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Nebraska Recruiting: Huskers Hoping New Tools Stay In Use on Trail Moving Forward

June 27, 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.


The last year has been full of adjustments and changes for college programs. It wasn’t possible to recruit in the same way that schools were forever. Coaches around the country had to get used to virtual recruiting. Recruiting through a computer screen may never be preferred by coaches coast to coast but it can be an effective tool.

Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander can see Zoom sticking around beyond this year.

“I think Zoom is here to stay, not just in football recruiting but in general,” Chinander said. “You’ve always been able to FaceTime and those types of things, but with Zoom we can prepare videos, you can actually give them a feel of what Nebraska’s really like.

“Getting a young guy to Lincoln is the most important thing we can do so he can see the facilities and feel the town and all those types of things. While you can’t do that over Zoom, you can do a much better job of it than you can via telephone, text, and FaceTime.”

One of the questions asked by fans often was how Nebraska was doing with virtual recruiting relative to other schools. It felt like Nebraska embraced it early back when there was still so much unknown about how long the dead period would last. Chinander heard good feedback from what he could tell.

“In our recruiting department, everyone that was involved in that piece did a great job of not overwhelming them, not trying to shoot our whole shot on the first time and setting them up so we can get weekly Zooms,” Chinander said. “Maybe one was academic and one’s facilities and one’s football and one’s a coordinator talk and one’s with the head coach. I think they did a really good job of keeping the kids interested and spacing the information out.”

There was another big change to the recruiting landscape this recruiting cycle. The private workouts that the Huskers can conduct with prospects. Nebraska has had players come to campus each Friday for workouts to get a gauge on their fit for the program. Those workouts have resulted in several new scholarship offers. The first player to complete a workout this month, Jake Appleget, is now a commit.

“I actually thought it was awesome,” Chinander said. “It’s really good to see guys, especially this year when we couldn’t even go out to local Nebraska high schools. Some of these guys we’ve never seen in person. Just to be able to get them here, accurate measurements, we can get multiple watches on them in a 40 so it’s not like a camp with 800 guys running. Then their position coach gets a chance to work them out so I think it gives you a really good gauge on if you’re considering that guy. I hope they keep doing it.”

In some of those mega-camps kids might get six reps the whole day. The Nebraska staff can really put these prospects through the paces to see what they’ve got. Within that work out they get all the reps they can handle. Plus, the prospect gets to know their potential position coach a little bit to see how he operates. Right now, it’s a one-year deal. Chinander hopes it becomes permanent. It makes sense to keep this rule since it’s a win-win for everyone involved.

No one wanted the circumstances that forced evolving practices in college football recruiting. Now it seems like there are things that will carry forward for years to come.

Recruit Watch

>> Jaden Mangham, a 4-star athlete for the 2022 class, made a visit to Lincoln this weekend. He was the Huskers’ lone official visitor.

>> Landon Jury, a 2023 quarterback, made a visit to Nebraska. He is coached by former Husker Bobby Newcombe.

>> Nebraska made the cut for a 2022 3-star wide receiver.

ICYMI

>> Damion Daniels checks in at No. 3 on our 10 Most Intriguing Huskers of 2021 list.

>> In his last film study, Jacob Padilla breaks down (Premium) Alante Brown’s film.

>> Nebraska picked up its second commitment for the 2023 class on Saturday. Gunnar Gottula, an offensive lineman from Lincoln Southeast, said the relationship with the staff played a big part (Premium) in the decision.

>> Bill Moos is retiring as Nebraska’s athletic director at the end of the month. It’s odd timing, but we still have a list of names that may be considered for the job.

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