Nebraska Cornhuskers celebrate a touchdown against the Purdue
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Nebraska Recruiting: Competing in Different Sports Can Help Prospects with Huskers’ Staff

May 31, 2022

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.


Schools recruiting multi-sport athletes is at a premium around college football. Every recruiting cycle a few questions come up a lot with recruits. I ask Nebraska’s targets if they participate in other sports besides football. More and more prospects seem to be playing something else along with football. Coach Scott Frost stated his preference to recruit players that compete in many sports.

“I don’t think enough kids are playing in more than one sport,” Frost explained. “Specializing is great. You get better at your craft, but there’s a lot of lessons to learn from other sports. Track makes you faster, more athletic, more explosive. Basketball helps you in body control, understanding space. The competition of all those things help. I want to recruit a lot of guys that are multi-sport athletes.

“It means they love competition. They love being out there. There are different players that are and aren’t. If I had a choice, I’d take guys that are playing sports year-around.”

Track seems to be the most common second sport for Nebraska recruits.

The Huskers have recruited players at almost every position that took part in track. The running backs, wide receivers and defensive backs aren’t the only ones that like showcasing their skills in track and field. Nebraska has several quarterbacks and linemen who took part in track during their time in high school.

One of the reasons that the coaching staff loves multi-sport athletes is because they want to see if a player will shy away from competition. Finding out if a player has the inner drive that all schools is search for can be difficult. Coaches can try to ask the right questions during the recruiting process. There isn’t a substitute for seeing a player get out and compete in another sport. Most of the time schools don’t care if you are good at the other sport according to Nebraska running backs coach Bryan Applewhite.

“Multi-sport athlete kids, you know If they are multiple sport athlete they must love to compete.” Applewhite said. “That’s why everyone wants to see about track. If you’re on a track there’s nothing that exposes you more than track. Are you out there competing to win because that exposes you. That’s why I love it, it’s not all about the speed thing. It’s more for are you going to go out there and put yourself out there in front of everybody but you’re trying to win.”

It’s hard for Applewhite to recruit a running back that does not run track. If he doesn’t run track then he better be special in another sport. Other sports provide value too but Applewhite prefers track athletes.

The state of Nebraska has become know for producing late-blooming football players. That’s because so many sports are played in the state. One of the best track seasons in recent memory just finished up with many athletes that will go on to play college athletics. It’ll be worth watching in the future if better specialized training in Nebraska puts a dent in that. Track is where it’s at at both the high school level and for recruiters.

Recruit Watch

>> Lincoln East 4-star athlete Malachi Coleman is ready for his official visit to Nebraska this weekend.

>> Former Nebraska transfer target Lamar Goods was offered by the University of Tennessee-Martin over the weekend.

>> Class of 2023 Florida athlete Manny Covey posted his spring game highlights.

ICYMI

>> The Huskers are facing increasingly competitive races for in-state talent so I spoke with a local high school coach to find out why.

>> Nebraska baseball is undergoing a roster shakeup after a poor 2022 campign.

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