Posted On: 09/8/20 8:17 PM
The top level talent in Nebraska’s class of 2021 includes some of the best prospect that the state has seen in recent memory. The top three of Hunter SallisHunterSallis6'4" | CGMillard North | 2021State#20NationNE, Chucky HepburnChuckyHepburn6'1" | PGBellevue West | 2021State#64NationNE, and Saint ThomasSaintThomas6'6" | SFMillard North | 2021StateNE are all likely headed to play at power conference schools and others in the top 10 will receive division one offers. Beyond the division one talent, the class of 2021 has depth. This class is loaded with players that will make an impact at the NAIA, division II, and division III levels. Sallis and Hepburn hold their #1 and #2 spots, but after the summer season there are plenty of new names and stock risers in 2021 rankings update. Check out the entire Top 105 list linked below.
Here is a brief look of the top 5 prospects in the 2021 Class. Keep an eye out for more articles about 2021 prospects in the coming days, as well as rankings updates and articles for the classes of 2022 and 2023.
Sallis is one of the top ranked players in the nation and holds offers from just about every school in the book. He is a unique talent with freakish athleticism in a lengthy 6’4 frame. He is a walking highlight that explodes at the rim for powerful dunks and acrobatics layups. Sallis has become a complete offensive threat that can create for himself in isolation and score efficiently from all three levels. He averaged 22.2 points per game to lead all juniors in scoring last season and followed it up with a spectacular summer with the OSA Crusaders. Sallis is still receiving offers daily, but recently cut his list of school to 12. This list includes Bluebloods like Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, and UCLA as well as hometown Creighton University.
Hepburn may have had the best season in the state last year after bringing home Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year and leading his team to a win over Millard North in the Class A State Championship. He continued his hot play with The Factory and put on a show every time he stepped on the court this summer. Hepburn is an incredibly smart and instinctive point guard that can take control of an offense and create scoring opportunities for himself and others. He picks apart defenses with vision as a passer, range as a shooter, and quickness to burst to the rim and finish in traffic. He elevates his play during important games and hits big time shots in crunch time. Hepburn is also one of the best and most aggressive defenders in the state that can force turnovers and make things incredible difficult for ball handlers. Hepburn will be headed to Wisconsin after high school, but will be looking to defend the state title this season.
Thomas had a breakout junior season were he averaged 15.8 points, 4.2 assists, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game on the state runner up Millard North Mustangs. Many division one programs have started getting interested, and it is easy to see why. Thomas is around 6’6 with size and strength to play either forward position and agility to get up and down the court in transition. He stretches the floor with shooting touch from the perimeter and uses his size to shoot over smaller wing defenders. He creates space to shoot with size up cross overs and step back moves. Thomas holds multiple division one offers from school such as SMU, Pepperdine, Richmond, Virginia Tech, TCU, Mississippi State, VCU, and UNO.
Johnson committed to Old Dominion at the beginning of August after an impressive July with Omaha Sports Academy. He is a long and athletic point guard that doesn’t jump off the page statistically, but does everything you want from your lead guard. He pushes the pace as a ball handler and can distribute with vision, skill, and creativity. He can drive gaps and has improved to become a steady shooter from outside. Johnson competes defensively and has great size and quickness to defend multiple positions on the perimeter.
Johnson is a two way combo guard that might be the best athlete in the class of 2021. He has great speed, quickness, and he effortlessly leaps to get his head near the rim for alley-oop finishes, fast breaks dunks, and rebounds. He is a great defender that can keep ball handlers in front of him, force turnovers, challenge and blocks shots. Johnson had a great junior year statistically with Omaha Benson, averaging 15.4 points, 4.6 assists, 8.1 rebounds, 2.0 steals, and 2.1 blocks per game, but has transferred and will spend his senior year at Omaha Central.