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Nebraska Recruiting: How Teams Navigate Tricky Situation of Making Room for Transfers

March 29, 2022

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 questions never stop in the recruiting world. No matter what time of year it is, there is always something to talk about so we take reader and listener suggestions on questions. I then answer the questions in a quick video. This week’s topic come from YouTube commenter Craig Casper.

The Huskers have added a lot of players via the transfer portal and will look to get more. How does it work when a team wants to make room for new players to come to the team? With the portal, could a team drop five to 10 players to make room for five to 10 new ones?

It’s always been an unspoken part of college football that players are encouraged to move on sometimes. Not every transfer happens because a player is unhappy and wants to go somewhere else. Those things have been happening for a long time.

What hasn’t been happening for a long time is the transfer portal and the rule allowing players to transfer once without penalty.

Those rules have allowed players to move freely if they choose. A potential unintended consequence on that is schools are able to be a bit more upfront with players if things aren’t working out. It used to be that a departing player would have to sit out a year at another Power Five school. Without that barrier schools are more likely to encourage players to move on. School also don’t have the same patience with players. It’s no guarantee that a school will wait for a player to develop when a replacement can be found in the portal.

Associate head coach and wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph said last week how he approaches it in his room.

“I spoke to all of them about they are playing for roster spots. It’s not the old days where you are just gonna sit here for three years and not play,” Joseph said. “You’re playing for roster spots. You’re gonna get it done or you’re gonna get it done somewhere else. We’re not going to sit back and just try to help you develop and you aren’t continuing to develop. If you don’t want to develop then I don’t know if you’re gonna be able to play here.”

It’s on both sides to want to develop. The coaching staff needs to work hard to develop players without looking to the portal to replace them too quickly. The players have to be willing to put the work in quickly as a show of good faith. Open lines of communication are critical. Teams have sit-downs with players after the season and sometimes after spring ball. Generally, it’s not a surprise if a player is told by a coach that he should explore his options.

It is a clear signal if you’ve gone through a spring and aren’t getting a lot of reps to show what you can do. Once a coach lets a player know it’s not working out that isn’t the end of the relationship. Oftentimes a school will help players find another landing spot. Remember that the coaching fraternity overlaps a lot. Coaches have a lot of connections at many levels of football.

This all helps the school with team building and finding new ways to win. A roster can be flipped quickly as we just saw with Nebraska this offseason. Coaches and players have to be honest about the situation and try to do what is best for everyone involved.

Recruit Watch

>> The Huskers offered 2023 Florida linebacker Raul Aguirre on Monday.

>> Recent Nebraska visitor Brandt Rice was offered by Columbia on Tuesday afternoon.

>> Husker offensive line target Logan Reichert took a trip to Arkansas over the weekend.

ICYMI

>> Tough love is needed in the Husker secondary as the leadership torch is passed.

>> Jacob Padilla and Damon Benning are back for the Nebraska Preps Postgame show to discuss spring and summer philosophies.

>> Make sure you are subscribed to the Hail Varsity YouTube channel.

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