Spring football was an important time for the Huskers. The team needs to improve and there was a sense of urgency around that this spring. It’s also a great time for the coaching staff to evaluate a roster full of young players without much experience. There are plenty of young Huskers to be excited about. We got to see many of them in the Red-White Spring Game.
Evaluating those players is critical. It helps in developing the needs of the coaching and recruiting staff. Now that the Huskers have completed spring football, have the team’s needs changed at all heading into what will be a busy June recruiting time?
Coming into the spring we knew that the Huskers would have a battle at running back. There are several players vying for carries in the 2021 season. The group had a bumpy spring. It wasn’t because of a lack of talent but availability. Each back missed time during spring practice. That makes the evaluation of the position tricky. At the start of spring football I wrote that running back was a position that would be influenced by what happened in the spring. If the group showed progress it would move down the needs list for 2022. If the group struggled, you could see the Huskers try to add a running back or two in the mix.
The problem right now is that we are still in a holding pattern with the position. As seen in the spring game, there are things to like about several of the backs. The coaching staff just needs to see it on a consistent basis. It also complicates things that the room is so young. Each scholarship running back and Jacquez Yant have many years of eligibility left. The chances of attrition at the position are pretty good. We still need more time to know if running back is a bigger need than pre-spring.
Defensive backs coach Travis Fisher has built a very good versatile room in Lincoln. There are a lot of pieces he can mix and match to make an effective unit. There are also young players in the room that there is buzz about behind the scenes. The one spot that Nebraska could use a boost from the 2022 class is cornerback.
A lockdown corner of the future is the only thing missing from his group. Fisher has demonstrated that he can coach players up. He’s got a good eye for talent. Prospects like James Monds III or Mumu Bin-Wahad should be very high on Nebraska’s wish list for the 2022 class.
Outside linebacker is in the top three needs for Nebraska in the 2022 recruiting class. It’s in the top three every year. It will remain that way even after Nebraska starts landing difference makers at the position. Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander’s defense would run smoother with a disruptive force off the edge. The Huskers have already missed on preferred target Popeye Williams. As of right now, no players projected to play outside linebacker are scheduled to take June official visits to Nebraska. The team will keep an intense focus on continuing to inject talent into Mike Dawson’s room.
As we prepare for June and the return of camps and visits, the Huskers’ board will continue shifting. Some positions will be more critical than others when trying to build the 2022 class. The summer will be big for Nebraska both on and off the field.