Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Recruiting: Convincing Seniors to Return is Big Offseason Key for Huskers

December 28, 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.


Even though Nebraska’s season just ended that doesn’t stop people from wondering about the outlook for the 2021 season. The prospects for Nebraska football next year still have a lot of variables left to be worked out before we can truly have that discussion. There is quite the checklist of things that have to play out. The December signing period has come and gone. We have a strong idea of most of the new high school players being added to the roster.

Next up is sorting out which prospects the staff will go after in February. There are a handful of key names to watch like linebacker Wynden Ho’ohuli who announces his college choice on Jan. 2. Beyond the Hawaii linebacker, Husker fans will be keeping an eye on Avante Dickerson and which school receives his letter of intent in February. Defensive lineman Tia Savea has also been a long-time target that Nebraska is battling for.

The transfer portal is booming, too. There are so many players for Nebraska to do research on to see if they fit the program. The recruiting in the portal is fierce right now and convincing the top players to choose your school is no small task.

But rather than take that risk, it’d be nice if Nebraska could bring back a handful of seniors. Instead of a quick transfer with less information on the player, it would be the much safer bet to get a bonus year from seniors that have been on the team. One big example of this is Ben Stille. Nebraska has young defensive linemen to be excited about. But it would help bridge the gap if Stille was around for another season. Defensive line coach Tony Tuioti spoke last month about the things the Nebraska native brings to the table.

“Ben Stille has been a tremendous asset to our program, especially for these young guys, taking it upon himself to have a leadership role,” Tuioti said. “Getting these guys to watch tape, they do extra things. A lot of guys trust him. I’m so glad to see him being able to have production and a pretty good season so far this year.

“He’s been tremendous. He’s great on the sidelines talking to the guys and keeping their energy up. I really appreciate having Ben Stille here with us and hopefully we have him another year.”

We’ve already seen a few announcements of seniors deciding to depart the program. Boe Wilson announced he was going to graduate transfer. Collin Miller is medically retiring and Brenden Jaimes is preparing for the NFL Draft. Tight end Jack Stoll announced on Monday that he too will be chasing his NFL dream.

Scott Frost and his staff don’t have to get everyone to return. If the staff can get three or four defensive starters to return it might be the most impactful thing that could happen this offseason. Retaining veteran talent could be key to helping Frost get the program off the ground in Year 4.

Recruit Watch

>> Former Husker wide receiver Marcus Fleming has a new home in the Big Ten. He is going to Maryland.

>> Husker defensive back signee Marques Buford is getting some work in with his younger brother.

>> Class of 2023 pass rusher Denzel Moore out of Georgia has racked up some impressive offers already.

ICYMI

>> Star Minnesota running back Mo Ibrahim is returning to Minnesota in 2021.

>> Derek Peterson is looking into the defining numbers of Nebraska’s 2020 season. He took a look at field position and failure on passing downs.

>> The Nebraska Preps Postgame show featuring Jacob Padilla and Damon Benning has returned to discuss holiday tournaments.

>> Jacob Padilla took a look into Nebrasketball by the numbers nine games into the season.

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