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Nebraska Recruiting: Having Options Could Be Key for Huskers in 2020

October 18, 2020

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.

Coaching and recruiting yourself into options is a goal of every coach out there. No coach wants to be backed into a corner having to stick with a group of sets or players that aren’t working. Having plans and backup plans is important for a football season. It’s especially important to make it through the 2020 football season.

One thing that the early college football season has taught us so far is to expect the unexpected. In any given week a head coach may miss time. Players will have to being quarantined. The normal injuries, plus wear and tear, will also occur. It is tough to predict what will happen in the Big Ten this year. So, there will end up being a lot of “chalk” picks of Ohio State winning the East division. A lot of picks will come in for Wisconsin winning the West.

If we are being honest though, it’s hard to have any idea what the 2020 Huskers are going to look like. The Huskers have an eight-game slate for 2020. There are not many results outside of 8-0 or 0-8 that would stun me. There is one thing I feel comfortable predicting for the season and it’s that the Nebraska coaching staff has recruited itself into options.

There are key spots for Nebraska that don’t have proven players that we know what to expect from in 2020. That doesn’t mean there aren’t options to get the job done. Let’s take defensive line for example. Nebraska has to replace three starters who are now on NFL rosters. Ben Stille, Ty Robinson, Damion Daniels, Jordon Riley, Keem Green, Casey Rogers and Deontre Thomas could make for a nice rotation there. The problem is that while several of them have seen snaps for Nebraska, you don’t know what to expect.

What about wide receiver? Wan’Dale Robinson is sure a bet. Beyond the sophomore, who else is ready for primetime? Alante Brown, Kade Warner, Omar Manning, Chris Hickman, Zavier Betts and Jamie Nance are scholarship options, yet we’ve heard a lot about Wyatt Liewer and Bennett Folkers as players making a move. Normally it’d be a good feel good story that the team had walk-on players pushing for time. Lack of benefit of the doubt for the program has created a certain feeling. It must mean the scholarship players aren’t ready.

Two other positions face similar questions. We know who the options are at outside linebacker and backup running back. But before seeing game action, we don’t know what to expect. That’s especially true from outside linebacker where improved play is critical to Nebraska’s season.

Give kudos to Scott Frost and his staff. Many positions have several players that you can see making an impact. The big unanswered question will be the development of those players. That’s the next step of this rebuild. We will start to get answers against Ohio State. There has been lots of twists and turns so far in the 2020 season. It would be a great time for the Huskers to truly develop that ‘next man up’ mentality.

Recruit Watch

>> Huskers’ 2022 defensive back target James Monds III had a nice pick-6 this weekend.

>> Papillion-La Vista 2022 wide receiver Tyson Money posted his junior year regular season highlights.

>> Indiana 2022 defensive end/outside linebacker Popeye Williams picked up an offer from the Huskers on Sunday.


>> As Derek Peterson explored, Fred Hoiberg and Amy Williams have been key in Nebraska’s social justice conversations this summer.

>> I told Wan’Dale Robinson’s story which is a journey of family, father and son in our latest football yearbook.

>> Let Erin Sorensen explain to you where Dicaprio Bootle has been and where he’ll go. It was her yearbook story this year.

>> Erik Chinander talked the Huskers’ inside linebacker rotation and more late last week.

>> Kearney Catholic rolled 49-7 over Holdrege to set up a district title clash.

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