Nebraska Recruiting: Battle for In-State Players Raging for Huskers
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Battle for In-State Players Raging for Huskers

April 20, 2020

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.


When Coach Scott Frost took over the Nebraska football program, he made a point early on that he wanted to keep the best talent in Nebraska home. That is something that all coaches say at opening press conferences. Every coach wants to keep talent home and it is the right strategy. Yet, Frost said it with increased credibility as a guy from the state. Right or wrong, the perception was that coaches before him didn’t understand what it meant to recruit Nebraska hard. 

His staff got off to a hot start in the state. There were five Power Five scholarship players in the 2019 recruiting class. The Huskers landed them all. Then things started getting tricky. It was a rare year last recruiting cycle with a pair of top-level wide receivers in the state. The Huskers signed one—Zavier Betts—but failed to sign Xavier Watts who signed with Notre Dame without taking an official visit to Nebraska. The Huskers did get creative to add Isaac Gifford and he will go on scholarship soon.

Because he committed last September it feels like Elkhorn South offensive lineman Teddy Prochazka has been around for a long time. He was the first in-state player to commit for the 2021 recruiting class. Omaha Westside cornerback Avante Dickerson committed to Minnesota last Friday.

Was Dickerson’s surprise decision unique or is that a sign of things to come? 

Nebraska is still in the mix with two more offered prospects from the state for 2021. Wide Receiver Keagan Johnson will choose between Iowa, Kansas State and Nebraska. Creighton Prep’s AJ Rollins is another player that the Husker hope to keep home and are well positioned to do that goal. 

The battles will not end with this 2021 recruiting class. If you haven’t noticed Nebraska has three high-level Power Five players in the class of 2022. Last week alone tight end Micah Riley received offers from Penn State and Michigan. The Bellevue West standout has seen his offer list grow quickly. Omaha Central offensive lineman Deshawn Woods’ most recent offers are from Michigan State, Florida and Texas A&M. Not to be outdone outside linebacker Devon Jackson has a handful of offers—including Michigan—and is rated as one of the top outside linebackers in the entire 2022 class. The talented trio all have Husker offers. 

The jury is still out on how successful Frost will be in the long term with keeping top talent in the state. It’s not fair to expect 100% of offered in-state players to pick Nebraska but no one wants a repeat of the Noah Fant or Harrison Phillips situations. If there was ever a time for Nebraska to go on a long run of locking down the borders, it would be now.

Recruit Watch

>> Georgia 2021 receiver Chauncey Magwood recently included Nebraska in his top eight and now he has a decision date. 

>> Nason Coleman, a 2022 tight end from Arizona, picked up an offer from the Huskers on Monday afternoon. 

>> Husker signee Marquis Black’s former teammate Bryson Estes was offered by Louisville. Estes visited Lincoln for a game last season. 

ICYMI

>> It’s all about Mike as Derek Peterson revisits some of Jordan’s best moments in his Sunday column.

>> Not being drafted in the NFL can get some people off track. That wasn’t the case with Luke Gifford thanks to hard work and confidence.

>> The latest Moore to It Podcast is back with Stewart Bradley to discuss why there was no four-year flu. 

>> The 2002 season brought a No. 1 ranking and the Huskers’ first regular-season title in 50 years. 

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