Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Evaluating Transfer Portal Versus Scouting High School Players

October 18, 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 evaluating players in the transfer portal.

This week’s question is all about Nebraska’s ability to balance dedicating time evaluating players in the portal versus high school players. Greg also wants to know a prediction on the amount of scholarship players that will transfer after the season and if the Huskers can over-sign to protect against that. Thank you to Greg on Twitter for the question.

The Huskers are projected to only sign 12-16 high school players this cycle. The team will have to look at the transfer portal to plug holes on the roster. The Huskers have had success in the portal. Darrion Daniels, Kanawai Noa and Tre Neal were transfer players. They all had big roles on the team. Samori Touré, Chris Kolarevic and Nouri Nouili have all played for Nebraska this season.

The portal has changed the way that recruiting departments have to scout players. Inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud said there is one big difference in today’s world of recruiting. You have to be aware of more current college players than before. Your scouting department needs to be watching other teams all the time. That is necessary because you never know who is going to enter the portal.

“When you start looking at different guys across college football who may enter the portal they’re going to be a little bit more finished product,” Ruud said. “You should have a better idea of what you’re getting. Whereas high school is a little bit more projection of what can this guy be. If a guy enters the portal and he’s in his fourth-year college you probably got a pretty good idea of what you’re getting.”

Teams are having to dedicate time to scouting players that could enter the portal. It’s the best way to not be caught flat-footed when a player that may fit your team enters the portal. That does take time away from scouting high school players. It’s hard to know the breakdown of how much time Nebraska spends looking at potential portal players. We know that it’s a chunk of time. The program has been in good position to land players looking for a new opportunity.

The Huskers will surely have attrition after the season. Every season brings expected and unexpected players leaving the program. The Huskers can’t over sign to protect against that because it’s not allowed in the rules. Nebraska also has to keep numbers open in case players return for an extra season next year. It’s hard to know how things will go after the eligibility freeze in 2020.

It will be interesting to see the ways this evolves over time. Every once in a while, in college football a new thing comes along to change the recruiting game. Years ago it was edits for prospects. Now you see every school with teams dedicated to making edits for prospects to share. We could see a similar thing happen here. Scouting departments will need to expand to get an edge in the portal era.

Recruit Watch

>> Nebraska 2023 target Malachi Coleman took a visit to Wisconsin over the weekend.

>> One of the top quarterbacks in the 2023 class in Iowa JJ Kohl visited Missouri this week.

>> Lincoln High 2023 athlete Beni Ngoyi was offered by the University of South Dakota over the weekend.

ICYMI

>> Nebraska got a bad game when you most expected it as Derek Peterson wrote in his column.

>> Nebraska volleyball held strong at No. 9 in the AVCA Coaches Poll.

>> Steve Marik has five standout plays (Premium) from the Minnesota game on the rewatch.

>> Check out the Hail Varsity photo gallery when Nebraska football stumbled against Minnesota.

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