Sting Factor: Cameron Lenhardt’s decommitment from Nebraska

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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.

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THE STORYLINE

When Cameron Lenhardt committed to Nebraska over Penn State and Michigan State in August, the four-star defensive end loved the home feeling in Lincoln and especially the coaching staff there.

Erik Chinander and Mike Dawson were his guys, Lenhardt said.

But after Scott Frost was fired following Nebraska’s loss to Georgia Southern and then Chinander was let go after Oklahoma decimated the Huskers on Saturday, Lenhart reopened his recruitment.

It’s another tough blow for the Huskers, who now sit at No. 46 in the team recruiting rankings with only two four-stars left in the class in receiver Omarion Miller and offensive lineman Gunnar Gottula.

Originally from New Jersey, Lenhardt has been serious about the Nittany Lions and Spartans recently in his recruitment and it’s possible others could get involved as well.

With so much uncertainty at Nebraska now going through a full-fledged coaching search, it looks like the Huskers have lost the four-star defensive end for good – and maybe to a Big Ten opponent.

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LOCAL REACTION

“Whether Nebraska was going through a program transition or not right now it’s tough to lose a player like Cameron Lenhardt. Nebraska was able to survive the firing of coach Scott Frost but defensive coordinator Erik Chinander being fired was the final blow.

“Lenhardt plays the most coveted position in recruiting right now being a player that can play on the edge. At 6-foot-3, 245 pounds he is big enough to hold up against the run but athletic enough to play in space. He’s been a Swiss Army Knife throughout his high school career playing defensive line, linebacker and safety. That helps him to read and react quickly because he’s seen things from every level.

“Lenhardt’s top three was all Big Ten with the Huskers beating out Penn State and Michigan State. He’s also got three other Big Ten offers to pick from. The odds of him landing in the conference somewhere else and playing Nebraska in the future is high. The defender also plays at IMG Academy and Nebraska would have loved to build a pipeline there. All that combined with the Huskers needing more athletes on defense make the sting factor high on this one.” – Greg Smith, InsideNebraska.com

Sting factor: 8

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NATIONAL REACTION

“Coaching changes mean that recruiting classes could see significant movement in the coming months as players leave for better – or more sure – opportunities especially when position coaches leave. The new staff will inevitably go through the recruiting class and keep the guys it wants while others may unfortunately have to find another spot.

“Lenhardt is a very talented player at a vital position as an edge rusher so he would have been a great addition to this Nebraska recruiting class. But with Frost and now Chinander gone, his commitment to the Huskers didn’t even last a month. If he ends up at Penn State or Michigan State then the sting factor here could be higher. But there will be significant changes coming to Nebraska with prospects and coaches and for fans to keep their sanity, recruiting will see a lot of twists and turns in the coming months and Lenhardt won’t be the last of it.” – Adam Gorney, National Recruiting Director

Sting factor: 7

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