Assistant football coach directs players during drills
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Confidence Is High in Future of Running Backs

May 21, 2019

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 last week’s mailbag, we had a question on which position group we expect to be talking about in couple of years because of the recruiting over the last two years and development. It was a great question and we all gave good thoughts but I’d like to explore it further.

For the sake of the discussion, quarterback was eliminated because that would be the clear choice. There are lots of schools that have a position that you just assume will be good and you don’t question who they recruit at that position. For Iowa, it’s tight end. At Alabama, it’s defensive back. For Wisconsin, it’s running back. It feels like a good bet that quarterback will ultimately be that position for Nebraska the same way it is at Oklahoma. 

What’s the next position you feel great about moving into the future? 

Defensive back, offensive line and defensive line were all picks by the staff and for good reason. The combination of players on the roster already—plus recruits—allows you to make a strong case for each of those groups. There is a group that wasn’t mentioned that merits mentioning as well: running back.

Running backs coach Ryan Held deserves a lot of credit for the breakout season that Devine Ozigbo had when he rushed for 1,082 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Huskers rushing attack was 4th in the Big Ten in 2018 after being 13th the season before. The running attack figures to get better in 2019 led by the combination of Dedrick Mills, (potentially) Maurice Washington and quarterback Adrian Martinez. 

Then there is the recruiting aspect of the question. Few work harder on the recruiting trail than Held. His hard work has also paid off. In two classes, Nebraska has signed the top JUCO running back twice with Greg Bell and Dedrick Mills, 4-star Maurice Washington, 3-star athlete Miles Jones, 4-star athlete Wandale Robinson, 4-star running back Ronald Thompkins and 3-star running back Rahmir Johnson. There isn’t a back in the 2020 class yet but no one doubts Held will secure at least one talented addition to his room. 

Based on his track record recruiting to Nebraska so far and his start coaching here, Held’s group has to be on the short list of position groups we will be talking about in a very positive way in a couple of years.            

Recruit Watch

>> The Huskers have offered Iowa Western offensive lineman Jacob Gamble.

>> Tony Tuioti’s hat is back and it’s in Utah where he’s recruiting. 

>> Nebraska’s 2020 quarterback Logan Smothers released some short highlights from his time at his new school so far.

> > The Huskers released a really cool video featuring members of the pipeline to promote their upcoming Big Man Camp in June.


>> Dedrick Mills is officially ‘N’ and here’s why that is a big deal. 

>> Husker pitcher Nate Fisher is bringing his “dog” mentality to Omaha for the Big Ten tournament. 

>> Jacob Padilla is here to tell you (Premium) what Matej Kavas can bring to Husker basketball.

>> An edge-rusher from Florida is eyeing an official visit (Premium) to Nebraska in the fall.

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