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.
On the outside things have been very quiet with Nebraska football this offseason. Outside of attrition, there hasn’t been much fanfare around the team as they prepare to enter Scott Frost’s third spring as coach. Perhaps that is by design, or it’s a sign that fans are ready to see results and not hear about anything ahead of time. We’ll find out more about that as we move through spring.
Let’s flip to the recruiting side of things. There are certain points throughout the cycle that make sense to check in and see where the team ranks. I typically save the analysis of where Nebraska ranks nationally until the end of the cycle. That’s when that part matters most to look at the big picture. Yet, it’s always important to check on how Nebraska stacks up against conference foes.
Here is an interesting nugget. Currently the Big Ten has four teams in the top 15 of the 2021 rankings. Ohio State (1), Wisconsin (7), Iowa (9) and Minnesota (14) are the teams jumping out early. Ohio State has ten commits right now, Wisconsin has eight, Iowa has seven and Minnesota has five. Nebraska currently sits at 23rd in the nation with just three commits.
Each team in the conference currently ahead of the Huskers has a unique situation. Ohio State is on track to have one of the best recruiting classes in school history. It’s unlikely that their momentum on the trail will slow down.
Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska are locked in several battles. That will go a long way to determining who finishes first in the Big Ten West recruiting standings. To name a few, 4-star outside linebacker TJ Bollers is considering Wisconsin and Nebraska (among others), 4-star tight end Thomas Fidone is considering Iowa and Nebraska (among others) and 3-star wide receiver Keagan Johnson has Iowa and Nebraska in his final three. Nebraska and Minnesota are among the top schools for 3-star linebacker Seth Malcom.
Wisconsin is trying to build on another outstanding season on the field in 2019. Iowa needs to take advantage of a historic year for recruits in its state. Minnesota should have a recruiting bump this cycle based around the buzz generated by a big season in 2019 with an energetic coach.
Then there is Nebraska who has recruited well under Frost but wants to show it can take things to another level. A big way to do that will be to win those key battles on the trail with divisional rivals. If the Huskers can win more than they lose, it will bolster their ranking and will impact the others negatively.
Remember last cycle Wisconsin raced out to an early lead in the division before falling back to the pack. In fact, the Huskers ended up first in the Big Ten West for the 2020 cycle by a comfortable margin. A lot is yet to unfold especially with the Huskers having three commits right now. The battle for who finishes behind Ohio State and wins the Big Ten West recruiting crown will be intense.
>> Kearney Catholic quarterback Heinrich Haarberg took an unofficial visit to Northwestern over the weekend.
— Heinrich Haarberg (@HKHaarberg10) March 7, 2020
>> Illinois linebacker Tyler McLaurin went up to Michigan over the weekend. McLaurin visited Lincoln in January and could be looking to return this month.
— Tyler McLaurin ❄️ (@TMcLaurin21) March 7, 2020
>> Check out quarterback target Peter Costelli running the 100m with a nice 10.96 time.
— Peter Costelli (@pcnomad1) March 7, 2020
>> Defensive end target Ryan Keeler picked up an offer from Ole Miss over the weekend.
After a great visit I am blessed and honored to announce I have received an offer from The University of Mississippi @Lane_Kiffin @CoachCPartridge @CoachDurkin @CoachDekeAdams @KevinSmithRB #HottyToddy #SEC pic.twitter.com/jarMTE9BY8
— Ryan Keeler (@ryankeeler71) March 6, 2020
>> As Erin Sorensen writes, from inspired to inspiration, Nebraska volleyball respects the journey.
>> Plenty of questions are out there for spring practice. The Hail Varsity staff each asked one question we’d want the honest answer to.
>> Take a look at Hail Varsity’s photo gallery from game one of the double header against Columbia.
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.