There may not be a bigger beneficiary of the relatively new early signing period than one of the newest Nebraska football targets Michael Lockhart. The defensive end went into the December 19 National Signing Day with exactly one FBS offer. The UAB Blazers were the only team at the sport's top level willing to give him a scholarship. Instead of signing with the team, he decommitted from UAB on December 20 and announced he was going to be looking elsewhere.

Michael Lockhart becomes hot commodity

On December 23, the Nebraska football team came calling.

The Huskers showing interest in the Birmingham, Alabama native seemed to start a bit of a tidal wave as several other FBS schools have offered him a scholarship offer in the last few days. TCU and Iowa both gave Lockhart an offer on Christmas Day and the North Carolina Tarheels came calling on December 26. While Mississippi State has not officially offered him a spot on their roster, 247Sports reports he does have an official visit scheduled for January 25. Colorado also offered the former UAB commit hours after the Cornhuskers issued their invitation.

Before the flurry of activity surrounding the under-the-radar pass rusher, things had been very quiet. Michael Lockhart committed to UAB on October 21 and his only other recruiting activity of note was an official visit to UT-Chattanooga (an FCS school).

While there were likely some Nebraska football fans who were a bit concerned Scott Frost and the rest of the coaching staff were offering what 247 has as an unrated player, it appears UAB had managed to nab a talented defender and hide him away from the bigger schools.

Nebraska football finding new targets in final months

Lockhart is also benefitting from the fact that schools like Nebraska are completely reevaluating where they are after the December 19 signing day and going after brand new targets for the stretch run leading up to the February 6 signing day.

While the Cornhuskers are still going after highly sought after players like Tavian Mayo and Noa Pola-Gates, they are also looking at adding players that weren't even on their radar before they knew exactly what they had come the middle of December.

The Cornhuskers don't have an official visit scheduled with Michael Lockhart just yet but it's clear they would like to get him to Lincoln.

The key might just be they were willing to get their foot in the door before the stampede from other Power 5 teams started. The Nebraska football team's next move is going to be key as to whether or not they can reel in this pass rushing specialist come February.