Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: California Pushes High School Football to Spring

August 19, 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.

Several sports around the country are getting their plans together in order to resume. The NBA, MLB and NFL have all made various level of plans that are at different stages of implementation. College football is working on its plan too, but it has been a bit all over the place to start.

As you move down from the professional ranks to the college ranks and high school, it gets even murkier. High school athletics appears to be headed toward decisions made on a state-by-state basis. As we get closer to when high school football will kick off, states are making their own decisions about how best to proceed.

California’s decision on high school football this year was bound to be a big one, considering the state produces a high number of Division I talent. Now we know what California is going to do.

“The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) has determined, in collaboration with our 10 Sections, that education-based athletics for the 2020-2021 school year will begin with a modified season of sport schedule,” a release said. “Our calendar reflects the season for each CIF sport and the last date for Section Championships and Regional/State Championships in those sports where a Regional/State Championship is currently offered. Following this announcement, each CIF Section Office will release their own calendar to reflect regular season starting and ending dates and Section playoffs. It is anticipated that most Section start dates will commence in December 2020 or January 2021.”

That’s a huge domino to fall with California moving high school football to the spring. The state championships are currently scheduled for April 17, 2021. That means high school prospects heading into their senior seasons face a tough choice. Do they enroll early at their colleges and skip their senior seasons altogether? Do they change their plans and delay enrolling early if that’s what they intended to do?

We’ve already seen a number of high-profile California prospects announce that they’ve played their last high school football game.

I think we will see more and more top prospects from California opt to go right to college but those are the cream of the crop prospects. What about the majority of players? What about the ones still hoping to burst on to the scene to get scholarship offers? If their seasons don’t finish until April, that is already after the second signing date in February. How would they sign with a college under the current rules?

There are so many unanswered questions at this point about the ripple effects one—but an important one—state made. The safety of student-athletes, parents, coaches and fans has to be first in the mind of decision makers. If they feel this is the best decision, then it has to be so.

Tough decisions are ahead for prospects as they navigate their final year of high school. California produced well over 100 Division I players in the 2020 recruiting class, so many eyes will be watching to see how it goes.

Recruit Watch

>> Husker offensive line commit Henry Lutovsky showed off a cool edit from the Huskers.

>> Omaha Burke 2022 prospect Devon Jackson may be one of the top outside linebacker’s in his class but check out this impressive clip of him on offense.


>> The NSAA released a statement on Monday that said fall high school sports in Nebraska will happen as scheduled.

>> Derek Peterson took a look at running back battles, NCAA guidelines and payouts in his latest column.

>> I took a look at Nebraska’s remaining offensive needs (Premium) for the 2021 recruiting class.

>> JD Spielman is going to TCU and offered his farewell to Husker fans.

>> Jacob Padilla took in some summer league hoops and got eyes on Hunter Sallis and more.

>> The Moore To It Podcast caught up with the Big Ten Network’s Rick Pizzo to discuss Big Ten football (and more) this fall.

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