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Nebraska Recruiting: Diving in to In-State Recruiting Under Scott Frost

October 04, 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.

The questions never stop in the recruiting world. No matter what time of year it is, there is always something to talk about so we have been taking reader and listener suggestions on questions. I then answer the questions in a quick video. For this week’s topic we are diving into a question that really came from all over. This week’s question is all about sizing up in-state recruiting during the coach Scott Frost’s tenure.

The Huskers have had an interesting history with local recruiting under Frost. He wanted to keep the good players in the state from leaving the state to play college football. That was mentioned at his introductory press conference. Noah Fant and Harrison Phillips were just a couple of players that starred at other schools.

Frost went to work immediately on the class of 2019 in-state group. It’s full of familiar names at this point. Garrett Nelson, Nick Henrich, Chris Hickman, Garrett Snodgrass and Ethan Piper were all offered and signed in that class. The following recruiting class Nebraska signed a pair of players from the state. Bellevue West standout Zavier Betts was one of the top players in Nebraska’s class that season. The Huskers also brought in Isaac Gifford that season and put him on scholarship quickly.

That class was when the Huskers lost out on Omaha Burke star Xavier Watts. The two-way player signed with Notre Dame as a wide receiver but he is not a defensive player for the Irish. The 2021 cycle is where more cracks in the Huskers efforts to keep in-state talent home showed. In total there were eight players that held Husker offers from the state. The Huskers signed six of them. That’s a great percentage but there was a problem.

Nebraska lost out on the consensus top player from the state Avante Dickerson. The speedy cornerback went to the Pac-12 to play for Oregon. The third best player in the state last cycle was Keagan Johnson. The wideout is a Husker legacy so it hurt even more when he signed with rival Iowa.

Recruiting can be a “what have you done for me lately” type of situation. The 2022 recruiting class is why so many questions come in about the state of local recruiting for Nebraska. The top four players in the state are all verbally committed to schools outside of the state. None had the Huskers in their top groups. The Huskers do have a pair of in-state commitments in the current class. There is a possibility of another. That’s if the team offers North Platte defender Vince Genatone.

Why did the Huskers struggle to attract the top in-state recruits in the 2022 cycle? There are many factors at play but winning is a common theme. These recruits have seen Nebraska struggle a lot. The start to the Frost Era has not been what anyone hoped for.

Nebraska does have a big opportunity with the 2023 class. Nebraska already has two commits from the state in that class. Three other offers are out to in-state players. The Huskers have a good shot at them all. Each was at Nebraska’s big 56-7 win over Northwestern.

The talent level in the state is on the rise. That’s great for Frost and his staff as they look to build the program. It also makes things more difficult because players have a lot of options these days. The record could turn around for the Huskers. If they win at a higher rate things should smooth out on the local recruiting trail.

Recruit Watch

>> Northwestern game visitor Watts McBride posted his week six highlights where he had a big week.

>> Lincoln East quarterback Noah Walters was offered by Wayne State to play football.


>> It was a family affair (Premium) for 2023 OLB Teitum Tuioti during his visit for the Northwestern game.

>> Derek Peterson dove into Nebraska’s offensive line responding, Brewington’s role and Zavier “Jetts” in his latest column.

>> Steve Marik has five standout plays (Premium) from his rewatch of the game.

>> I’ve got you covered with notes from Huskers availability (Premium) on the option, preparing for the Wolverines’ ground game and more.

>> Finally at full strength, the Husker volleyball team feels confident heading into a Big Ten road test.

>> Nebraska remembers the 2018 Michigan loss well and looks to show improved physicality this weekend.

>> The Blackshirts say ‘bring it on’ and they are ready for Michigan’s run game.

>> Amy Williams talked Husker women, Sam Haiby, the trio of Australians and more on Monday.

>> Casey Rogers’ return adds to an already deep group (Premium) on the defensive line for Nebraska.

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