Nebraska Football Coaches Erik Chinander and Ryan Day
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Checking in on the Big Ten Rankings

August 18, 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.

There are so many things happening in college football right now. The Big Ten was first to announce a conference-only schedule for fall sports late last week. Now the race to reconfigure schedules for the teams is on. That’s going to take quite a bit of work and it comes with its own set of questions.

Travel, fairness and many other intriguing storylines will pop up as schedules come into question. We also have schools like Nebraska scheduled to begin mandatory workouts on Monday. All of this is happening alongside schools trying their best to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on their programs and communities. Those issues and more are big picture items that must be figured out. Hopefully the answers lead to playing a season in 2020.

On the recruiting side of things, we have seen a high amount of commitments as prospects try to navigate the recruiting world without on-campus visits. Most people believe that will lead to a big number of decommitments later in the cycle. That’s if we end up getting official visits in the fall.

As we await the next announcement from the NCAA on when the dead period might end, let’s take a look at where things stand in the recruiting rankings. The Big Ten conference is currently home of three of the top 15 classes in the country. Ohio State is still running away with the top spot in the entire country. The Buckeyes are on another level right now. Ryan Day deserves a lot of credit for keeping things rolling after Urban Meyer. Michigan checks in at No. 8 with 20 total commitments and 10 of those 20 are rated as 4-star prospects.

Wisconsin checks in at No. 14 right now. The Badgers won the big battle with Nebraska and others for 4-star outside linebacker TJ Bollers. He’s one of five 4-stars in the class out of 15 total commitments. The Badgers are having a sneaky good recruiting class that currently ranks ahead of Oklahoma and Georgia.

When I checked in on the rankings back in early March, Iowa (9) and Minnesota (14) were off to hot starts. Both have started a backpedal in the rankings. Iowa now checks in at No. 17. The Hawkeyes have a strong in-state flavor to their class. Many were prospects that the Huskers offered. Minnesota has dropped to No. 20 after a handful of players left the class. That is a trend Coach PJ Fleck would love to see come to an end.

As for the Huskers, they were at No. 23 with just three commitments in March. Now they are at No. 41 with 12 commitments. There are still some big fish out there on the board for the Huskers which could impact their ranking in the end. Nebraska’s ultimate problem in putting together a top-20 class might end up being class size. There might only be 6-8 spots left for Nebraska this cycle.

There is still a lot of changes left to unfold until December. Right now the Huskers have work to do to catch their conference rivals.

Recruit Watch

>> On Friday afternoon, the Huskers made the top seven for 2021 Texas running back Camron Valdez.

>> Texas wideout CJ Guidry will be staying home. He committed to Houston over the weekend.

>> Florida defensive back Kamren Kinchens committed to Miami over the weekend.

>> East St. Louis wide receiver Keontez Lewis is heading West. He committed to UCLA this weekend.


>> I took a look (Premium) at the recruiting impact of the Big Ten going conference-only for fall sports.

>> Derek Peterson and Brandon Vogel continued the Buy or Sell series with a familiar name—the 2020 Nebraska Cornhuskers.

>> Jacob Padilla looked into the impact that a conference-only schedule will have on the Nebraska volleyball team.

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