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Nebraska Football Coaches Scott Frost and Ryan Held Talking
Photo Credit: John Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Husker Coaches Find Silver Lining in Pandemic Recruiting

April 01, 2021

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 last year has been strange for everyone. A lot of adjustments have been made during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the Nebraska football team, it went through not having a season and the on again off again nature of last season. Then once things got rolling, the daily testing and protocols were a lot to handle while playing a season.

In the recruiting world we have talked a lot about how unique this last year has been for schools and prospects. Coaches that didn’t know what Zoom was before last March are now experts using the tool. Prospects have taken more virtual visits and self-guided tours than they anticipated. Still, there are always silver linings. Learning moments from things we didn’t expect pop up as tight ends coach Sean Beckton explained.

“I think we spent a little bit more time trying to get to know kids and parents a little bit more than you normally really would,” Beckton said. “Because it’s not the hustle and bustle but spending more time on Zoom really getting to know the parents. But it’s nothing like being able to get out and see kids and engage them. It’s harder for us with recruiting that we couldn’t see them physically do things. Personally, there’s probably been a silver lining to help us be more organized as a staff. So going forward we’re going to use some of the tactics that we did with Zoom with parents. Showing facilities and doing those types of things with the playbook down the road. Still there is nothing like seeing kids up close and evaluating them.”

It will be interesting to hear moving forward about which things that started in 2020 carried forward. It’s good for the prospects and the Husker coaches that more time was available to get to know each other. Still, recruiting is an inexact science. The Huskers had 10 early enrollees for the 2021 recruiting class. The team is waiting for the rest to arrive in Lincoln.

Fans and media are sometimes quick to say once Player X arrives things will be so different in his position room. As outside linebackers coach Mike Dawson said there is some danger in that line of thinking.

“I’ve been doing this long enough to know that you have to count on the guys that are in the program,” Dawson said. “It’s easy to go, “Hey, we got this guy coming in at any position and he can make change and a difference.’ You don’t know how a guy’s going to react when he comes in.”

It’s so important to get to know players and their families. It’s still a mystery on how players will handle the time between signing and arriving in the summer. Some players work out a lot to prepare. Others take those last months to enjoy the end of high school. I think this is part of the reason why there has been a big shift towards players early enrolling.

Things are always changing and evolving in the recruiting world. Teams are smart to adapt to the changing landscape as we put 2020 fully in the rear-view mirror.

Recruit Watch

>> Huskers defensive line target Domonique Orange from Kansas City was offered by Ohio State on Wednesday night.

>> Scottsbluff native Chance Symons showed off a cool edit that Nebraska made for him on Thursday.


>> Nebraska picked up a surprise commitment from 3-star wide receiver Victor Jones Jr. on Thursday.

>> Check out Husker baseball coach Will Bolt previewing the series with Illinois and more.

>> As Derek Peterson writes, Travis Fisher wants Nebraska to have the top secondary in the country. He thinks he has the guys (Premium) to do it.

>> I took a look at Thomas Fidone’s early adjustment period (Premium) and what the key is to him pushing through it

>> Outside linebackers coach Mike Dawson is embracing (Premium) his special teams coordinator duties.

>> The Huskers have lots of competition on the offensive line and not just at guard (Premium) writes Derek Peterson.

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