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.
Different coaches around the country take different paths to evaluating potential players to join their teams. Almost all coaches would tell you that they prefer to be able to see players in person. That way they can get an accurate gauge of what they’ve seen on film.
That is what makes recruiting for the 2021 and even 2022 recruiting cycles so unique. Coaches haven’t been able to go out on the road at all this season. They are not allowed to attend high school games in person due to the extended NCAA-mandated dead period in response to COVID-19. Coaches are also not allowed to stop by high schools to meet with players, coaches or teachers. That also eliminates their ability to just observe workout sessions.
How difficult is it to be comfortable recruiting without doing those things? Defensive backs coach Travis Fisher explained that on Wednesday.
“It’s hard with the regulations they have right now,” Fisher said. “We are trying to do the best that we can. I am one of those guys that likes to visually see a guy to see how a kid practices. I want to watch him and see how tall he is. So, it is different for me. I’m just watching a lot of game film on guys. They are a few games in now so I can watch that and have a different opinion or the same opinion depending on what I see on film.”
We got a recent example from Fisher of a player that getting that normal evaluation for was helpful with. Georgia defensive back Quinton Newsome is an interesting case. He’s someone the Huskers really liked during the 2019 recruiting class. There was debate in recruiting circles on what would be Newsome’s best position in college. Analysts didn’t know if he would be safety or defensive back. Fisher saw things clearly.
“I watched Quinton throughout his high school career. His junior year he played corner,” Fisher said. “I saw him do it so that’s how I know. I saw him work out on his own back home and him sending film in to me of him working out on his own, I saw his feet. He has very good and quick feet. Guys like that can play safety and corner but at the same time have the feet to play corner. I knew right away he could play corner here.”
The dead period currently lasts through December. There is no real sign that it will end when the calendar flips to 2021. I wouldn’t expect any of this to change in time to help the 2021 class. At this point the best hope is that the rules are relaxed sometime by March. That would be a benefit the 2022 recruiting class.
Either way we know that there is a real impact on coaches not being able to hit the road during the 2021 recruiting cycle.
>> The Huskers are making sure to let recruits know how good the weather has been this week as they get ready to take on Northwestern.
— Sean Beckton (@CoachBeckton) November 5, 2020
>> Arkansas 2022 defensive lineman Nicholas Davillier got a cool edit from the Huskers.
— nicholas davillier (@DavillierNico) November 5, 2020
>> Lincoln Southeast defensive lineman Maddox Burton received an offer to walk-on at Nebraska.
After a great call with @coachwilhite, I am truly blessed and excited to announce that I have received a walk on offer to play football at the University of Nebraska #GBR🔴⚪️ @CoachTuioti92 @SeanDillonNU @TMossbrucker pic.twitter.com/H8mBHqffWa
— Maddox Burton (@MaddoxBurton1) November 5, 2020
>> Scott Frost held his Thursday press conference and the news of the day was the status of JUCO wide receiver Omar Manning.
>> Is Northwestern versus Nebraska too close to call? Brandon Vogel gets you ready for the game in this week’s I-80 Preview podcast.
>> Nebraska defensive back Isaac Gifford playing early comes as ‘no surprise’ to the Huskers, writes Derek Peterson.
>> The latest Tom’s Time looks back to when the Huskers caught Kordell’s passes and snowballs in Boulder.
>> Get your game day forecast and weather updates for the Huskers game with Northwestern.
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.