Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: ‘Depth Chart is Written in Sand,’ Joseph’s Philosophy Will Keep Position Interesting

March 16, 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.


There are many positions at Nebraska that are in transition this spring. That was expected since Scott Frost overhauled the offensive coaching staff. The team has a new setup with the defensive front being coached by Mike Dawson. The rest of the defensive coaches remained the same. Several incoming transfers are providing a shakeup.

Wide receiver has been a position the last four years that has never quite gotten settled. Due to graduation or transfers, the team has not had continuity with the pass catchers under Frost. There have been four different leading receivers for the team each season. This season we are guaranteed to have a different leading receiver for the team. Samori Touré and Austin Allen are off to the NFL.

There are a bevy of wideouts with potential to be the top dog in the group this season. Omar Manning, Zavier Betts, Oliver Martin, Alante Brown and Brody Belt all return. Latrell Neville, Shawn Hardy and Kamonte Grimes all came in during the 2021 class. Victor Jones Jr, Janiran Bonner and Decoldest Crawford signed in the 2022 class. Trey Palmer and Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda transferred into the program. Finding that lead wideout will be important. Wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph wants to find a core of nine that can be counted on in games.

Given all the bodies at the position, what do the needs look like for the 2023 recruiting class? Well, that’s complicated. A new set of eyes on the players in the program is great. Several returners likely feel like they have a new lease on life to show what they can do. The flip side of that is Joseph has already brought in several newcomers to compete for playing time. That means we could be on transfer watch post-spring in the room. Joseph explained last month that it doesn’t matter what his players did in high school or at another school. It’s all about what you do now.

“The thing about it is we’re going to do a great job of evaluating players and making sure that the right players get here,” Joseph said. “Once they get here, it’s just like the NFL everything’s even. My walk-ons have just as much chance as my first guys because it’s open competition. I always say the depth chart is written in sand. You got to come to battle every day at this position every day.”

Joseph’s coaching philosophy and ability on the recruiting trail will always keep his room filled with talent. I would expect the Huskers to take at least two wide receivers in the 2023 recruiting class. The great news for the Huskers is that they might not have to look far to fill those spots. Malachi Coleman, Joshua Manning, Jaidyn Doss and Andre Davis are all in the 500-mile radius. Targets from Texas and Louisiana are likely to emerge, too.

It’s a big spring for the wide receiver group. How many of the players already in Lincoln perform will determine how the recruiting situation changes at the position. We can count on Joseph to always have an eye out for increasing the competition.

Recruit Watch

>> Lincoln East 4-star athlete Malachi Coleman received a huge honor on Wednesday.

>> Nebraska 2023 tight end target Zach Ortwerth took a visit to Pitt recently.

>> Defensive tackle target David Borchers was offered by Army on Tuesday night.

ICYMI

>> The Hail Varsity staff is back to answer your questions in the mailbag covering potential football transfers, March Madness brackets and more.

>> Jacob Padilla dives into the importance of point guard play in the latest Padding the Stats.

>> Frustration with the offensive line and ‘ors’ on the running back depth chart are just a pair of things that caught Steve Marik’s ear during spring football so far.

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