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Nebraska Recruiting: Husker Brand Still Carries Weight in Texas

February 28, 2022

Recruiting never stops and it’s easy to miss the top stories day-to-day. Recruiting analyst Greg Smith recaps all things Nebraska recruiting news, analysis and more so you never miss a thing.


There are a lot of new faces on the Nebraska coaching staff this spring. A new energy can be felt around the building by the players and coaches after just one day of spring football. That new energy should help the Huskers on the field this fall. There is also a hidden benefit to having new coaches on the staff. It opens up new recruiting areas for the program. One state that the program used to recruit hard is Texas. Nebraska has signed fewer Texas natives since moving to the Big Ten.

That could be changing now with Bryan Applewhite on staff as the running backs coach. Applewhite comes to Lincoln after being at TCU. In his short time with the Huskers the team has offered several players from the Lone Star State. Nebraska has already offered 31 Texans for the 2023 recruiting class. That is the second most offers of any state for this cycle right behind Florida. Applewhite hit the pavement hard in Texas as a new member of the Husker staff. He found a warm reception on the road.

“Nebraska is back is what they said and they were excited about it,” Applewhite said. “It was very interesting the reception and how excited every school that I walked into when I had Cornhusker, the N or Nebraska on my shirt. It was a different reception than when I walked in with TCU on. Nebraska has a strong presence in Texas still, even though they haven’t played a game in Texas in I don’t know how many years. They still have a strong presence in Texas. It was very warm, very accepting, very welcoming, very excited with open doors. Conversations were different with the coaches now that I’m at Nebraska than it was when I was at TCU.”

Applewhite believes that people have not forgotten Nebraska in Texas. He knew Nebraska as the place to be when he was in high school. He doesn’t think people have forgotten Nebraska beating Florida for a national championship. Applewhite thinks people remember Eric Crouch and Neil Smith. He noted that Nebraska was the original ‘Running Back U’ and reflected on why those conversations were different with Texas high school coaches with the ‘N’ on his chest.

“The coaches that are our age, they remember what happened in the 70s, 80s and 90s, of what Nebraska was like,” Applewhite said. “I think that’s probably what it was more than anything. They remember and that helps a lot because if they remember they’re going to tell the kids that we are recruiting at their schools, ‘This is what Nebraska used to be like.’ They’re recruiting you and that’s a big deal.”

The Huskers have a few things going for them now to recruit Texas. They have a well-respected coach that likes to build relationships. The program also has the benefit of brand recognition in a state that it once played in on a regular basis. That mixture should keep the Huskers in recruiting battles for this cycle and beyond.

Recruit Watch

>> Nebraska 2023 wide receiver target Joshua Manning was offered by Arkansas on Monday.

>> Millard South 2023 athlete Brock Murtaugh took a visit up to South Dakota.

>> Lincoln Pius X 2023 lineman Barrett Walker is looking forward to checking out Nebraska’s campus this weekend.

ICYMI

>> Scott Frost spoke about the quarterback battle and more as spring practice kicked off for Nebraska.

>> Nebraska basketball blew out Penn State for its first road win of the season Sunday night.

>> A scout broke down the four Huskers in the NFL Combine ahead of the event this week.

>> What is the transfer portal like for a starting quarterback? Adrian Martinez filled everyone in.

>> Behind Travis Vokolek, Sean Beckton is still looking for ‘the guy’ at tight end.

>> ‘Energetic’ new running backs coach Bryan Applewhite offered his first impressions of the Husker backs on Monday.

>> What does a first spring practice look like? Steve Marik gives you a look after talking with the Husker coordinators.

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