Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Extended Dead Period Effects on 2022 Prospects

August 18, 2020

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.


As we go longer into the extended NCAA-mandated dead period’s ban on-campus recruiting for college football, more questions will arise. Most of the focus is (rightfully) on keeping student-athletes safe. That is priority No. 1 on the way to being able to play college football. Fans are hoping that things go smoothly with organized workouts. The hope is that “team minicamps” will begin on time.

We have seen some of the immediate effects on the class of 2021. The class has seen record levels of commitments to this point with no signs of things slowing down. The next big focus for the 2021 guys is when the dead period could be lifted. There are plenty of prospects still holding out hope that they will be able to take official visits in the fall.

One question continues to pop into my mind, though. What about the class of 2022? I am struggling to see how 2021 prospects will be able to take official visits to college campuses in September. So, how would the NCAA allow unofficial visits for 2022 prospects? There doesn’t seem to be the big rush for 2022 prospects to commit right now. That might be why we are not be talking about their situation as much. If you take a look at the top 247 players on 247Sports, only 17  are committed at this point. I suspect that has a large deal to do with a lack of camp season and coaches not being able to get on the road to evaluate.

The in-person evaluation piece is missing but colleges are evaluating film constantly. Let’s think back to when spring football was set to get off the ground. Tight ends coach Sean Beckton was pleased that the staff was caught up on early film evaluations.

“This is the first year we’ve really watched some ‘22s and really evaluated some of those guys,” Beckton said. “I have a great grasp of the ‘21 class across the board and in my area in Georgia. I’ve really started to look at the ‘22s at the tight end position. Also, in my area of Georgia.”

There’s another big thing missing for the 2022 class: getting on college campuses early in their process. That helps prospects and their families narrow down their options but it also helps coaches build early relationships. Think through the big-time prospects who have signed with Nebraska recently. Many, like Turner Corcoran, Nash Hutmacher and Blaise Gunnerson, made visits to Lincoln before their senior seasons. Plenty of the 2021 commits have also visited Lincoln. Nebraska excels at building those relationships early.

The dead period started off as an issue to navigate for the class of 2021. It’s gone long enough to impact the class of 2022. Behind the scenes the Huskers have a good grasp on who their top targets are for the 2022 group. Getting them on campus to speed up their feelings about Nebraska is a different ballgame.

Recruit Watch

>> The Huskers picked up a late 2020 walk on commitment from Florida linebacker Jaquez Yant on Thursday.

>> Florida athlete Tommi Hill committed to Arizona State on Wednesday evening.

https://twitter.com/hilltommi13/status/1283552382346027009

>> The Huskers got an early 2023 offer out to St. Louis tight end Mac Markway.

ICYMI

>> A football-less fall is throwing a major wrench in junior college recruiting, writes Derek Peterson.

>> The Huskers scored the ultimate Halloween haul against Colorado in 1992 which is the subject of the latest Tom’s Time.

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