Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: How Well Does In-State Talent Match Huskers’ Needs?

April 19, 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.

Being able to recruit your home state and keep local talent home is a priority for every coaching staff. Some staffs were more successful at it than others in recent Nebraska memory. Nebraska had been pretty good at recruiting in-state players up until the 2021 recruiting cycle. Many factors went into that and part of it was letting the relationships around the state slip.

Coach Scott Frost admitted as much in February when he announced that he’d like to get things back on track.

“It’s been tough, especially with COVID because we haven’t had a chance to get around Nebraska coaches as much as we want to,” Frost said. “Some of those relationships need our attention. The first day we went out, we spent our whole coaching staff out in Nebraska. Except for me because I had COVID. We want Nebraska kids here. Obviously, Mickey has a lot of relationships and people know him. Barrett has a lot of relationships and people know him. Those will be the primary Nebraska recruiters for us. There’s a lot of talent in my opinion coming up in the state of Nebraska and in the region. That’s where our attention is going to be.”

Frost and his staff have made strides and that should be noted. The team has done more outreach to high school coaches in the state. They attended the coaches clinics in Lincoln and Omaha. The staff spent their first day of the evaluation period this week in Nebraska high schools.

There are also seven scholarship offers out in the state for the 2023 recruiting class.

That’s great for local players. There is a question about the in-state offers that came up on Hail Varsity Radio with Chris Schmidt.

Does the offered talent in the state match up with the Huskers’ recruiting needs?

That’s an interesting question. If every player that holds a Husker offer from Nebraska was a quarterback then it wouldn’t match up well. I really like the spread of positions that the seven offered prospects play. Sam Sledge and Gunnar Gottula are two of the 2023 commitments. Both are offensive linemen. Scottsbluff native Brock Knutson was recently offered as an offensive lineman too. You’ll never go wrong loading up at that position in the Big Ten.

Tight end Benjamin Brahmer out of Pierce is also in the class already. Tight end is a position that has exploded in the region. The Huskers should have a good one in the class almost yearly. The Huskers have expressed a desire to use the tight end more. Tapping into that position on the trail also makes sense.

Elkhorn South star Maverick Noonan has long been a top target for the Huskers. He’s a talented player and plays at the Huskers’ biggest need on a yearly basis. Nebraska is always in search of EDGE players to fit its 3-4 scheme. There is a bonus with the defender. If Noonan (6-4, 225) outgrows that role he can slide down as more of a hand in the dirt player like Garrett Nelson. Nebraska also needs defensive ends in the class which makes Noonan even more of a must-get.

The two athletes from Nebraska the Huskers are pursuing can also slot into positions of need. Malachi Coleman and Beni Ngoyi could each play wide receiver in college. I could see the Huskers taking three wideouts this cycle. That’s before we see how attrition shakes out for the team. Let’s they don’t end up on offense. Coleman would be very valuable as an EDGE. Ngoyi could make for a rangy, athletic defensive back.

I’d say the talent, which continues to rise in the state, matches up nicely with Nebraska’s needs for the 2023 class. That could provide a good boost to the class if the Huskers are able to keep all the talent home.

Recruit Watch

>> Recent Nebraska spring game visitor Barry Jackson Jr. was offered by Pitt on Tuesday.

>> Quarterback transfer Dematrius Davis is heading to the SWAC after transferring.

>> Arizona 2023 defensive end A’mauri Washington (6-5, 295) was offered by the Huskers.


>> I caught up with Lincoln High athlete Beni Ngoyi to get the latest on his recruitment after the Huskers offered him.

>> Minneapolis Star Tribune hoops writer Marcus Fuller was my guest on this week’s Straight Up Breakdown podcast.

>> Jacob Padilla is talking forwards in his latest 2021-22 Nebraska basketball season review.

>> Nebraska could use another interior defensive lineman. Steve Marik has a few options to watch.

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