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.
Every coaching staff across the country has ace recruiters on staff. Well, every staff hopes to have at least one that can help to keep the talent flowing into the program. Nebraska has a unique situation where many coaches on staff can to be ace recruiters. Running backs coach Ryan Held and defensive backs coach Travis Fisher have done great work for Nebraska. Held, for example, has helped to restock the running back room. He's also been involved with the recruitment of many others like wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson.
Fisher has had back-to-back recruiting classes filled with quality prospects. He had also given a big assist on any Florida prospect that has signed with the team over the last three cycles. Offensive line coach Greg Austin and quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco deserve recognition too. Austin has been tremendous at recruiting himself into having lots of options for his line. Verduzco has helped oversee the overhaul at the most important position in sports.
Still, is there a coach that we don’t talk about enough when it comes to their skills on the recruiting trail? I think the answer is clear: tight ends coach Sean Beckton.
What’s unique about Beckton is that his position group has added just two players since he’s been on campus. The Huskers signed Katerian Legrone in 2018—he is no longer with the program— and Chris Hickman in 2019. Hickman is now a hybrid tight end and wide receiver.
Might not seem like much as first, but Beckton’s value goes far beyond recruiting his position group though. He has a strong network of contacts in Georgia and throughout the southeast. Those connections continue to pay off for the Huskers on their commitment list. He was involved with landing Georgia natives Gabe Ervin and Shawn Hardy. Beckton gave an assist in recruiting Marquis Black (Georgia) and Keyshawn Greene (Florida) in the 2020 class. The trio from Georgia—Myles Farmer, Quinton Newsome and Ronald Thompkins—also counted Beckton as one of their main recruiters. Those three were in the 2019 recruiting class.
Beckton’s effectiveness goes beyond just his connections across the South. He is a calming presence that lets families of recruits be comfortable with him and the program. That trait might come in handy even more this recruiting cycle. More recruits are making college decisions before being able to be on campus first.
Beckton is a big piece of the Huskers’ recruiting puzzle. He doesn’t get the headlines that others on the staff do but he is key to the team’s efforts in the South. It also can’t be overlooked that the team’s biggest target for this cycle, Thomas Fidone, is a tight end. Landing the Council Bluffs native would quickly take Beckton from an off-the-radar recruiter to major player.
>> Former Michigan State commit Gabe Nealy committed to USF over the weekend. Nealy was a one-time Husker target.
ALLAHU AKBAR, ALHAMDULILLAH
C O M M I T T E D
I'm lonely boy, Call me a Florida boy🌴🤘🏽💚 pic.twitter.com/XxV7CQETYC
— Gabe “Spida” Nealy🕷 (@GabeNealy1) June 27, 2020
>> Nebraska tight end target Erik Olsen has a top 5 that doesn’t include the Huskers. He also will commit on July 4.
I will be announcing my commitment at 4 MST on the 4th of July!!! @UCLAFootball @StanfordFball @NDFootball @CUBuffsFootball @UW_Football pic.twitter.com/YghlG787yG
— Erik Olsen (@e_olsen12) June 28, 2020
>> Nebraska made the top five for dynamic Florida athlete Kamonte Grimes.
Top 5 let’s go dumb⏳ @Rivals @Rivalsfbcamps @247Sports @ESPNCFB pic.twitter.com/S6hYXxYS4h
— Kamonté Grimes (@KG3life_) June 26, 2020
>> Derek Peterson took a dive into what a 40-man travel roster would look like for Nebraska if it came to that.
>> In his latest Nebraska film study (Premium) Jacob Padilla put outside linebacker Garrett Nelson under the microscope.
>> Fred Hoiberg hosted Grand Island win Isaac Traudt for a virtual visit and Jacob Padilla has the details.
>> I took a look at where the Huskers might turn to add a second running back (Premium) to the recruiting class.
>> It’s time to play Buy or Sell with the 2020 Rutgers Scarlet Knights football team.
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.