Nebraska Cornhuskers defensive lineman Nash Hutmacher blasts through the line during scrimmage
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Are There Young Players That Could Help the Huskers Down Stretch Run of 2021?

November 04, 2021

Recruiting never stops and it’s easy to miss the top stories day-to-day. Recruiting analyst Greg Smith recaps all things Nebraska recruiting news, analysis and more so you never miss a thing.

I was inspired by a mailbag question this week. It’s come up more and more as the season rolls along.

The question was which young players could we see in the final three games of the season that we haven’t seen so far. My initial answer was that it’s going to be tough to get new young players on the field. It’s a very important stretch for coach Scott Frost’s job status. Putting freshmen in seems counterproductive. Nebraska is trying to give itself the best chance to win games.

Still, fans will clamor to see fresh faces in the action since the team has been struggling. If the Huskers were to get some new players in the mix down the stretch, who could they be?

The first and most obvious name is tight end Thomas Fidone. He likely has the best shot of any freshman who hasn’t played yet to see the field in 2021. After returning from a knee injury suffered in the spring he is back at practice trying to knock the rust offer. To help with that, tight ends coach Sean Beckton is keeping him after practice like he did on Tuesday.

“I kept him out there trying to increase his confidence because he blew a couple [plays] just trying to build him up,” Beckton said. “Right now, he’s not where he needs to be as far as being able to come out and compete. But that’s why you work with him, to build him up and give him confidence.”

Fidone did dress for the Purdue game although he did not play. With three games remaining in the season, Fidone could play in all three and still keep his redshirt intact.

Over on the defensive side of the ball the player that I have my eye out for is defensive tackle Nash Hutmacher. It’s been a long physical season for the defensive line. That unit has held up well but more rotation could be needed to keep players fresh. Hutmacher arrived on campus as one of the team’s strongest players. He should be fine holding up physically. If he can handle the mental aspect and speed of Big Ten action, he could provide something for the team.

Nebraska’s offense has been tough for young wide receivers to pick up quickly. We’ve seen some struggle with finding consistent snaps. I’d be hesitant to throw another young player in the mix because of that. Yet, it would be good to see one of the team’s young wideouts in the last three games. Alante Brown has gotten more snaps lately. What about a true freshman like Latrell Neville? He’s got the size to hold up in the conference. I’d be curious if he, Shawn Hardy or Kamonte Grimes could give the Huskers a spark outside.

It’s going to be tough for any of the young players to carve out a big role on the team in 2021. With the way the season has unfolded for the Huskers there haven’t been many chances to see these players get extended time.

Recruit Watch

>> The Huskers offered Michigan defensive back Olando Trader on Thursday. The team hopes to get the Central Michigan commit on campus for a visit soon.

>> Texas A&M linebacker Antonio Doyle Jr. is hitting the transfer portal. The Huskers like him a lot during his recruiting process.

>> Recent 2023 Husker offer Jamison Patton was offered by Iowa on Thursday.


>> The skill players are ready to shine (Premium) in the Omaha Westside versus Omaha Burke playoff matchup.

>> The Nebraska Preps Postgame show is talking upsets in Class A and chalk in Class B this week.

>> An offensive lineman got a scholarship ahead of the Ohio State game. We’ve got that an more notes from coach Scott Frost’s press conference.

>> Tom’s Time explores when a slight scheme switch was needed to get a win at Missouri.

>> Let’s try this again is the theme of this week’s I-80 Preview podcast ahead of Ohio State.

>> We’ve got your game day forecast for Nebraska versus Ohio State this weekend.

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