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Nebraska Recruiting: Coaches Also Making Adjustments in 2020

October 05, 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.

Some of the Husker defensive coaches were available to the media on Tuesday. It was our first time speaking with them during fall camp and there was a lot of ground to cover now that the season is back on in the Big Ten. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge adjustment by everyone with recruiting.

We’ve often talked here about the changes 2021 prospects are having to make. Picking a school is a huge decision. Prospects have to decide without all of the traditional things available to them. The biggest, of course, are official visits. On the other side of that are coaches having to choose which prospects to pursue with less information than ever. Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander explained this on Tuesday.

“First and foremost, not being able to get out and see guys makes it hard to get early offers out,” Chinander said. “We all know anymore without getting an early offer out to a guy, it’s really hard to get to know them. Because they do have other offers and they want to get to know the places that have offered them scholarships. But without seeing them in person are they really 6-4 or they are 6-1 and they’re advertised as 6-4?

“I’d love to see them move in person. I’d love to talk to the teachers and the counselors and the lady that works in the lunchroom, all those people to find out what kind of kid that is. We don’t have that opportunity right now.”

The biggest weapon Nebraska has in recruiting is prospects being able to visit campus for a game day. It is always even better than prospects expect when they live farther away from Lincoln. The ability to host players for official or unofficial visits has been put on the sidelines. The extended dead period has put Nebraska behind the eight-ball.

“The second part of that is I think Nebraska is most special place in the world,” Chinander said. Until we get kids here sometimes guys that are from a long way away they don’t understand how special it is until they walk on this campus. Until they get off the plane and walk around the city and experience the people first and foremost. So that’s a challenge just not being able to get guys here and see what I see.”

There are a lot of different things that go into recruiting prospects. Nebraska is developing relationships via Zoom, FaceTime and phone calls now. Yet there is no substitute for doing that in person.

The evaluation piece of things is another wrinkle. That makes the entire situation tough on coaches. There is another thing to consider that might not always be top of mind for fans. The parents of prospects.

“I would put it like this: you’re an 18-year old kid or the 18-year old kids’ parents,” Chinander said. “They may love school X but sometimes it’s hard to let your child go someplace where you’ve never met that person face to face and you’ve never been there. So those are the challenges we’re working through.”

Chinander believes the recruiting department and media team have done an unbelievable job. They have made the best of the situation. The Huskers are in position to finish the class strong but it’s been a fight. We’ll see where things land in December. Everyone involved in the recruiting process has had to adjust on the fly.

Recruit Watch

>> Tennessee defensive back target John Howse committed to Vanderbilt on Tuesday.

>> Huskers 2022 tight end target Jack Pedersen has put together quite an impressive offer list so far.

>> Check out 2022 defensive line target Segree Graham make a big hit downfield during a recent game.


>> The Nebraska coaches and players are ready to be back in pads. For defensive coordinator Erik Chinander, that’s when the fun comes. 

>> Miss the video of Chinander addressing the media? Hail Varsity has you covered here. 

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