October 27, 2021

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Sting Factor: Valen Erickson’s flip from Nebraska to Missouri

Sting Factor: Valen Erickson's flip from Nebraska to Missouri

Sting Factor: Valen Erickson’s flip from Nebraska to Missouri

When a major program loses a key recruit, Rivals.com takes a look at how big of a blow it is to the respective school, analyzing it from a local and national level. To quantify the “sting” of each decommitment, we assign a score from one to 10, with one being no big deal and 10 being a catastrophic hit.

THE STORYLINE

When Valen Erickson committed to Nebraska in late July, the three-star offensive lineman from Chicago (Ill.) St. Rita said the people inside the building convinced him it was the right place for him.

Erickson pointed to his relationships with multiple coaches on the Huskers’ staff as a major reason why Nebraska won out in his recruitment.

But less than two months later, Erickson flipped his commitment to Missouri as offensive line coach Marcus Johnson never stopped recruiting the Chicago St. Rita standout and a visit to Columbia for the win over Central Michigan seemed like a big selling point in his decision.

Nebraska and Missouri had been two of the contenders throughout Erickson’s recruitment. The Huskers won out first but the Tigers came through in early September and flipped the high three-star prospect.

One other factor to consider: Nebraska had told Erickson he would come in and play offensive guard but would be a hybrid guy who could also move outside. Missouri wants him as a straight offensive tackle.

*****

LOCAL REACTION

“The decommitment of Erickson to Nebraska was something I had been preparing for. Erickson’s commitment to Nebraska was very random. By the time Erickson committed to Nebraska he had gone radio silent for weeks. There was no obvious reason following his official visit to Nebraska in June to wait to commit until late July. And the rumors were swirling that Erickson was flirting with Mizzou almost immediately following his commitment. This one hurts mainly because Erickson was Nebraska’s only offensive lineman commitment in the 2022 class and the board is dry right now. The timing of the decommitment is a very good thing for Nebraska to move on from and also potentially side-stepping a recruit that ended up in the portal down the road.” – Bryan Munson, HuskerOnline.com

Sting factor: 7

*****

NATIONAL REACTION

“Even when Erickson had just committed to Nebraska, the feeling was that he was keeping a close eye on Missouri and that the Tigers were not going to be completely out of his recruitment. His commitment lasted just over a month so this seems like it was never really meant to be. Erickson flipped to Missouri not only because of his visit there and because of his relationship with the Tigers’ coaches but because he probably wanted to always commit there in the first place. Nebraska had a lot going for it here because he knew that staff well, too, he definitely liked the Huskers and it looked like a big summer recruiting win. The bigger concern here is traction as Nebraska has just eight total commitments, no offensive line pledges and the recruiting class is currently tied at No. 76 nationally with Louisiana Tech.” – Adam Gorney, Rivals National Recruiting Director

Sting factor: 6

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