Nebraska Recruiting: Don't Forget 2019 ILBs While Focusing on 2020
Photo Credit: Greg Smith

Nebraska Recruiting: Don’t Forget 2019 ILBs While Focusing on 2020

November 14, 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.

When thinking about recruiting, it’s easy to focus only on future classes of prospects to impact the play we see on the field each Saturday. I’ve talked a lot this cycle about the importance of linebacker recruiting. Linebacker is a top-three need in this 2020 class. The Huskers need more help at inside linebacker and outside linebacker, especially guys who can rush the quarterback. 

But what about the guys that came into the program last year in the 2019 class? I’ve said in this space before that I believe inside linebacker could become a position of strength for this team sooner than expected. When thinking about Nick Henrich, Garrett Snodgrass, Jackson Hannah and Luke Reimer, they all share a common trait.

“I guess the No. 1 thing I love about them similar to Garrett Nelson is that they are into football,” inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud said. “That’s the biggest thing. They are in the facility even when they don’t have to be. If you aren’t playing, sometimes it’s hard to watch a bunch of film and be around it. They are up there and working. That’s what I’m most excited about.”

Guys who love football. That theme came up again in discussing this crop of young linebackers. Ruud appreciates that he doesn’t have to force any of them into the facility. It’s something they naturally want to do and be better at. York’s Snodgrass saw his first college action recently on special teams which helped to get him acclimated to college football. 

Last cycle’s crown jewel of this group was Omaha Burke’s Nick Henrich. He was slowed by a shoulder injury but is back up to speed and practicing.

“He’s good now,” Ruud explained. “He really is. He was planning to be at the Purdue game but he got sick that week. It’s been good to get him up there and get him reps on defense and special teams. I know he was really excited about it.”

Ruud went on to explain that it’s absolutely the plan to play Henrich more to finish out the year. His redshirt is in the bag so the plan is to use him as much as possible. Another name that many had high hopes for is Tennessee native Jackson Hannah. He’s been doing work behind the scenes to get better during a redshirt season. 

“He’s getting stronger. I can tell that,” Ruud said. “He had to trim some body fat down and clean up his diet. I think he’s doing a good job with both Zach [Duval] and Dave [Ellis] getting that going. He’s a guy that from a development standpoint we are counting on to make leaps. Not only this spring but next season. He has to keep making jumps.” 

Don’t forget the 2019 group of inside linebackers that are currently getting seasoning while we continue discussing the potential inside linebackers to join the class of 2020. 

Recruit Watch

>> Zane Herring, a Florida State offensive line commit, is all set for his official visit this weekend.

>> Junior college defensive end Junior Aho will be visiting Lincoln soon. He got some love from the Huskers on social media Wednesday. 

>> Priority wide receiver Omar Manning was named first-team all conference on Tuesday. 

>> Darion Green-Warren, a 4-star defensive back visitor for this weekend, received his All-America Bowl jersey. 


>> Fixing Nebraska’s defense starts with improved communication (Premium) as I explained on Wednesday. 

>> There are no tricks about Wisconsin as the Huskers offense prepares to face the battle with the Badgers. 

>> The Hail Varsity staff is back to answer your questions in the mailbag including how good Val Kilmer’s Batman was.

>> The Huskers announced the 2019 volleyball recruiting class. 

>> Elkhorn South grad Moses Bryant is entering the transfer portal. 

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