Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Big Red Recon: Closing Out 2021 for the Huskers

December 31, 2021

Happy early new year. We’ve made it to the end of 2021 and it was a wild ride in so many ways. There have been a lot of changes with Husker football and more on the way. When we get to 2022 much of the coaching staff and team will look a lot different. It is almost time to get ramped up for the race to the February signing day. There are a lot of unresolved questions that need to be answered before we get there.

Let’s get to the Recon.

2022 Commits

Chase Androff, Tight End, Lakeville, Minnesota

Jake Appleget, Outside Linebacker, Lincoln, Nebraska

Decoldest Crawford, wide receiver, Shreveport, Louisiana

Justin Evans-Jenkins, Offensive Lineman, Irvington, New Jersey

Jaeden Gould, Defensive Back, Oradell, New Jersey

Malcolm Hartzog, Defensive Back, Bassfield, Mississippi

Ernest Hausmann, Outside Linebacker, Columbus, Nebraska

Emmett Johnson, Running Back, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Victor Jones Jr., Wide Receiver, Orlando, Florida

Jalil Martin, Defensive Back, Chicago, Illinois

DeShon Singleton, Defensive Back, Greensburg, Louisiana

Gage Stenger, Athlete, Omaha, Nebraska

Brodie Tagaloa, Defensive End, Concord, California

Richard Torres, Quarterback, San Antonio, Texas

2022 Needs

QB 1 DL 1
RB 0 MLB 0
WR 1 OLB 1
TE 0 DB 0
OL 2 K/P 0

The Recon:

>> Based on the questions I get, the number one thing on everyone’s mind right now is the Huskers’ QB situation. The recent offer announced by Chubba Purdy initially made people think that he was the only target being locked in on. It turns out the Huskers are hoping to bring two signal-callers in this offseason. Texas transfer Casey Thompson is also a top target for Nebraska. The fourth-year quarterback would bring a lot of experience to the room which is needed. Purdy has multiple years of eligibility left. If the Huskers could get him and groom him to take over after Thompson that would be ideal.

It’s tough to get things to work out exactly to plan. The Huskers have a shot of pulling this off. As we’ve seen before things can change quickly with players in the portal.

>> I’m expecting Mike Dawson to end up coaching the defensive line. It sounds like the plan is for him to have that group again. He’d also share outside linebacker responsibilities with defensive coordinator Erik Chinander. The pair already shared outside linebacker/nickel duties this season so that won’t be a change. Dawson helped recruit a lot of the lineman on the team so that transition should be smooth. This is the move that feels done to me already.

>> It is highly likely that Bill Busch will remain on staff as the full-time special teams coordinator. He led the charge on landing kicker Timmy Bleekrode and punter Brian Buschini. Busch is an asset on the recruiting trail and you can never have enough good recruiters. Nebraska has to change its approach to special teams and having a full-time coach looks to be part of the plan.

That leaves the running backs coach position left to be filled. It appears Nebraska will go outside the program for a coach. Who that could be is still a mystery at this point. I’d expect all the news to come out at once. It’d be ideal if everything was in place by Jan. 14 for the first weekend of 2022.

>> The amount of transfer portal players Nebraska is looking to bring in has remained pretty steady. I still hear that at least one offensive lineman, skill player and quarterback is still the goal. The numbers are getting tight. Some more attrition could happen before second semester starts. It will be interesting to see if traction can be gained with any uncommitted high school players. That could make the team shift the numbers.

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