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Nebraska Recruiting: Embracing New Era of College Football Key for Programs

January 05, 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.


Saying that this offseason has been crazy with transfers is an understatement. It seems like daily new players are entering the portal around the country. There have been big dominoes that have fallen in the transfer market. Quarterback has seen some high-profile transfers even in recent days. Nebraska is benefitting from this movement.

The new world of college football can be an asset to your program if you are still building. Nebraska finds itself in that position. The Huskers have commitments from six scholarship transfers so far. They are coming to Lincoln from a range of previous schools at multiple positions. The unpredictability of transfers in college football is making things so uncomfortable. The situation at Oklahoma with quarterback Caleb Williams transferring ignited a new round of talk around transfers in college football. If a young star quarterback who will be among the frontrunners for the Heisman next season will transfe,r all bets are off.

This led me to wonder if we could see more rule changes to protect schools against these transfers. There is a problem with that. Oklahoma is the loser in this particular situation. There is a school who will be a big winner once Williams decides his next stop. That is going to keep coaches from going too hard in a push for rule changes. There is always the chance you can benefit from one of these massive transfers.

We have seen this before, especially at quarterback. The Huskers are continuing their search for the more signal-callers this offseason. It’s been known since the season ended the team would look for transfer portal help at that position. New offensive coordinator Mark Whipple recognizes a new world for quarterback recruiting.

“It’s worked pretty well the last few Heisman Trophy winners: Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray’s done all right, Baker Mayfield, [Justin] Fields. That’s just kind of the way it is now,” Whipple said. “I think it was six years ago, my assistant said ‘Hey, the top 50 quarterbacks in the last five years, 45 of them had transferred.’ There’re not many guys that stay. There can only be one [starter].”

As Whipple pointed out during his time with media last month, coaches change places a lot. So players are going to as well. I do think that the visibility of coaches leaving programs plays a role. It has given more players the courage to upgrade their situation, too. One of the things that coach Scott Frost has mentioned about this new era of college football is the ability to stay flexible. More than ever it is important that schools stay on the look out for talent to add to their team. It’s important to have a good pulse on the players in your locker room. Team building is different now and requires you to be lighter on your feet.

The programs that can adjust to this new reality will be rewarded. No amount of complaining about player movement will change the transfers from happening. People complaining about coaching being hypocritical won’t change them leaving. Everyone is doing what they feel is best for them. Adapting to the changes is the only way forward if you hope to compete.

Recruit Watch

>> Nebraska offered 2022 running back Ajay Allen on Wednesday afternoon. Allen (5-10, 185) is committed to TCU.

>> Former Notre Dame offensive lineman Quinn Carroll is heading to Minnesota.

>> Check out some highlights from Huskers 2023 defensive back target out of Iowa, Watts McBride.

ICYMI

>> Behind Markowski’s career night Nebraska took down No. 8 Michigan on Tuesday night. Eric Francis has you covered with a photo gallery.

>> Jacob Padilla is reflecting on the best of 2021 in his latest Padding the Stats.

>> It’s time to look at the tight ends as Steve Marik scores the 2022 Huskers.

>> The Hail Varsity staff is back to answer your questions in the mailbag including baseball expections and reshaping the offensive line.

>> Jacob Padilla has five thoughts (Premium) on Bellevue West’s 73-66 win over Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln.

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