Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Recruiting: Good Defensive Weekend Starts New Year Well for Huskers

January 03, 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 Huskers didn’t have a game this weekend but they had two big wins. It’s become popular to scoff at “winning the offseason” but teams don’t win during the season without good things happening in the offseason. Nebraska’s current and future defense got a big boost on Saturday.

First, there was a big returning senior announcement. Outside linebacker JoJo Domann announced that he is returning to school for another season.

Domann was arguably Nebraska’s best defender last season. He led the team in tackles and tackles for loss. It would have been hard to plug and play someone on the current roster into his role in 2021. The Huskers could still get more good news on returning defenders in the coming week. That would be a welcome sight for defensive coordinator Erik Chinander.

By all accounts Nebraska players like playing for Chinander. One quote sums up a reason why. It is something Chinander said in preparation for the game against Iowa this season.

“Are we exactly where we want to be? Probably not, but you can’t blame the players saying we don’t have the right players, because that’s not an excuse,” Chinander said. “We have the right players, we have good players, we have good kids.”

“The coaches need to get the players ready to play football and find a way to help the players get better at their assignments. Do we always want to recruit more guys and more talent? Absolutely. But we need to get this done with the people we have in the program right now.”

That type of tough but fair love for players and accountability resonates. It’s no wonder so many defenders are considering returning for an extra season. Chinander takes that same approach on the recruiting trail. He’s as active of a recruiter as we’ve seen at a coordinator position at Nebraska in recent memory. Chinander, alongside defensive line coach Tony Tuioti, was key in landing Hawaii 4-star linebacker Wynden Ho’ohuli over the weekend.

It is a major recruiting win for the Huskers to land Ho’ohuli without him being able to visit campus. At 6-foot-3, 220-pounds, he could play inside or outside linebacker at Nebraska. He’ll likely start his career in outside linebacker coach Mike Dawson’s room. Nebraska also hopes that the commitment of Ho’ohuli leads to more success in Hawaii.

There is still a long way to go this offseason. The Huskers need to keep the momentum from this weekend going. That way the defense will be on its way to improving once again in 2021.

Recruit Watch

>> Nebraska picked up a walk on commit from Bellevue West safety CJ Lilienkamp this weekend.

>> The Huskers made the top 13 for 2022 defensive back James Monds. The Florida native is former Husker Walter Monds’ nephew.

>> Pennsylvania 2022 defensive back Mehki Flowers elected to stay home by committing to Penn State.

>> The Huskers made the top 10 for 2022 running back Dillon Tutum.

ICYMI

>> Nebraska basketball hung around but couldn’t spring the upset against Michigan State on Saturday.

>> Record breaking performances highlighted the Metro Holiday Tournament Finals writes Jacob Padilla.

>> You can check out the video of Fred Hoiberg’s reaction to the loss to Michigan State or see our photo gallery from the action.

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