Photo Credit: Greg Smith

Nebraska Recruiting: Beefing Up Behind the Scenes Operation Only Choice in Portal Era

December 08, 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.


We are in the transfer portal era. The number of players entering the portal has seen an explosion this year.

The increase can be attributed to a few reasons. The NCAA’s policy that players can transfer one time without sitting out a year has a huge impact. Getting one free transfer can help make that decision to leave a school very easy for players. Related to that is all the coaching movement we’ve seen after the regular season concluded. It has to be a factor in decision making of coaches and administration. Players can leave and enter the portal when coaching changes are made. The portal works both ways in that case. Yes, players from schools with coaching changes tend to flood the portal. Now coaches at new schools can use the portal to restock the talent cupboard that may have been a little bare.

We are seeing coaches be rewarded for using the portal well. Michigan State coach Mel Tucker was given a massive contract extension recently. A large chunk of his success in East Lansing can be attributed to bringing in players from the portal. That gave his program a boost. That sounds a lot like what coach Scott Frost is hoping do this offseason as he explained recently.

“You got to take the best guys available. I don’t really want to talk about that and do that to the guys currently on our team,” Frost said. “But I think we’re a couple pieces away from getting over the hump and winning all these games. We’ll do our best to take the young core that we have, and a lot of really good young players, and try to add to it as best we can through high school recruiting and other ways.”

If the Huskers are going to find those missing pieces they have to be able to be identified. That’s done by the recruiting department. The Huskers have a good group in place currently. Part of me wonders if we aren’t going to see another explosion in recruiting staff size soon. Take a look at the teams at the top of the recruiting rankings. They have increasingly large support staffs. This will continue with the portal not showing signs of slowing down. Nebraska’s isn’t small but no coach would say that it couldn’t be beefed up.

Keeping up with the intense number of players entering the portal takes resources. Someone has to notice the players are in the portal. A staff member needs to scout the player to make sure they are a fit. There are character checks that also go into this. The more people you have on-hand to do this the better. One of the things reportedly in new Miami coach Mario Cristobal’s contract was increased funds for support/recruiting staff.

We’ve seen this before with emerging media teams taking more importance. Compliance departments need more people to handle NIL questions from student-athletes. How teams can add talent to their teams has changed in a hurry. College football teams have to change with the times to stay ahead of the curve.

Recruit Watch

>> Big-time 2024 quarterback Dylan Raiola is happy about his uncle being hired to coach at Nebraska.

>> The Huskers offered 2023 Florida running back Kenton Kirkland on Tuesday night.

>> Intriguing Louisiana 2022 wide receiver prospect Shazz Preston was offered by the Huskers.

ICYMI

>> Nebraska hired Mark Whipple as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach plus Donovan Raiola will coach the offensive line.

>> I caught up with Husker legend Dominic Raiola to get the breakdown (Premium) of what type of coach his brother is.

>> Steve Marik dove into the wealth of experience (Premium) that Mark Whipple brings to the Nebraska staff.

>> Erin Sorensen and Sausha Durkan are back this week in the Mind Your Own Podcast to say its find to like what you like.

>> It’s the same old story for Nebraska basketball as Jacob Padilla explains in Padding the Stats.

>> Steve Marik has transfers for you to know in the secondary (Premium) as the Huskers seek reinforcements.

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