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Nebraska Recruiting: Huskers’ Ability to Match Big Ten Physicality Starts on Trail

December 07, 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.


Nebraska is turning the page to focus fully on the upcoming matchup with Minnesota. One word has to be on the minds of coaches, players and fans: physical. That’s the word to best describe how last year’s game played out for Nebraska against the Gophers. Powered by a 20-point explosion in the third quarter, the Gophers dominated Nebraska on the way to a 34-7 win. Minnesota ran for 322 yards and 6.6 yards per carry in that contest.

Coach Scott Frost spoke about the physical nature of the matchup last season on Monday.

“They just out physicaled us, they executed better, they played harder than us, they beat us,” Frost said. “We can’t let that happen. They’re really good in the run game, they run right at you and run mid zone and have RPO’s that are really good. The quarterback throws off that and running back is one of the best that we’ll see, really good player.

“We gotta be ready for that on defense and gotta try to establish a run game on offense and that doesn’t change week-to-week, but these guys really demand it out of you when you play Minnesota.”

That quote from Frost is like something he said two years ago. He commented then that he didn’t like looking over at Iowa and seeing that the Hawkeyes were bigger and stronger than his team.

So, what did Frost and his staff do? They started by recruiting bigger players.

There has clearly been an emphasis in bringing in more beef to Nebraska’s roster to hold up in the Big Ten. You can’t help but notice the size of the linemen the Huskers are bringing in over the last couple cycles.

Offensive Line

  • Bryce Benhart (6-8, 303)
  • Jimmy Fritzsche (6-7, 250)
  • Ethan Piper (6-4, 270)
  • Brant Banks (6-7, 265)
  • Matthew Anderson (6-6, 250)
  • Michael Lynn (6-6, 280)
  • Turner Corcoran (6-5, 280)
  • Alex Conn (6-6, 280)
  • Teddy Prochazka (6-8, 270)
  • Henry Lutovsky (6-6, 325)
  • Branson Yager (6-7, 320)

 

Defensive Line

  • Ru’Quan Buckley (6-6, 280)
  • Jailen Weaver (6-8, 280)
  • Marquis Black (6-4, 280)
  • Nash Hutmacher (6-5, 310)
  • Ty Robinson (6-5, 300)
  • Jordon Riley (6-5, 330)
  • Keem Green (6-4, 300)
  • Mosai Newsom (6-3, 270)

A lot of the players listed who have already been a campus have gotten bigger and stronger since arriving in Lincoln. As we see on Saturdays, Ty Robinson looks like a different player than he did when he arrived on campus. That’s in part because of the work with head strength and conditioning coach Zach Duval and director of performance nutrition Dave Ellis.

That pair, along with recruiting bigger prospects, is starting to pay off for Nebraska. It is still a work in progress to get where Frost wants it to be. Progress is being made. We’ll have another test for Nebraska to take this weekend against Minnesota. If the rest of this season is a sign, they should hold up much better in the trenches during this game.

Recruit Watch

>> Former Nebraska commit Patrick Payton found a new home quickly. He committed to Florida State on Monday.

>> Husker priority defensive target for 2021 Tia Savea was happy for Ru’Quan Buckley this weekend.

>> Minnesota 2022 pass rusher Chase Carter posted his junior highlights over the weekend.

ICYMI

>> Minnesota was back on the practice field Monday and plans on playing at Nebraska this weekend.

>> I caught up with Ru’Quan Buckley to get his take (Premium) on why he wanted to join the Huskers and more.

>> The Huskers are preparing for the game on Saturday which will be Senior Day even with the uncertainty in Minneapolis.

>> Derek Peterson provided an ode to a drive in his Sunday column looking at one of the best drives of Nebraska’s season.

>> Watch the Husker seniors and Scott Frost address the media ahead of this weekend’s game.

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