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Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost watching the action from the field during the Red and White Spring Game
Photo Credit: John Peterson

2021 Season Critical For Husker Offensive Positions in Transition

May 17, 2021

Second chances are hard to come by in college football.

Something interesting has happened with Nebraska football recruiting in the short time that coach Scott Frost has been running the program. We’ve seen the Huskers overhaul the types of players the team recruits at multiple positions. They’ve been able to do this on the fly whie having a 12-20 record at Nebraska.

Most coaches do not get that chance. It’s been a struggle for Frost in some key areas. There are many other major jobs where there’d be more staff changes that we’ve seen in Lincoln so far as a result. Wide receiver is the biggest example of this. The breakdown of size alone is staggering.

2019 Class

  • Wan’Dale Robinson (5-9, 175)
  • Darien Chase (6-1, 175)
  • Jamie Nance (6-0, 160
  • Demariyon Houston (6-0, 165)

2020 Class

  • Zavier Betts (6-3, 190)
  • Will Nixon (5-11, 185)
  • Omar Manning (6-3, 215)
  • Marcus Fleming (5-11, 165)
  • Alante Brown (5-10, 180)

2021 Class

  • Shawn Hardy III (6-3, 190)
  • Latrell Neville (6-4, 190)
  • Kamonte Grimes (6-3, 200)

So far in the 2022 recruiting class the Huskers have one receiver verbally committed. Florida wideout Victor Jones Jr., stands at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds. It should be noted that the level of attrition needs to come down at the wide receiver position. A change was also made at position coach here. It might work out in the end for Nebraska. The Huskers continue bringing wide receivers in via recruiting, transfer and walk on development. Keeping guys in the program to fully develop them will help in the long run.

Wide receiver isn’t the only position we have seen this shift. The most successful running back Frost and running backs coach Ryan Held have had is Devine Ozigbo. He had the size needed to hold up in the conference while still having enough speed. However, the team started off recruiting smaller speed backs. That’s changed over time. Not as dramatically as wideout but there has been a shift.

2019 Class

  • Rahmir Johnson (5-10, 170)
  • Ronald Thompkins (6-0, 195)
  • Dedrick Mills (5-11, 200)

2020 Class

  • Sevion Morrison (6-0, 190)
  • Marvin Scott III (5-9, 200)

2021 Class

  • Gabe Ervin Jr. (6-1, 200)

Those are the heights and weights listed when the players were being recruited. Dedrick Mills gave the most consistent production of the running backs recently brought to Lincoln. He also happened to be the stoutest of the bunch. That could change in a big way depending on what happens with the backs remaining on campus.

The adjustments that have been made at these two positions can be looked at two ways. Fans may lament that it wasn’t recognized when the staff arrived in Lincoln. Bigger skill talent is needed to compete in this league. It was always going to be difficult to see smaller track style guys thriving in this conference.

There is another side of that coin. The coaching staff recognized this mistake quickly and have worked to change it. That’s a luxury that isn’t always afforded to coaching staffs in today’s “win now” college football. We’ll see what happens on the field at these two positions during the 2021 season. That’s the only way we will know if this shift was the right way to go. Both positions are critical to the success of the offense that has sputtered under Frost.

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