Nebraska Cornhuskers football team warm-ups during practice at indoor facility
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Huskers Getting Clarity on Transfer Leadership in Spring

March 24, 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.


Look around the landscape of college football. You will see transfer movement has become the norm. There isn’t a team out there not affected by the transfer portal anymore. The ability for players to move freely causes sleepless night for coaches. It makes them have to stay connected to their current players more than ever.

The portal isn’t just a bad thing. Teams that need a talent infusion can quickly add players by going into the portal.

Nebraska was one of those teams this offseason. Coming off a disappointing 3-9 season in Coach Scott Frost’s fourth year the team needed help. The program had an intentional strategy to load up on players from the portal. There are 10 new transfers. Three came to Nebraska from junior college, too. Getting the new bodies in to upgrade talent or fills holes is great.

But, leadership and team chemistry can be a concern when team building that way.

This spring football session will be about getting everyone on the same page. It will also be about finding new leaders to emerge on a team that lost a lot of veteran voices. Frost noted on Wednesday that he’s happy with the leadership right now. A team that is led by its players instead of coaches holding everybody accountable. That’s always the goal of a coach. The team had pretty good leadership on defense last year. Frost said that the team had leaders on offense but they weren’t really vocal. That’s changed this spring for the Huskers. He is pleased with the standard that’s being set and the accountability.

Some of that leadership is coming from transfers that haven’t been in the program long.

“It’s different but a transfer portal kid isn’t like getting a freshman that’s not able to step up and be a leader as an 18-year-old,” Frost said. “These transfers come in and they are used to being leaders other places. They have to kind of earn the respect first but they’re accustomed to doing that. I think they fit into the role a little quicker.”

Omar Manning has spent three years at Nebraska. Each season was with Adrian Martinez as his quarterback. Manning has noticed that presumed starter Casey Thompson has a different style.

“Casey, he’s very hands-on,” Manning said. “Everything he does he’s coming over and talking to us. Pointing us where he wants us to be with certain routes. He vocal too, and that’s what I like as a receiver.”

Quarterback isn’t the only spot on offense where Nebraska is getting new leadership. The wide receiver room had a pair of transfers come into the room. Former LSU wideout Trey Palmer has provided a spark according to Alante Brown.

“He brings the energy and athleticism, speed, the mentality,” Brown said. “He mentioned in one of his interviews that he wants to bring the dog to the group. That’s what he did. If things get chippy he’s right there with you no matter what. Just seeing that come out of somebody that’s new just made us get hype even more.”

Team building in today’s college football has rapidly changed. Team chemistry and leadership can look much different year to year. Luckily, the Huskers have new players who are in line to contribute on and off the field.

Recruit Watch

>> The Huskers made the top five for 2023 4-star offensive lineman Cayden Green.

>> Nebraska offered 2023 EDGE out of Louisiana Ashley Williams Jr.

>> Priority defensive end target Riley Van Poppel is feeling the love from Nebraska with this graphic for him.

ICYMI

>> Scott Frost spoke about Zavier Betts’ status with the team, a thin tight end room and more on Thursday.

>> As Steve Marik wrote, post-practice sessions with the quarterbacks are helping the wideouts reach their potential.

>> Jaquez Yant wanted to be depended upon so he is made some changes this offseason that are paying off.

>> You can check out all the post-practice interviews with players and coaches plus our team recapping the day on the Hail Varsity YouTube channel.

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