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.
You might not have noticed but the Huskers quietly put together another top 25 recruiting class under Coach Scott Frost. Recruiting has not been the issue for Frost at Nebraska. Each class has been in the top 25. The 2018 class was ranked 23rd overall and fourth in the Big Ten. In 2019, the Huskers finished 17th nationally and fourth in the Big Ten. The team finished 20th and fourth again in the 2020 cycle. The 2021 class finished 20th nationally and fifth in the conference just ahead of Penn State and Iowa.
The Huskers should get credit for putting together a good class once again. They did this despite not being able to do the No. 1 thing that helps them on the recruiting trail which is hosting visitors. It is very important that Nebraska hosts players on game days because it is such a unique experience. Everyone hopes to get back to normal on that front for the 2022 recruiting class.
Nebraska also built this class with a more regional flair. In this class, 12 of the 23 signees are from the Midwest. Utah native Branson Yager also has a lot of family in the Midwest. The Huskers battled a lot of Big Ten schools for many of its signees this cycle. That could be a path forward on how to build classes that stick around in Lincoln.
I don’t think that’s the only reason the class has a different feel to it. The 2021 recruiting class is good but doesn’t have as many big stars at the top. Everyone agrees that Council Bluffs native Thomas Fidone is the top player in the class. After him you’d get a mixed bag of answers on who the second-best player in the class is. That can be OK though if it turns out that the class has good depth. A perfect example of that is the wide receiver haul this cycle.
It is hard to separate Latrell Neville, Shawn Hardy and Kamonté Grimes. Neville (6-3, 200), Hardy (6-3, 190) and Grimes (6-2, 205) aren’t too different in size. They all bring the element to be able to go up and get 50-50 balls but they also all have some differences in their games that will allow skill sets to not be completely duplicated. If you ask people who their favorite wideout in the class is, you’ll get a bunch of different answers.
There is a wildcard when thinking through how to feel about the 2021 class. The Huskers did a good job of using the transfer portal to add talent. Linebacker Chris Kolarevic, running back Markese Stepp and wide receiver Samori Touré should all see the field during the 2021 season. They aren’t accounted for in the class ranking but should provide a boost. They are especially important in providing a bridge before younger players at their positions are ready to contribute.
It was a strange year in 2020 forcing teams to adjust on the fly to build a class. The Huskers should feel good about what they accomplished given the circumstances. There is a chance we look back at this class as a new way for Nebraska to recruit under Frost.
>> The Huskers made the top 12 for Florida athlete Quan Lee.
— Quan Lee (@QuanLee_5) February 6, 2021
>> Priority offensive line target Kadyn Procter was offered by Notre Dame over the weekend.
— Kadyn Proctor (KP) (@KadynProctor1) February 5, 2021
>> Lincoln Southeast linebacker Jake Appleget was offered by Northern Illinois.
After a great call with @NIUCoachHammock I am super excited and blessed to have received a scholarship offer from Northern Illinois University! @CoachDtjackson @CoachMooreNIU @CoachEidsness #GoHuskies🐺 pic.twitter.com/q0tdiQaEvA
— Jake Appleget (@ApplegetJake) February 5, 2021
>> A ‘Husker heavy’ Super Bowl LV has Barrett Ruud cheering for the Bucs in the big game.
>> Check out my storylines to watch (Premium) for Nebraska recruiting in the 2022 cycle.
>> John Cook spoke after the match about the sweep and the team’s 4-0 start.
>> The Huskers showed fight but fell to Michigan State 66-56 in the team’s return to the court.
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.