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Nebraska Recruiting: Classes Loaded With Regional Talent a Trend or New Formula?

December 27, 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.


The early part of the final work in building the 2021 recruiting class is complete. Nebraska had a drama-free day on the first day of the early signing period. All 19 high school commits signed by 10 a.m. CT. Things went according to plan, as Coach Scott Frost said that day.

“We expected to sign this group of kids,” Frost said. “They all signed. They all signed this morning. I called them all and told them congratulations. I think their bond and talking to each other and determination to turn Nebraska into a winner probably held the class together really well and made our jobs easy.”

Frost also called this class “a little more regional” than his previous classes. He’s right about that. So far this cycle, Nebraska has five in-state signees and nine from the Midwest in total. Teddy Prochazka, AJ Rollins, Heinrich Haarberg, Koby Bretz and James Carnie are all from Nebraska. Thomas Fidone and Henry Lutovsky are from Iowa. Randoplh Kpai is from South Dakota. Defensive lineman Ruquan Buckley is from Michigan. Branson Yager is from Utah, but has family in the area and was plenty familiar with the Huskers before his recruitment.

Why this class was more regional for Nebraska is a two-part story. In a way, the program was forced to look harder at players closer to campus because of the pandemic. It was harder this cycle to get players from longer distances away from Lincoln. They did not have the opportunity to visit. The local flair to the class is also because the talent in the region has been growing for years. It’s the right time for Nebraska to spend more time combing the 500-mile radius for talent.

Could that be the formula again for the 2022 recruiting class?

Nebraska is always on the high end of scholarship offers under Frost. There are still clues to priority states by looking at the number of offers in each state. The Huskers have had little success in Missouri recently but there are 12 offers out in the state for 2022. Wide receiver Quinton Conley and defensive tackle Domonique Orange are two with big interest in the Huskers.

The Huskers already have nine offers out in Oklahoma and five in Kansas. The two nearby states have continued to get increased attention. Kansas natives Caden Crawford and Gavin Meyers are two linebackers with heavy interest in Nebraska at this point.

As always, Nebraska and Iowa will be a focus in the 2022 recruiting cycle. The five early offers in the state are all players the Huskers would love to have in the fold. The class is loaded in state. Kaden Helms, Micah Riley, Devon Jackson, Deshawn Woods and Ernest Hausmann have Power 5 talent. Frost will fight hard to keep them all home. Over in Iowa, there are four early offers out led by one of 2022’s best defensive backs Xavier Nwankpa.

Nebraska will always look for talent from Georgia, Florida, Texas and California. It will be interesting to track if a new formula is being put together. Could the bulk of the recruiting class be from the region? The 2022 cycle will give us more clues on which way Frost wants to go.

Recruit Watch

>> Georgia transfer outside linebacker Jermaine Johnson will make his way to Florida State for his final year of college football.

>> Athlete from the 2022 class Tyrell Henry has the Huskers in his final nine schools.

>> Iowa native and big-time 2022 defensive back target Xavier Nwankpa is releasing his top 12 schools on New Year’s Day.

ICYMI

>> In the final part of Mike Babcock’s series looking at the Huskers’ first national championship he explores the team reaching the summit in 1970.

>> Second half woes doomed the Husker basketball team against Michigan.

>> In the latest Varsity Club Podcast, Derek Peterson is joined by Brandon Vogel and Erin Sorensen to discuss clarity and the College Football Playoff.

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