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Nebraska Recruiting: Communication Key Part of In-State Pitch During Huskers’ Rough Patch

November 16, 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.


In-state recruiting is a key building block for most college football programs. Each coach wants to keep the top talent home. That is the case at Nebraska where a couple of Nebraska-born former players play large roles in that goal. Keeping the top players from Nebraska playing college football for the Huskers is a priority. Coach Scott Frost said so when he accepted the job in Lincoln. He and lead in-state recruiter Barrett Ruud have had some success keeping players home. Yet, there have been an increasing number of top players choosing a different path.

There are a lot of different reasons that trend can be attributed to. The most obvious one is winning. As the Frost Era has gone along, wins have not been part of the equation. Nebraska has won four conference games in the last two seasons. It’s easier to sell the vision of the program before the losses pile up.

There is another part of that equation for in-state recruiting. Sometimes it’s easier to sell out of state recruits on the ability to make things better. That’s because in-state recruits are surrounded by Husker football talk all the time.

In general, those in-state prospects have a better sense of the pulse of the program. The team is going through the on-field struggles that led to 40% of Frost’s staff being fired last week. Those in-state players understand what is happening more. There are so many things going on around Nebraska football right now.

Ruud was asked if the pitch has to change to in-state players because they are so aware of what is happening with the program.

“I think the biggest thing is just you try to be very open with your communication,” Ruud said. “You want the guys that you’re talking to on the regular to know what’s going on. To know coach’s vision and to know that they’re a huge part of it. What I kind of told them is, ‘Hey, when I when I find out what’s going to be the next move, they’re going to know pretty much after our guys.’

“So, I think that’s the biggest thing is you just continue to be an open on what’s going on. You’re continually talking to your targets. I think all those guys have a really good feel for how important they are to our program.”

Communication and relationship building are going to be key for Nebraska moving forward. Nebraska has to compete more and recruit harder to keep these top players from leaving the state. The program has to keep building relationships with prospects. High school coaches in the state need consistent communication too. The Huskers are missing on several 2022 prospects this cycle. Things aren’t all bad in-state because they team will sign three.

The 2023 cycle is another strong group. Nebraska is off to a hot start with a pair of in-state players committed for that cycle. Recruiting is a what have you done for me lately business. A quick bounce back by Nebraska is the next cycle would ease concerns over the 2022 cycle.

Recruit Watch

>> Check out the graphics the Huskers put together for 2023 Creighton Prep offensive lineman Sam Sledge.

>> Asa Newsom, a 2023 linebacker target from Iowa, released his junior film.

ICYMI

>> To the Husker players there is plenty left to play for this season (Premium) including pride and culture.

>> Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander spoke about different guys getting a look this week and more ahead of Wisconsin.

>> Chinander also heaped praise (Premium) on his players and coaches for him getting a nomination for the Broyles award.

>> Fred Hoiberg is stressing making the simple plays (Premium) and ball movement after a rough offensive start to the season.

>> As Steve Marik wrote, JoJo Domann’s absence hurts (Premium) but it created a nice opportunity for Isaac Gifford.

>> There are two games remaining at Nebraska for Samori Touré that he can use to set a foundation (Premium) for the future.

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