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.
One of the biggest storylines to watch over the last few years has been the rebuilding of the Nebraska offensive line. We can’t invoke the phrase “pipeline” until the guys do it on the field though. There is a long way to go in that discussion. However, one thing we can say is that the Huskers are suddenly trending very well in the trenches.
Over the last few recruiting cycles offensive line coach Greg Austin has been steadily building his group. You now see that reflected more in the starting lineup. Center Cam Jurgens was signed by Austin and Frost then moved to center. Starting right tackle Bryce Benhart was part of the 2019 recruiting class. The other three starters were not recruited by this staff but key backup Ethan Piper was. Piper got his first extended action of his career against Ohio State.
“Ethan, he’s an athlete. That’s what we try to recruit here at Nebraska,” Austin said. “We want big athletes. He’s got big hands, he’s a strong kid with good body leverage. Piper is another guy that’s a really good player. He’s going to be one of the best in the conference or country hopefully here soon. I can’t say enough about the type of athlete that he is. He’s continuing to elevate his football knowledge and instincts. All those things come with snaps. Sometimes in order for you to learn, you have to lose. It’s not a win, but a learning experience.
“One of the things I like about him and Turner [Corcoran], it only takes a couple times for them to learn it and they are ready to go. He’s a great athlete and has the right mindset.”
Piper was not a highly recruited player, so he shows this staff’s ability to identify under-the-radar talent. Corcoran was recruited by seemingly every school in the country. The true freshman left tackle was able to get on the field against the Buckeyes as well.
“Turner did well. He came in and got 10 plays. He handled his own and graded out pretty well. He’s another guy with a bright future. We’re excited about where he is and where he’s going. He’s certainty an arrow-up guy. We are continuing to coach the details with him. He’s a kid that loves to be coached and corrected. He takes constructive criticism very well. We are excited about the type of player and person Turner Corcoran is.”
Increasing the number of athletes along the line has gone well for Nebraska. Remember that Brant Banks was able to go help out Fred Hoiberg and the basketball team last season. Austin believes that there has been an elevation in the athletic profile, not just his room but of the whole team. He says the team has also gotten longer and bigger, which was a big deal when this staff arrived, to compete in the Big Ten.
"We gotta get big dudes…. I wouldn't recruit myself" 😂
– OL Coach @GregAustin2717 ⬇
— Husker Sports (@HuskerSports) November 4, 2020
This is a trend that continues in the 2021 recruiting class. Teddy Prochazka (6-9, 300), Henry Lutovsky (6-6, 325) and Branson Yager (6-7, 332) all have great size and athletic ability. The road to Nebraska being back in the conversation for Big Ten championships might being with the big athletes that Austin covets.
>> Bellevue West 2022 tight end Micah Riley was offered by Florida State on Wednesday.
— Micah Riley (@micah_r_d) November 4, 2020
>> Check out 2022 Omaha Central offensive lineman Deshawn Woods working on getting bouncy.
— Deshawn woods (@Deshawnwoods8) November 4, 2020
>> Colorado 2022 lineman Connor James has started his season well and posted his highlights from his first four games.
Weeks 1-4 game highlights. 4-0
0 sacks given up
19 pancake blocks@SixZeroAcademy @OLINEPRIDE @OLCoachHiller @CoachWozniakTE @LouieAddazio @CoachLenz @4Warinner @CoachMooreWVU @Coach2J @CoachLMeadows @OU_CoachB @CoachTimIowa @CoachCRiles @mrodrigue70 @coachjharding @CoachDeVan pic.twitter.com/xDW0fPfbR4
— Connor Jones (@77ConnorJones) November 4, 2020
>> Through this unusual season the Huskers are learning to handling adversity while becoming a closer team.
>> Greg Austin has been impressed with his young offensive linemen but Northwestern presents a new challenge.
>> The Hail Varsity staff is back to answer your questions in the mailbag including when the Blackshirts will be handed out.
>> Jacob Padilla has your state volleyball day one round-up.
>> Watch the Nebraska coaches talk about young players, the Northwestern matchup and more.
>> The Mind Your Own Podcast is definitely not sticking to sports this week.
>> Padding the Stats is here to discussed a broken, messed-up year for Nebraska football.
>> It’s a battle of two NUs and that is the topic of the day for the Moore To It podcast.
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.