Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Recruiting: Finding and Developing Swagger in Husker Program

November 10, 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.


Think about how you expected the Huskers to look under Scott Frost in year three. There are some elements that might match up with expectations. You expected the team to be more athletic on defense. Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander and the defensive coaches have accomplished that.

You expected the offense to have an offensive line that Husker fans would be excited for. While the play hasn’t been dominant up front yet, there have been strides toward accomplishing that goal. Nebraska has signed a few recruiting cycles worth of playmakers on offense. That was certainly the expectation when Frost took over a few years ago.

If there are good things happening that we can all see, what is the disconnect right now? At the risk of oversimplifying things, one of the issues is a lack of confidence. That’s especially true on the offensive side of the football. That’s where the Huskers should be farther along. Frost spoke Monday about the need to develop that swagger on offense.

“Not yet, and there’s no reason that this group shouldn’t,” Frost said. “Part of that is what I’m saying about the whole team. We’ve got to have a little more success. Let that lead to confidence, let that lead to more success, let that lead to more confidence. Gosh, in both our first games we’ve moved the ball well enough that if we capitalize, we get some things rolling. It’s easier to move a rock downhill than uphill. We’ve got to finish drives.

“You know one thing, we need to make some more big plays, more explosive plays. Too many of our explosive plays have come from quarterback runs. We need to create some runs with running backs. We need to create some plays downfield. It’s hard to sustain and make 12-play drives go because one thing can go wrong or the defense can make a play. So we’ve got to create some more big plays.

“We’ve got the guys in the program now that I think are capable of doing that and we just need some good things to happen to get that momentum and get rolling.”

The frustrating thing for Husker fans is that the team has done a good job of stacking recruiting classes. There is talent on this roster, as Frost said. They recruited Wan’Dale Robinson, Dedrick Mills, Bryce Benhart, Luke McCaffrey, Marcus Fleming, Zavier Betts and Ronald Tompkins. There are others who could be mentioned that have played meaningful snaps too. There are some the skill guys are getting up to speed. Still, there are enough of them to make the offense go more efficiently than it has.

One reality is that a lot of the players most hope will unlock the Husker offense are young. Let’s think about the wide receivers specifically. They need more reps to gain confidence to play fast. The problem is that Husker fans are starving to see better fundamental football. Plus, glimpses of the offense that we saw at Central Florida or Oregon.

Nebraska’s program needs an injection of confidence. That needs to start with the skill players that Frost and his staff did a good job of bringing to Lincoln.

 

Recruit Watch

>> Husker commit Marques Buford released his dynamic highlights on Tuesday morning.

>> Nebraska recently offered 2022 Georgia running back Justin Williams. They’ve also shown him love with some graphics.

>> Teilor Tuioti, defensive line coach Tony Tuioti’s son, released his senior year highlights from Lincoln Southeast.

ICYMI

>> In the latest episode of the Straight Up Breakdown podcast, Jay and I explain why the word of the day for Husker fans is frustration.

>> It’s ‘open competition’ in practice as Nebraska prepares for Penn State this week.

>> Watch the Husker coordinators talk open competition week and more during time with the media on Tuesday.

>> Jacob Padilla dove into the film to see what is going on with Wan’Dale Robinson’s targets. Meanwhile Derek Peterson says that more Robinson can only mean good things for Nebraska.

>> Desire to keep fighting remains high for Huskers despite the rough start.

>> The Huskers aren’t surprised by Luke Reimer’s standout first start.

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