Nebraska Cornhusker offensive line coach Greg Austin speaks to the media after football practice
Photo Credit: John Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Checking in on Offensive Line Depth After Recent Departure

August 18, 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.


Wednesday was a news-filled day around Nebraska football.

It shouldn’t get lost in the shuffle that Nebraska had a reserve offensive lineman leave the program. Class of 2019 recruit Jimmy Fritzsche announced Wednesday morning that he is entering the transfer portal.

The South Carolina native picked Nebraska toward the end of that recruiting cycle. It was a hotly-contested battle that the Huskers won. Clemson, Connecticut and Syracuse were the other schools he took visits too. Fritzsche was one of six offensive linemen that signed with the Huskers in his recruiting class. He was joined by Bryce Benhart, Brant Banks, Michael Lynn, Matthew Anderson and Ethan Piper. Fritzsche is now the second lineman from that group to leave the program, joining Anderson after his departure in January.

The Huskers still have good depth on the offensive line overall. The team has signed more than one offensive lineman each full cycle under Frost. They have keep bringing in players to supplement the talent already on the roster. The other thing the team has done well has found walk-ons to add depth. Nouredin Nouili, Ezra Miller and Keegan Menning have all joined the team that way. All could contribute to Nebraska soon.

There is increased depth along the line. The downside can be figuring out how to keep everyone engaged. Offensive line coach Greg Austin gave his philosophy on retaining players this spring.

“The challenge is puzzling, but then also the challenge is making sure the guys understand where their value is,” Austin said. “When you’ve got that many guys that can play for you, we live in a world now where guys can transfer at free will, so you’ve got to recruit them while they’re here as you’re coaching them. You always have to make sure you’re being personable and doing things with them to make them feel valued.”

You’d like to think that Austin has figured out a key to retaining players in his room. There are a lot of young players starting now so keeping the guys behind them happy will be tricky. It’s a lot easier in the Big Ten to operate your offense with a veteran group up front. Getting players to stick around and develop is critical. Matt Sichterman is a great example of this currently.

Attrition is going to happen in college football today. The key is to not let it completely blow up your depth along the way.

Recruit Watch

>> Bellevue West wide receiver and priority Husker 2024 target Dae’vonn Hall debuted as a four-star in 247Sports’ rankings.

ICYMI

>> Trev Alberts and Scott Frost briefly discussed the NCAA investigation into Nebraska after practice.

>> The Mind Your Own podcast is sorting through some complex feelings this week.

>> Nebraska offensive coordinator Matt Lubick is happy with the team’s focus and depth (Premium) ahead of the 2021 season.

>> In Padding the Stats Jacob Padilla talks Summer League, Dalano Banton and making dreams come true.

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