Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Husker Coaches Happy to See State Championships Back in Lincoln

November 23, 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.


It’s one of the best times of the year right now. No, it’s not because there is a crisp in the air. The holiday season is officially upon us with Thanksgiving this week but that’s not what I mean either. It’s Nebraska state football championship time.

Several games have been played so far. Champions are being crowned across the classes. The battle Tuesday night in Class A between Omaha Westside and Gretna should be a fun one. Westside has not lost since the 2019 playoffs. The Warriors are going for back-to-back championships. Gretna, led by junior quarterback Zane Flores, is seeking its first state title.

The state championship games are back in Lincoln this year. Last year’s games were at home sites because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a rite of passage for Nebraska high schools to play these games on the Huskers’ field. Nebraska coach Scott Frost is a Wood River graduate. Frost was asked about the return of the games to Memorial Stadium during his Monday press conference.

“Yeah, it’s awesome. I’m jealous of these kids,” Frost said. “I never got to play in a state championship. We got beat my sophomore year bad in the semis. Then my junior and senior year both years got beat by team up north with a chubby fullback. I didn’t get to play one of these. Great to see these kids out here on the Memorial Stadium field and congratulations to them and good luck to everybody.”

That was lighthearted jab at friend and teammate Matt Hoskinson. Frost is excited to check out some high school action as it unfolds in Lincoln. The rules were changed a few years ago allowing coaches of the host school to watch these games in person. Nebraska inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud is a Lincoln Southeast graduate. Ruud leads Nebraska’s in-state recruiting. He won three state championships during his time in high school. I asked him about how exciting this time of year is.

“Yeah, it is exciting,” Ruud said. “It’s great now that it’s different than when I was coming up. On your phone, you got access to a lot of stuff. You can stream some games and you get updates on games. Whether it’s Friday night at the hotel on the road, or Friday night at home when I’m you know sitting down on my couch I got instant access to all that stuff. That’s really been good.

“Coming to Memorial Stadium and playing state championship games, that’s a really exciting time for high school guys. All the teams that made it here, it was well deserved. I’m excited to be able check some of those games out.”

It’s a special time for a lot of high school players around the state. Being back in Memorial Stadium playing these games is a dream come true for so many. Congratulations to all the teams who made it to state and the teams that won championships this year.

Recruit Watch

>> The Huskers are among the early offers on an impressive list for 2023 California athlete Daylen Austin.

>> The Huskers made an intriguing offer to 2022 Texas defensive lineman Ethan Burke on Tuesday. He’s committed to Maryland to play lacrosse.

>> Oklahoma commit and Bellevue West standout Kaden Helms posted his impressive senior highlights.

ICYMI

>> I gave my five thoughts on Bennington’s blowout win (Premium) to capture the Class B title.

>> Jacob Padilla gave his standouts from the Class D1 and D2 finals (Premium) on Monday.

>> Iowa’s special teams hold an advantage (Premium) heading into Friday’s game that could be a low-scoring affair.

>> In the latest episode of the Straight Up Breakdown podcast I flew solo to discuss the Huskers being “close” and much more.

>> Nebraska’s offense is showing signs of life thanks to Alonzo Verge settling into his new role for the team.

>> Maggie Mendelson’s recruitment, commitment and competitive drive (Premium) was the subject of Conversations with Cook.

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