This time of year is normally a little bit slower for a college football program. The assistant coaches are out on the road making new connections with high school coaches and seeing prospects. That’s more behind the scenes work that doesn’t get talked about as much. The huge topic around Nebraska football is the potential additions and losses because of the transfer portal.
The May 1 deadline is looming for players to enter the portal and keep eligibility for the upcoming season. That could make for a wild weekend that includes TCU defensive end Ochaun Mathis’ decision. The Huskers also have a handful of players hoping to hear their names called at the NFL Draft this weekend.
Let’s get to the Recon.
Dwight Bootle, Defensive Back, Miami, Florida
Benjamin Brahmer, Tight End, Pierce, Nebraska
Gunnar Gottula, Offensive Lineman, Lincoln, Nebraska
Sam Sledge, Offensive Lineman, Omaha, Nebraska
William Watson, Quarterback, Springfield, Massachusetts
>> Don’t look now but the Huskers are making things interesting in the Mathis sweepstakes. The transfer from TCU will make his announcement on April 30 between the Huskers and Texas. Sources say that the Huskers have momentum for his services. Much of that talk is centered around the idea that Nebraska has stepped up its efforts on an NIL package for him. It’s not a slam dunk that the pick is Nebraska but this race is much closer than it was a week ago.
>> It’s been quiet since Texas Tech transfer Devin Drew took his official visit to Nebraska. That silence doesn’t mean anything bad for the Huskers’ chances. I feel confident that Drew will end up a Husker. Nebraska makes a lot of sense for his final year of college football. He’d be a nice body inside for the team.
>> The Huskers will be setting up official visits for June over the next few weeks. One priority prospect Nebraska has locked in on is Texas defensive lineman Riley Van Poppel. The defender was in Nebraska for a spring practice this year and has the team high on his list. The Huskers are in a good position for him. His recruitment is picking up steam and he got an offer from Michigan this week.
>> One thing that caught my eye this week was Nebraska offering Alabama transfer safety Kaine Williams. The defender is a Louisiana native who is from the same city as wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph.
Williams will have four seasons of eligibility at whichever school he chooses. Williams has reported offers from Kansas, Indiana, Temple and Nebraska among others since Tuesday. The Huskers were active in adding to their secondary this offseason. The group also seems ripe for attrition. He was a 2021 recruit so he could help plug a holes in the scholarship chart. The team is still backfilling for 2020 and 2021 players that left the program early.
>> This time of year is usually slow for head coaches. The assistants are the ones allowed out on the road during the evaluation period. I learned this week that coach Scott Frost has been on the road in a different way. He’s had several meetings with donors to raise NIL money. The new landscape in college football makes this work just as important as his assistants finding prospects. Fundraising has always been part of the job, but now it can be directly tied to Nebraska landing players.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.