Photo Credit: Greg Smith

Nebraska Recruiting: Huskers Looking to Make up for Lost Time on Trail

March 15, 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.


Nebraska recruiting has been a roller coaster recently. The Huskers are not unique in facing challenges with recruiting over the last two years. COVID-19 changed the way everyone had to recruit. Zoom calls and virtual recruiting became the norm for a solid year. Then the long dead period was lifted last summer. Nebraska did not immediately take advantage of those restrictions being lifted. The first part of that was summer official visits. Nebraska did use them but were largely unsuccessful in landing those players. The Huskers used 20 official visits last summer. Four of those signed with Nebraska and one was committed before his official visit.

In-season recruiting was puzzling. The Huskers didn’t have much presence at high school football games during the season. Nebraska used two official visits during the season. One of those players ended up at Nebraska. We know that everything changed for Nebraska at the end of the 2021 season. The offensive coaching staff was completely revamped with four new assistant coaches. The Huskers were also launching their strategy to go heavy on the transfer portal. That was needed to make up for those misses in high school recruiting. The team also needed to plug holes in the roster quickly. That’s a task better suited for transfers than traditional recruits. The offseason was much more productive for gaining commitments for the Huskers. Nebraska hosted 15 visitors and only four of those did not sign with the Huskers.

New life has been injected into the recruiting operation by the new coaches. There have been changes behind the scenes too. Nebraska hired senior director of player personnel and recruiting Vince Guinta. With many changes in place the Huskers have been a lot more active in working on the 2023 class and beyond. The team was aggressive during the contact period getting out to high schools. There have also been three on-campus recruiting events since January. There could be a combination of factors leading to Nebraska feeling a little ahead of where it was a year ago. Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander explained his thoughts last week.

“I think it’s the combination of no COVID [restrictions] and being able to be out in schools in the fall, the wintertime, this spring and then being able to get guys on campus. We’re so much farther ahead than we were last year at this time,” Chinander said.

The next step for Nebraska recruiting will be the spring game official visits. The Huskers will also look to host a large group of unofficial visitors. Then summer official visits will be key. As Chinander also noted, it’s huge at Nebraska to get guys on campus. Getting players on campus is the biggest selling point the team has. Getting prospects around the people in Lincoln and in the facilities can be a make or break thing.

The Huskers will look to continue the momentum they currently have. The hope is to capitalize with more early commitments.

Recruit Watch

>> Nebraska 2023 wide receiver target Joshua Manning took a visit to Missouri last weekend and enjoyed it.

>> Iowa 2023 defensive back Watts McBride was offered by Army.

>> Lincoln East athlete Malachi Coleman picked up another Big Ten offer when Iowa came to the table on Monday.

ICYMI

>> As Drake Keeler wrote, Tervel Dladnev feels ‘gratitude and pride’ for reallocated bronze medal.

>> The transfer recruiting process had a familiar feel for Nebraska QB Chubba Purdy.

>> Werewolves, buffet plates and the terminator would a few topics that caught Steve Marik’s ear during the first half of spring practice.

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