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.
There is a really neat event happening in Nebraska this week for fall high school athletes around the state. The first-ever media days is being held for high school athletes. It is being put on by NEBPreps which is a division of Striv. Mike Sautter, the director of sports, digital content and advertising, organized the event.
In total there are five locations throughout the week. Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, Kearney and North Platte will host the first ever media days. One coach and at least one athlete in every fall sport (football, volleyball, cross country, boys tennis, softball, girls golf) was invited. I attended the session in Omaha on Monday that was held at Omaha Westside High School.
— Central Football (@OPSCHSFB) August 2, 2021
A few things stood out to me. There were common threads no matter what sport the person was talked to participated in.
Everyone is thrilled to have had a summer that was closer to normal. Attendance at summer weight lighting was up across the board. Many players felt the camaraderie between teammates was higher than ever. Both were attributed to the excitement about being able to hang with less restrictions in place.
It’s going to be a deep year for volleyball this year. The departure of big-time players in Nebraska from high school like Rylee Gray, Lindsay Krause and Whitney Laurenstein left a void. Things are viewed as wide open. The consensus we got on Monday was there are over ten teams that feel like they can win a state championship in 2021. Volleyball is highly-skilled and very competitive in the state. The 2021 high school season may be one of the best.
The schools that didn’t play last year will be interesting to watch this season. Omaha Public Schools were the only ones in Omaha not to play football last year. We talked to individuals from Omaha Burke, Omaha North and Omaha Central. Each said that having that experience in 2020 has fueled them in the weight room this offseason. Each school has something to prove on the field in the 2021 season. Tracking how players do this season after a year off from football will be one of the big storylines in the Omaha Metro this fall.
There was a lot of good information to come out of this event on Monday. Day two of the media days is in Lincoln on Tuesday. Hail Varsity will be on hand for that too. There is plenty more to come from the athletes and coaches. We are getting close to the 2021 fall sports season kicking off in Nebraska.
>> Iowa 2023 athlete Miles Thompson was in Lincoln over the weekend checking out practice.
— Miles Thompson (@milesthompson01) August 1, 2021
>> Jaxon Howard, a 2023 tight end target from Minnesota, picked up an offer from Alabama on Monday.
Jaxon is Blessed to announce He has received an SEC offer today from @AlabamaFTBL All Glory to god @CoachSvoboda @freddierch8 @cooperhawksFB @AllenTrieu @JoshHelmholdt @HamiltonESPN @ChadSimmons_ @adamgorney #RollTide @Mansell247 @On3sports @On3Recruits
— CoachWillieHoward (@77williehoward) August 2, 2021
>> In Derek Peterson’s latest column he tackles leadership and respect paid to Adrian Martinez by a former teammate.
>> A ‘willingness to do things right’ leads the way early in Huskers’ fall camp.
>> Nebraska is hoping that experience adds up to continued improvement (Premium) on defense this fall.
>> I spoke with Bellevue West 2024 wide receiver Dae’vonn Hall who is focused (Premium) on getting better this summer.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.