also considers him a four-star.
2021 Husker football recruits
2021 Husker football recruits
|Koby Bretz||ATH||Omaha (Westside)||***|
|Marques Buford||DB||Oakdale, Conn. (St. Thomas More)||***|
|Gabe Ervin||RB||Buford, Ga.||***|
|Thomas Fidone||TE||Council Bluffs, Iowa (Lewis Central)||****|
|Mikai Gbayor||LB||Irvington, New Jersey||***|
|Kamonte Grimes||WR||Naples, Fa. (Palmetto Ridge)||***|
|Heinrich Haarberg||QB||Kearney (Catholic)||***|
|Shawn Hardy II||WR||Kingsland, Ga. (Camden County)||***|
|Henry Lutovsky||OL||Mt. Pleasant, Iowa||***|
|Randolph Kpai||ILB||Sioux Falls, S.D. (Washington)||****|
|Seth Malcom||ILB||Tabor, Iowa (Fremont-Mills)||***|
|Latrell Neville||WR||Missouri City, Texas (Hightower)||****|
|Patrick Payton||OLB||Miami, Fla. (Northwestern)||***|
|Teddy Prochazka||OT||Elkhorn (South)||****|
|A.J. Rollins||TE||Creighton Prep||***|
|Lardarius Webb Jr.||CB||Jackson, Miss. (Jackson Academy)||***|
|Malik Williams||DB||Buford, Ga.||***|
|Branson Yager||OT||Grantsville, Utah||***|
The latest updates from the Nebraska football recruiting trail
Campus and in-home visits are on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. But recruiting isn't necessarily slowing down. Here's the latest from the Huskers.
An important channel for Husker football, the juco level is experiencing repercussions from the pandemic with scarce resources.
The Cornhuskers are going to have to fight to keep a talented set of underclassmen from within the state border away from high-profile schools.
Both are considered three-star prospects by recruiting services.
Last year, Nebraska had six different players attempt a field goal. Now it has four walk-on commits at the position.
California quarterback (and Husker target) Peter Costelli will be deciding on a school later than originally planned, and he's not the only one.
Who said it was a slow recruiting time? Check in on Nebraska's progress, which includes two four-star defenders having NU on their final lists.
Nebraska's going to have quite a challenge on its hands to land class of 2021 Florida linebacker Terrence Lewis, but the Cornhuskers are least in the conversation.
Nebraska continues to offer quarterbacks, as Alex Orji marks the third known offer extended to a Class of 2022 signal-caller.
Nebraska might not be able to host recruits on campus this spring, but the Huskers joined several other high-major schools in offering Nicco Marchiol.
Considering it's just about all the coaching staff can do at this point, there's plenty of recruiting talk to be had. Take a drive.
Omaha Burke sophomore Devon Jackson, like so many people around the country and the world in recent weeks, almost had exciting travel plans foiled by the coronavirus pandemic.
Paul says he has near daily communication with members of the coaching staff, building a "strong bond" that eventually sealed his commitment.
The state boasts two nationally-ranked players in the Class of 2022, including the top outside linebacker in the country.
The NU target was in a coach’s office when the NCAA banned all on- and off-campus recruiting activities. But e’s taking the disruption in stride.
Scott Frost, who played against Heinrich Haarberg's Kearney Catholic in high school, personally extended the offer to the Class of 2021 QB.
Nebraska has six verbal commitments for its 2021 recruiting class so far. A look at what to watch for and how the coming months shape up.
Patrick Payton is listed at 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds, and had offers from several schools including Florida, FSU and Miami.
Nebraska made a offers to a pair of defensive linemen, including a three-star recruit with offers from a small handful of Power-5 schools.
Branson Yager was planning to wait until after the pandemic to make his decision. But with his family on board, he called the Huskers back.
Jared Bubak, a Lincoln Christian graduate and former Arizona State tight end, announced that he's going to grad transfer to Nebraska.
Three-star wide receiver Shawn Hardy II became the Huskers' eighth verbal commitment on Friday.
The Bellevue West standout achieved the necessary grade on a Friday test, which cleared him to qualify at Nebraska.
Nebraska is adding another walk-on kicker to its ranks, but this one has some high-level Division I experience.
The Huskers continue their blitz for linebackers — the Iowa native marks the fourth LB in a nine-member class of 2021 group.
Husker offensive line commit Teddy Prochazka has been working out at a gym owned by the brother of NU strength coach Zach Duval.