Lovie Smith Shakes Hand of Nebraska Football Coach Scott Frost
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Recruiting: Big Ten West Coaches Are on the Rise

July 25, 2019

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.

The Big Ten West is on the rise. 

For the first time in a long time, there is a legitimate discussion to be had about the West teams closing the gap with their counterparts in the East division. Driving that discussion is the overall ability of the head coaches in the West. Third-year Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck noted the recruiting ability of two of the division’s other new coaches, Jeff Brohm and Scott Frost, during Big Ten Media Days. 

“Seeing what they’re doing in recruiting right now and the elevation of those programs instantly, you can just feel that coming,” Fleck said.

If you ask around, I think the answer you’d get on who the worst coach in the division is would be Illinois’ Lovie Smith. When you stop to consider that Smith is a well-respected coach who took a team to the Super Bowl, I think it says more about the quality of coaches on this side of the league than it says about Smith. To the same point, good luck ranking the rest of the coaches.

Things have changed rapidly in the division on the recruiting trail. Gone are the days of turning your nose up at Nebraska going toe to toe with Purdue on the recruiting trail for an recruit. Beating out Minnesota for a recruit is no easy task given how much effort Fleck and his staff put in on the recruiting trail. We’ve known for years that battling Iowa, Wisconsin and Northwestern for front-seven players is nothing to shrug off either. 

In the end, the level of coaching, recruiting and development in the West is a great thing for the league overall. As for Nebraska specifically, strong competition will only make them sharper. If you made me pick right now, I’d take the coaches in the West over the East. 

When was the last time we could say that? 

Recruit Watch

>> Deezwin Cooper, a 2021 defensive back from Minnesota, release a quick highlight of a big hit in practice. 

>> Ryan Keeler, a 2021 defensive lineman who was in Lincoln this summer, will be at Wisconsin this weekend.


>> Freshman walk-on kicker is out there working on his game. Dylan Jorgensen posted this video on Twitter of him nailing a 51-yard field goal.


>> Nebraska running back Maurice Washington’s legal situation won’t be resolved before the season opener.

>> Jacob Padilla compared sacks and tackles for loss between Nebraska and UCF.

>> I took a deep dive into 2020 defensive backs (Premium) with some recruiting recon. 

>> Erin Sorensen explored the idea if expansion is needed for the College Football Playoff.

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