Nebraska recruits walk to the sideline at spring game
Photo Credit: Greg Smith

Nebraska Recruiting: How Schedule Release Affects Huskers on Trail

August 27, 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.

Wednesday was a busy day. It all began with the Big Ten Conference releasing the football schedule. The Huskers open up the season on Sept. 5 with a trip to New Jersey to take on Rutgers.

In normal times, I’d be circling home games on the calendar that could be huge official visit weekends. Each home game actually provides an intriguing case for why they could be big visit weekends. Illinois is the home opener, while Wisconsin and Minnesota are budding rivalry games. Penn State is a matchup of traditional blue blood programs. Michigan State is the regular season finale.

These are anything but normal times though. We’re still waiting on a decision on official visits and on-campus recruiting from the NCAA. The dead period has gone on for months, banning on-campus recruiting. Schools will have do a lot to keep players healthy enough to play games. It is a stretch to expect official visits during the 2020 season. How will this new schedule affect recruiting?

After reports surfaced that tight end Thomas Fidone—the Huskers’ No. 1 target—took a very unofficial visit to Lincoln last weekend, it got me thinking. Will this growing trend of players taking visits to campuses on their own continue? Prospects have been taking matters into their own hands for weeks now. They have been visiting campuses to get a feel for what it’s like for themselves.

Zoom and virtual tours help but it’s hard to replicate setting foot on a campus yourself. Nebraska’s 2021 recruiting class has commitments from players who did that. Seth Malcom, Will Schweitzer and Marques Buford all decided to make that move.

I reached out to a pair of Nebraska’s most active peer recruiters for their thoughts. Nebraska quarterback commit Heinrich Haarberg and offensive line commit Henry Lutovsky shared their thoughts.

“I know for a fact that there’s more of those [visits] coming”, Haarberg said.

“I think local guys will come out and see the campus,” Lutovsky said. “I think being on campus is huge to making a decision.”

This fall is going to look much different around the world of college football. Those chances are certainly going to impact recruiting. Now that the schedules are out, we should be much closer to getting resolution on if the dead period will be extended beyond Sept. 30. That could trigger another round of commitments for prospects who were holding out hope to make several visits.

There are still a lot of question marks left unanswered surrounding recruiting. Even if prospects were able to visit for game days, would fans be allowed in? That decision will impact the game day experience that a recruit sees in a major way, especially at a place like Nebraska where the atmosphere is such a big part of the pitch.

We found out a huge piece of the football puzzle for the Big Ten on Wednesday. That’s just one step toward playing as close to a normal season as possible.

Recruit Watch

>> The Huskers made the top seven for junior college defensive back Kamal Hadden from Independence Community College.

>> Defensive end target Robert Jackson out of Philadelphia showed how many schools after after him currently.

>> Check out this cool graphic of Husker wide receiver commit Latrell Neville from back on official offer day.

>> The Huskers made an early offer to 2022 athlete Nolan Zielger from Michigan. Since then his recruitment has blown up with his most recent offer being from Notre Dame.


>> Derek Peterson took his shot at breaking down the new Nebraska 2020 football schedule.

>> The Big Ten’s players released a proposal as the conference prepares to get play started.

>> Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren had a lot to say on Wednesday as Nebraska prepares to begin fall camp on Aug. 7.

>> In his latest Padding the Stats, Jacob Padilla takes a look into a different type of football season.

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