Nebraska head football coach Scott Frost answers questions from the press
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Huskers Aiming to Rebuild Relationships at Home

February 03, 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 Huskers have put the finishing touches on the 2022 recruiting class. Coach Scott Frost met with the media for almost 30 minutes on Wednesday to discuss the class. So many things have happened since we last talked to Frost. A wide range of topics were hit during the question and answer session.

One of the topics that came up was local recruiting. The subject is always key to college football programs. It’s just easier to build a sustainable team when you have the ability to lock down local talent. The Huskers have been hit or miss at keeping talent home under Frost. The team started off hot under him, keeping scholarship players in Nebraska. That has dwindled over time.

One of the reasons for local talent looking elsewhere is Nebraska’s product on the field. The lack of any bowl appearances under Frost has had an impact on prospects’ decision making. The other big component of this is harder to quantify. Nebraska needs to rebuild its relationships around the state. The program has lost its way a bit on staying connected to high school coaches around the state.

“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 sent 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.”

The Huskers, like everyone else, couldn’t recruit normally during COVID. That didn’t prevent them from being more active in Nebraska high schools during 2021. The team was largely missing from the local scene on Friday nights until the end of the season. The work has already begun to repair those relationships around the state. We saw the Huskers visiting local high schools each Friday during the most recent contact period.

It’s another good year for high school talent in Nebraska. The Huskers have commitments from two in-state players for the 2023 class. Tight end Benjamin Brahmer and offensive lineman Gunnar Gottula are in the class. The Huskers are in a good position with Lincoln East wide receiver Malachi Coleman. Joseph has taken the lead on that recruitment and it’s paying off for the Huskers so far. Creighton Prep offensive lineman Sam Sledge was offered recently by Nebraska. That placed the team squarely in the mix for him. Elkhorn South edge rusher Maverick Noonan is also a key target for the program.

The refocus on local recruiting comes at a perfect time for the Huskers. In-state talent continues to rise and that isn’t slowing down soon. The program has to put in the work to land these players. Recruiting them hard like they would if the player is from Georgia or Florida is a good start. This should pay off in the long run for the team.

Recruit Watch

>> Stanford offered priority 2023 target Maverick Noonan on Wednesday.

>> Iowa 2023 quarterback JJ Kohl picked up another Big Ten offer when Indiana offered him.

>> Nebraska defensive back target for 2023 out of Florida, Braden Marshall, took a visit to Penn State last weekend.


>> As I explained, the 2022 recruiting class is only part of the overhaul for the Huskers this offseason.

>> Jacob Padilla looked at opposite hitter in his volleyball 2021 position reviews.

>> Zavier Betts is next up in Steve Marik’s series on Huskers that could be making the jump in 2022.

>> Steve and I recorded a video discussing competition for the Huskers this spring including at quarterback.

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