The future of Nebraska football got a little better over the last week. It is always noteworthy when you add a quarterback to your recruiting class. The team hit the mark with in-state prospect Heinrich Haarberg who can now focus on peer recruiting other skill position players for the team. Adding punter Daniel Cerni is a move that would normally go under the radar but could prove to be a saavy move by Nebraska as it looks to fix its special teams woes.
Let’s get to the Recon.
Heinrich Haarberg, quarterback, Kearney, Nebraska
Randolph Kpai, Inside Linebacker, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Henry Lutovsky, Offensive Lineman, Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Christopher Paul Jr., Inside linebacker, Cordele, Georgia
Patrick Payton, outside linebacker, Miami, Florida
Teddy Prochazka, Offensive Lineman, Elkhorn, Nebraska
Branson Yager, Offensive Lineman, Grantsville, Utah
>> The Huskers continued their overhaul of the special teams unit on Friday when it was confirmed that former LSU kicker Connor Culp would join the team as a graduate transfer walk-on. Culp makes the fifth new specialist coming onboard for the Huskers this offseason. If that seems like a lot of change, well, it is. The Nebraska staff believes that special teams cost the team two games in 2019 and are turning over every rock to remedy the situation.
>> Nebraska is very happy to have its quarterback for the 2021 recruiting cycle. Haarberg—the quarterback from Kearney Catholic—could have really seen his recruitment take off if he had been able to get out on the road and be seen by more coaches. The week that he committed to Nebraska, he had conversations with both Clemson and Iowa. The Hawkeyes were close to offering him. Auburn continued to look into the Husker commit as well. Haarberg had a big spring and summer visit schedule lined up so it is for the best that Nebraska stepped up with an offer when it did. He will need development but the tools are there for him to be an exciting quarterback down the road.
>> The number one prospect I got the most questions about after the NCAA’s decision to extend the dead period was 4-star tight end Thomas Fidone. There are no indications right now that he is feeling rushed and he honestly has the ability to wait. Fidone is one of a few prospects that has that luxury. Every school on his offer list will wait for him to decide and be fine with it. At this point with having only seen Nebraska and Iowa from his top six, there is a chance he takes things into the season and doesn’t take official visits to see Nebraska or Iowa. He has visited both numerous times and understands what both have to offer.
>> Unless something changes soon, June 1 is the current target date for resuming athletic activities. Nebraska would be able to bring its team back to campus for organized activities. Coach Scott Frost said earlier this week on Sports Nightly that the models currently being discussed for a training camp feature anywhere from four to six weeks.
“I think that’s possible,” he said. “[But] I don’t think it’s ideal. There’s a lot of work that goes into getting guys physically and mentally ready to play football. As much as we can be doing right now, we’re going to try and do so that we’re more ready than other people. I think we’ve been doing a good job with that.”
It feels like we are heading toward the SEC and Big Ten allowing activities to resume on June 1.
There is another element of the season’s schedule I don’t think is being talked about enough. Could we see a situation where only conference games are played for this year? There has been discussion about some of the high-profile early season non-conference matchups being canceled. To make things a little easier, the season could start in October with conference games. The lost revenue would hurt but that would be better than no season at all.
>> As I talked about earlier this week, numbers are tight for the 2021 recruiting class. The Huskers will be in a unique position for the rest of the cycle. They want to continue adding quality players to the class but must balance that with being selective. If the final number this cycle falls around 20, it will be about quality not quantity. The other thing to keep in mind is that there will be eventual decommits around the country this year. So how close is the team keeping in contact with players that weren’t able to visit this spring and summer?
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.