Nebraska Cornhuskers fans release the balloons after the first touchdown against the Fordham Rams
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Nebraska Recruiting: Can Portal Success Help Huskers Recruit High School Players?

May 23, 2022

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 questions never stop in the recruiting world. No matter what time of year it is, there is always something to talk about so we take reader and listener suggestions on questions. I then answer the questions in a quick video. This week’s topic comes from Twitter. This one centers around how Nebraska’s run on landing transfers can impact high school recruiting in a positive way.

Landing transfers will hurt traditional recruiting. That’s something we hear all the time as we get used to the portal era. Approaching it from this angle is asking if the coaches are learning new ways to recruit that helps land top portal targets.

My answer for this is that it actually can help but in a different way than you might think. The way teams recruit from the portal is different. Players that have already been in college have been through all the hype. That’s a fun part of the experience that comes along with being a high school recruit. They don’t generally publicize offers or do many interviews.

Those players tend to be more bottom line oriented and focused on how a new school can help them. That can be with NIL deals, getting better positioned after college or getting to the NFL. In a lot of cases they are looking at schools in a different way than they did the first time around. Quarterback Chubba Purdy explained how his process went the second time around.

“Yes, sir, [it changed] because now coming out of high school, I’m young,” Purdy said. You’re not doing your homework as much. Now that I’ve been in it, I’ve met a lot of people and I know what I’m looking for. So that really helped me with my experience and my family’s experience.”

Nebraska probably has sharpened its pitch to high school players after the success in the portal. The team has landed 14 players from the portal this offseason. Something they are pitching works. That could be a playing time pitch but its likely a mixture of playing time and benefits of being at Nebraska. Those same pitches would work for high school prospects.

There is an x-factor with Nebraska’s success in recruiting the portal that can be a long-term benefit for traditional recruiting.

It could boost high school recruiting if Nebraska has success with the transfers. Casey Thompson was a high-profile addition at quarterback for Nebraska and a big season would be beneficial. Those benefits go beyond helping the team reach a bowl game his season. Thompson or Purdy having a good year would be something to sell to prep quarterback recruits. The same is true for what happens with Ochaun Mathis. The Huskers sold him on the defense being right for him and his ability to test his skills in the Big Ten. If he has a big year the team can turn around and sell that to those pass rush recruits that have eluded the program.

The goal of landing all these transfers this offseason is to jump start the program to a bowl game. Nebraska needed an infusion of talent to shake things up. That’s the short-term goal. Raising the profile of the program to land better high school recruits is the long-term goal. That will set up Nebraska for sustainable success.

Recruit Watch

>> JUCO defensive tackle Taylor Lewis enjoyed his trip to Oregon State over the weekend.

>> Class of 2024 offensive lineman Jameson Riggs picked up an offer from the Huskers.

>> California 2023 defensive lineman Grant Buckley has the Huskers in his top ten.

ICYMI

>> Nebraska continued its hot streak of portal additions when Alabama transfer Stephon Wynn picked the Huskers.

>> As Drake Keeler writes, black athletic leadership at UNO if finding confidence through diversity.

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