There is comfort in returning to a place you know well. Senior director of player personnel and recruiting Vince Guinta had that feeling when he arrived on his first day back at Nebraska. Guinta made his way back to Nebraska in February. He was at Baylor for the last two seasons and was part of the recruiting operation for Bill Callahan.
Arriving in the parking lot he knew where to park. He knew where to enter the building. When he walked in the doors of Memorial Stadium he was greeted by a handful of familiar faces. They were here when he was in the mid-2000’s.
What made him leave Baylor, a program on the rise under coach Dave Aranda after winning the Sugar Bowl in 2021?
“It’s the people here. That’s what makes Nebraska so special. To be able to bring my family back to this, to let them experience it, it was something I wanted to do,” Guinta said.
The Huskers are in a unique spot right now with recruiting. The 2021 class was the lowest-rated of coach Scott Frost’s tenure. There is a combination of factors that led to that. Evaluations were disrupted because of the pandemic. The team struggled to land its top high school targets. On-field results weren’t what Frost wanted either, which led to a major shakeup on his staff. Those shakeups weren’t limited to on-field coaching roles.
Guinta has a lot on his plate in his new role at Nebraska as he explained to a group of reporters on Monday.
“My first job is to take Coach Frost’s vision for recruiting and for building our team and put that in into motion,” Guinta said. “That goes across working with our coaching staff to establish the areas we recruit, the type of players that we’re recruiting. On a day-to-day, managing staffs of personnel, assistants, recruiting assistants and on campus recruiters as well as work with the high school relations as well.”
Guinta joked he wishes could spend the majority of his time evaluating tape to find great talent. His role is to oversee the entire recruiting operation. It was a “no-brainer” for him to return to Lincoln because the timing was right.
When it comes to executing Frost’s vision Guinta has to help the program find the right prospects. Nebraska wants to bring in great character kids into the program. Toughness and competitiveness are two other traits that Nebraska recruits must have. Those traits sound familiar, right? It’s because every new assistant coach at Nebraska has echoed those sentiments.
That messaging needs to be consistent in the program. The directive is clear and now it’s Guinta’s job to put the processes in place to find those prospects. One of the toughest parts of the evaluation process is filtering for intangibles. It’s something that has been a focus for Guinta at every stop he’s had from college to the NFL.
“I think that getting to know the background of the young men and the people that they’ve interacted with before, I think that’s more important than ever,” Guinta said. “Whether there’s people that you talk to, questions that you ask, it’s part of the evaluation process, too. In the old days, you used to watch a VHS tape and you might be able to offer the kid off that. Then you want to find out more about him. after the fact. Now the process is more about let’s find out about the young men as we’re going through the process.”
Schools can be much more involved with getting to know prospects personally now. The rule changes allowing more communication via emails, texts and social media make that easier than ever.
Guinta has a large task ahead of him as the new person in charge of Nebraska’s recruiting. It helps that he’s had success at many stops in his career and is highly regarded in the profession. It also shouldn’t be discounted that he has a deep understanding of what it takes to make Nebraska football successful.
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.