Isaac Traudt had a busy Thursday, taking a pair of virtual visits including one with Nebraska.
The 6-foot-8 shape-shooting wing from Grand Island is one of the best players in Nebraska in the 2022 class and he’s seen his recruitment take off over the past couple of months despite losing out on the opportunity to play in front of college coaches during the spring.
Traudt received his first Division I offer from Drake on April 10, and the offers and interest haven’t stopped rolling in since.
“It was super unexpected,” Traudt told Hail Varsity. “At the beginning of the pandemic, I was really bummed because I thought I wouldn’t get any attention until I could play in front of people, and then, I don’t know, it just kind of took off a little bit. It’s been fun, though. It’s been nice talking to a bunch of different coaches.”
A few more mid-major schools jumped into the mix, and then his recruitment went to a new level on April 30 as he received his first high-major offer from Kansas State, which caught him off guard.
“It was the first time I had ever talked to them; we didn’t develop a relationship before that or anything,” Traudt said. “They just called. They had no clue about me, watched some film and were really impressed so they just offered me first call.”
June 15, the first day Division I coaches could reach out directly to 2022 recruits, was a busy yet fun one for Traudt. He heard from close to 30 different schools throughout the day, including both of the in-state high-majors. Nebraska and Creighton didn’t just want to talk, however. They both offered him.
“It was five minutes apart; that was a fun time,” Traudt said. “I didn’t really expect that either. I thought both would probably wait a little bit longer to see me play, but they both called me five minutes apart and both said the same thing, they wanted to offer.”
Nebraska started establishing a relationship with Traudt a couple months before the offer with Fred Hoiberg himself taking the lead.
“About two months ago, I started talking to Hoiberg weekly, just once a week, five-minute calls talking about what our plans were for the week,” Traudt said.
Initially, Nebraska scheduled a virtual visit with Traudt for June 16, but the Huskers had to push it back. Traudt said Hoiberg had planned to offer during the Zoom call on Tuesday, but when they had to reschedule he decided not to wait any more and offered during the Monday call instead.
Since then, Hoiberg has stayed in regular contact with Traudt.
“He texts me probably twice a week, just seeing what’s going on,” Traudt said. “He went to like the No. 1 golf course in the world this week, so that sounded cool. He’s a super nice guy. I really like him.”
Hoiberg chose to use his time with Traudt on Thursday to talk a lot of Xs and Os.
“It was sweet, honestly,” Traudt said. “I was super impressed because it wasn’t really much of a visit. It was just me, my parents obviously, and then just Hoiberg. He put together a bunch of clips of film of ways he thinks he could utilize me in his program. It was just really cool to see all the different offenses and everything at the NBA level with the Bulls and then at Nebraska and Iowa State, too.”
Traudt’s other virtual visit on Thursday was with Kansas State, and he previously visited with Oklahoma State as well. Each program uses that visit time differently.
“The Kansas State one today was with everyone on their coaching staff, I think even a grad assistant,” Traudt said. “It was just a big slide show, what they’ve done. Coach [Bruce] Weber is super decorated, he’s been in the game a long time, and Coach [Chris] Lowery too, same thing. They just had videos of their facilities because they didn’t really walk me around. So mostly just a slideshow. And then with Oklahoma State, that was a Zoom call too and that was just straight up them walking me around their campus, and that was really cool.”
After playing sparingly as a freshman, Traudt broke out as a sophomore, averaging 16.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists while shooting 43% from the field and 36% from 3 on nearly five attempts per game. He was the tallest player on Grand Island’s roster but still served as a primary ball-handler and was the team’s best 3-point shooter.
“I think I fit into his system really well because he likes taller players that can handle the ball,” Traudt said. “He doesn’t really like having a set point guard, he likes having three or four people that can bring the ball up, which I kind of fit. Then he likes having shooters and running set plays for shooters, and I can shoot it pretty well too.”
In addition to Nebraska, Creighton and Kansas State, Traudt has also been hearing a lot from Missouri, Oklahoma State and Minnesota. Oregon, Stanford, Colorado, Wisconsin and Clemson have shown interest recently as well. Traudt said he talked to Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard for the first time on Tuesday.
The NCAA extended the recruiting dead period through Aug. 31 on Thursday, which means coaches won’t be able to get on the road until at least September barring a change. Even so, directed health measures in Iowa and Nebraska have opened the gates for summer basketball, and Traudt said he’s looking forward to getting back on the court with his Lincoln Supreme teammates.
“I’m super excited for it,” Traudt said. “It will be nice to get back out there with the team. Even if coaches can’t come, we can still maybe live stream it to the coaches or just play for fun, honestly. It’s a lot better than just working out in our home towns.”
Traudt’s recruitment is just getting started, but he’ll certainly be one for Nebraska fans to follow over the next couple of years.