Nebraska Cornhuskers running back Gabe Ervin Jr. signs autographs
Photo Credit: John Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Freshman Running Back Gabe Ervin’s Early Progress a Win-Win For Huskers

August 08, 2021

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.

The running back race is wide open for Nebraska this fall. Early enrollee Gabe Ervin made a good first impression on many in the program during the spring. Coming out of the spring the true freshman was in position to be the starting running back. That’s no easy task for a player coming in straight from high school at that position.

Coach Scott Frost believes that Ervin could be ready for a role in the game plan at the end of the month when the season kicks off against Illinois.

“I think Gabe’s ready,” Frost said. “He came in as an adult. He was very mature in his approach to everything when he came in. That’s usually the tell-tale mark if they’re going to be ready to play early on. He’s done a good job learning it. He competes and he’ll definitely be in the mix at that spot.”

We knew that Ervin was a good prospect coming out of high school. He arrived at Nebraska fresh off a state title in Georgia. He put up good numbers in Class 6A against top competition. You could see Ervin’s patience and vision on film as a runner. There was always a lot to like about him as a prospect when he picked the Huskers over his 16 other offers. We didn’t know he would be in position to play a lot in his first season.

The maturity part is something that is hard to asses on the recruiting trail. Even if a coaching staff hears about how mature a player is during the recruiting process you never know until they show up on campus. Running backs coach Ryan Held is excited about Ervin’s future. Held appeared on Sports Nightly last week.

“He’s a freshman, so we got to make sure we’re on him on everything that he does. He did really well academically, and he’s a fun guy to be around. I think we got a guy there that has a bright future but I’m not going to put anything on him that’s bigger than what it is. He has to go out and take the business approach of coming to work every day, being a professional, taking care of your body. But I think he has a chance this fall to make an impact.”

It is never easy for a freshman to get significant playing time. A lot of things have to go correctly for it to happen. Ervin has put himself in position to be in the mix this fall. Even being in the conversation is a testament to the work he’s put in so far. It’s also a nice feather in the cap of Nebraska’s coaching staff since Ervin was not a high four-star or five-star prospect.

Following what happens with the Georgia native this month will be one of the big stories of fall camp.

Recruit Watch

>> Nebraska target from Michigan, Jaden Mangham, will be in the Big Ten but not at Nebraska. He committed to Michigan State on Sunday.

>> Nebraska 2023 outside linebacker target Chandavian Bradley was offered by Penn State.


>> Lauren Stivrins announced that she is returning for a sixth year at Nebraska.

>> Aurora linebacker Mack Owens is preparing hard (Premium) for the 2021 football season.

>> Every position is up for grabs as Husker volleyball heads into the 2021 season.

>> The running back battle rages on into week two of fall camp for Nebraska.

>> In the latest Varsity Club podcast, I joined Derek Peterson to discuss fall camp starting and the tight ends having a breakout.

>> Former Huskers helped USA Women’s Volleyball bring home the gold medal.

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