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.
Football coaches often talk to their players about blocking out the noise, controlling what they can control and just doing the work. Those sayings have been around the game as long as the game has been played. Those mantras took on a new life during 2020.
In dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, Nebraska’s coaching staff has had a lot to deal with. Managing the roster and keeping players engaged have been tough. All of this was happening while not knowing if the Big Ten would play football or not.
The world of recruiting has certainty been altered for both schools and prospects. Yet the Nebraska coaching staff has stepped up to the challenge. Recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Ryan Held addressed this on Thursday.
“We’ve embraced what the situation is,” Held said. “Everybody is dealing with it. Is it ideal? No. But everybody is dealing with it. We’ve been doing different Zoom recruiting calls with guys just showing them facilities and academics. We show them all the different areas we feel are at a championship level at Nebraska.”
The Huskers are nearly done building their 2021 recruiting class. It currently sits at 18 members with a pair of announcements looming next week. Nebraska native James Carnie is set to decide on Monday. Michigan defensive end Ru’Quan Buckley is scheduled to make his college choice next week.
The team has kept grinding away to gain commitments for this cycle while keeping an eye on the 2022 group.
“Yes, there are challenges but we find a way to get it done,” Held said. “We have a lot to sell here. Our recruiting department, graphic and video people are doing a good job of putting together presentations for these guys. It’s not in person but it’s very good. The recruits have taken to it very well.”
Held is the second coach since fall camp started to praise teams behind the scenes that make Nebraska’s graphics and videos. Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander had praise for them last week too. They have put out some quality content to catch the eye of prospects.
This video video about name, image and likeness was well received.
— Trent Mossbrucker (@TMossbrucker) October 1, 2020
The lack of official visits hurts Nebraska quite a bit. The Huskers have done a lot to bridge the gap without them but the work is ongoing. In the beginning of the pandemic, is was unclear how long things like the dead period would last for. Because of that, changes have been required.
“We’ll continue to tweak it as we move along through the process,” Held said. “It’s challenging because when kids get on our campus they see all the great things. It’s a winning edge for us in the recruiting process. We’ve had to adjust like every other program and find ways to be creative not complain about it. We just have to get the job done.
“We feel good about where we are for the ’21 group to this point and we aren’t done yet. Then we’ll be on to ’22 to get that thing rocking and rolling.”
The Huskers have been creative. Remember the slick video taking prospects through an official visit weekend at Nebraska?
You’ve gotta see it to believe it.
— Nebraska FB Recruiting (@NEB_Recruiting) August 24, 2020
It’s a whole new world out there for recruiting staffs across the country this recruiting cycle. The Huskers have done a nice job to this point. Now the next step will be showing off the hard work on the field in a couple weeks with better results. That would put a nice bow on all the other things the team is working so hard to put together to sell recruits.
>> Xavier Nwankpa, a 2022 defensive back from Iowa, has been invited to play in the 2022 All-American Bowl.
Excited to be invited to play in the 2022 All-American Bowl❕❕ pic.twitter.com/Cdg8cDGVkf
— Xavier “X” Nwankpa (@xaviernwankpa01) October 8, 2020
>> Check out this sweet catch from Huskers defensive back commit Koby Bretz.
— Tyler Wrice (@brownwrice) October 7, 2020
>> If you want to check out a mixtape of Nebraska quarterback commit Heinrich Haarberg’s highlights this season here it is.
— Heinrich Haarberg (@HKHaarberg10) October 8, 2020
>> It was offensive day for media availability on Thursday and we learned that Adrian Martinez is here for the competition with his fellow quarterbacks.
>> Scott Frost offered a position-by-position breakdown on his monthly radio show appearance Wednesday night.
>> Tom Osborne getting win No. 200 under the Thursday night lights is the subject of the latest Tom’s Time.
>> In case you missed, it you can check out the video of Mario Verduzco and Ryan Held chatting about quarterbacks, running backs and more.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.