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Nebraska Recruiting: Battle Brewing for Playing Time and Roster Spots at Wide Receiver

June 15, 2022

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.


Competition can be a very good thing for a football program struggling to find its footing.

When the Huskers hired wide receivers coach Mickey Jospeh, he brought with him a strong reputation as a recruiter and developer. Joseph helped to develop nine former LSU Tigers that were drafted into the NFL. The most recent names include Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson. We know that he can get guys to the NFL.

We also know they he can identify talent and develop it since he landed those guys in the first place. That’s what makes the brewing storm at wideout for Nebraska that much more intriguing.

Since joining the staff Joseph has helped the Huskers land a slew of wide receivers. The 2022 recruiting class was rounded out by Georgia native Janiran Bonner and Louisiana native Decoldest Crawford. Victor Jones Jr. was already committed when Joseph took over his position. That’s a good trio of prep wideouts in that class. Kamonte Grimes and Shawn Hardy are still on the team from the 2021 class too.

The Huskers hit the transfer market hard this offseason at most positions including wide receiver. Marcus Washington, Trey Palmer and Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda all joined the team. Joseph’s recruiting style matches his coaching style which is all about energy. There are plenty of wide receivers that were on the team when Joseph arrived too. He has a range of players but wants to develop them all.

“You got to bring them all along at the same time,” Joseph said. “And I keep talking about it’s gonna be friendly competition within that room. We’re going to get after each other because if we can battle with each other within that room, when we get to the DBs we’re about to eat them up.”

The battle for playing time at wide receiver is going to be fierce this fall for Nebraska. There are a lot of players eager to prove they have what it takes to play. The holdover wideouts want to show they’ve improved and can be key contributors. The new additions want to show they are worthy of playing right away. Neither will have long to figure it out.

That’s because the Huskers are off to a hot start with receiver talent in the 2023 recruiting class. The team received the first commit at the position recently when Jaidyn Doss joined the class. There are several other high-level prospects the team has a good shot to land. Malachi Coleman and Omarion Miller are two prospects that no school would turn away. Nebraska has a chance to land both talented playmakers. Georgia native Barry Jackson Jr. has a commitment date in mind and would make a nice slot option for the program. Kansas City wideout Joshua Manning has been to Nebraska several times including a recent official visit. The Huskers are high on his potential.

There are also always surprises. Given Joseph’s track record as a recruiter there could be other names that come on the radar during or even after the 2022 season. The team could also look to see which players could be added from the portal.

The number of wide receivers that have come into the program in the last year signal expected attrition after the season. It’s important to remember what Joseph said this spring about competing in his room. We could already be seeing that play out.

“They got to continue to improve and I’m going to put pressure on them,” Joseph said. “I spoke to all of them, they’re playing for roster spots. It’s not the old days where you’re just going to sit here for three years and not play. You’re playing for roster spots.

“You’re going to get it done (here) or you’re going to get it done somewhere else. We’re not just going to sit back and try to help you develop and you’re not going to continue to develop. If you don’t want to develop, I don’t know if you’re going to be able to play for me.”

Recruit Watch

>> Nebraska defensive line target Edric Hill was offered by Oklahoma on Tuesday.

>> Lincoln High athlete Beni Ngoyi had a great official visit to Iowa State last weekend.

ICYMI

>> Jacob Padilla has some summer volleyball ponderings in the latest Padding the Stats.

>> Steve Marik discuss how Myles Farmer is balancing competition and leadership while trying to keep his starting role.

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