Nebraska Recruiting: How Recent Coach Movement Impacts Huskers
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: How Recent Coach Movement Impacts Huskers

February 13, 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.

Continuity and consistency matters in college football. Building a program with staying power takes time and a clear vision. That’s why I’m a fan of Nebraska mostly keeping its coaching staff intact for three seasons in a row. 

Even the additions to the staff this offseason have a high level of comfort with Scott Frost. The previous working relationships come in handy for the new additions. Outside linebackers coach Mike Dawson originally came to Lincoln from Central Florida and has returned. Offensive coordinator Matt Lubick spent time with Frost at Oregon and is quite familiar with the offensive system in place at Nebraska. 

Athletic Director Bill Moos understands the value of his coaches making decisions on staff makeup. He’s stated several times that he hires coaches to make those choices. Moos just wants to be informed of potential changes to avoid being caught off-guard. Being on the same page from leadership down is a luxury Nebraska did not always enjoy. For now, as we see various coaching changes around the country, the Huskers have not been harmed. 

I’m curious to see the trickle-down effect for Nebraska recruiting with two situations. First, Mark Dantonio stepped down from Michigan State. After being the coach in East Lansing since 2007, its bound to have an effect on the conference. In turn, it will impact Nebraska. Dantonio led the Spartans to one of the most successful eras in program history. That change is happening as Nebraska makes more of an effort to recruit the state of Michigan. The team only offered four scholarships in the state during the 2019 cycle. That increased to 10 in the 2020 cycle. There are already 11 offers out in Michigan for 2021. 

Dantonio’s replacement at Michigan State also opens up new possibilities for Nebraska. Mel Tucker deciding to leave Colorado after one season leaves uncertainty in Boulder. The Huskers’ recruiting in Colorado has become hit or miss. Going back a few cycles Nebraska was starting to gain a foothold in the state. That took a sharp turn during the 2020 cycle as all six of the offered players in the state did not pick Nebraska. Just one of those players—offensive lineman Carson Lee—stayed home and signed with the Buffs. 

At first glance it looks like Nebraska is pulling back on recruiting Colorado with two offers out in 2021. There is one early offer for 2022 but it’s an important one in running back Gavin Sawchuk. The speedy running back attends the same high school that produced quarterback Luke McCaffrey. 

Of course, these situations are always evolving. We don’t know what Tucker’s recruiting focus will be yet at MSU. We also aren’t sure who Colorado will turn to for its next coach. Yet, these changes don’t happen in a vacuum and are always worth tracking.

Recruit Watch

>> Priority outside linebacker target TJ Bollers picked up an offer from both Alabama and Texas A&M on Tuesday. 

>> Offensive line target Marcus Mbow showed off his athleticism with this dunk on social media. 


>> I took a look at projecting the Huskers’ biggest recruiting needs (Premium) for the 2021 cycle.

>> The Huskers came up just short in College Park on Tuesday night. Derek Peterson also has three thoughts (Premium) on the near-upset. 

>> Jacob Padilla takes a glimpse into the Nebraska basketball’s future in his Padding the Stats feature.

>> The Hail Varsity staff is back to answer your questions in the mailbag, including what type of plays will work better for Nebraska in the 2020 season.

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