Picking Favorites from Nebraska's 2020 Recruiting Class
Photo Credit: Greg Smith

Nebraska Recruiting: Finding Players That Love Football

November 13, 2019

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.

Every coaching staff in America has traits they are looking for on the recruiting trail. Everyone is looking for the biggest, strongest athletes to come into their programs to help become championship contenders. When you are building a culture like Coach Scott Frost and his staff are, you also want players that are high energy guys that love football. 

We have heard it mentioned several times over the last two years that this staff put a premium on prospects loving football. So, what does that look like? How do you find guys during the recruiting process that love football? Inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud opened up about that following Tuesday’s practice.

“Well there are going to be some things you have to see on film,” Ruud said. “Hopefully you are seeing the energy to the ball. That comes down to when you are evaluating watching the whole game. When you talk to them, do they have a sense for football? Do they watch football in their spare time or do other things? Do they play video games? You get a good sense of that when you talk to guys. Are they more about the limelight or about football? That’s very important as you go through the process. You want guys with that mentality.”

This staff wants players on the team that they don’t have to prod to come to the facility. It needs to be something you want to do. Because if you want to be around football, you will perform better. After all, the willingness to hit and be hit is essential to the sport.   

For defensive backs coach Travis Fisher, it comes down to a simple concept: how much does a guy want to compete?

“I’m looking for guys that love the game,” Fisher said. “Guys that are always working out. Always competing and looking to get better. What are they doing? Are they showing up to camps in the summertime and saying they aren’t going today because they have 20 offers. Or they have 20 offers and are still working out. That’s what I’m looking for. Guys that love the game and love to compete. For the most part we have guys already like that. We got to hold on to those guys and add more as a staff.”

Fisher went on to say that when watching film he is looking for a prospects energy level to see how engaged he is. But there is no substitute for getting to know a prospect to build that relationship. It’s important to understand how they are spending their time and just passing time with their PlayStation versus being outside.

Though it’s come up multiple times, I don’t think this staff believes video games are the root of all evil. I think it’s just an easy go-to example of a leisure activity that kids can get swept up in instead of getting better at football or working on their grades. It all comes back to the love of the game. Within reason, are you spending as much time as possible trying to get better? 

If so, you might have a spot on future Nebraska football teams. 

Recruit Watch

>> Priority 2021 outside linebacker target TJ Bollers was named district player of the year on Tuesday.

>> Josh Griffis, a defensive end committed to Florida State, got some love from the Huskers on social media. He will be visiting Lincoln this weekend. 


>> Seth Malcom, a 2021 linebacker target from Iowa, posted his junior highlights on Thursday. 



>> Garrett Nelson is a Nebraska native and now a Blackshirt. Derek Peterson is here to tell the story (Premium) of the freshman’s rise.

>> The Lo-Down is back to look at how setting has evolved at Nebraska. 

>> Watch defensive coordinator Erik Chinander talk about the newest Blackshirts and more during his weekly press conference.

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