Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Huskers OK With Leaning on Portal for Players That Fit Program

September 09, 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.


One of the big storylines of the 2022 recruiting class is just how small the class is. There are several factors at play causing that. Nebraska does have an outsized number of freshmen on the team. The program redshirted a lot of players from the first two full recruiting classes under coach Scott Frost.

When the COVID year hit freezing eligibility, that made that an even bigger issue. It is hard to project what scholarship numbers will look like in 2022. Everyone is allowed to come back if they’d like. The only catch is that next year those scholarships will count against the 85- man limit.

The Huskers are projected to only sign 12-16 high school players this cycle. That means the team will likely have to look at the transfer portal to plug holes on the roster. The Huskers have had success in the portal. Darrion Daniels, Kanawai Noa and Tre Neal were transfer players. They all had big roles on the team. Samori Touré, Chris Kolarevic and Markese Stepp are impact transfers currently.

“I think we’re seeing the tip of the iceberg with the transfer portal, there’s going to be a lot of that,” Frost said. “We definitely want people that fit us from a football standpoint and from a culture standpoint. I love where the locker room is right now and would never want to upset that.”

The Huskers are still building team culture so that is a valid point made by Frost. There can be a difference in recruiting players from the transfer portal instead of from high school. It’s easier to spend more time getting to know players when you recruit them from high school.

The portal has changed the way that recruiting departments have to scout players. Inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud said there is one big difference. You have to be aware of more current college players than before. Your scouting department needs to be watching other teams all the time. That is necessary because you never know who is going to enter the portal.

“When you start looking at different guys across college football who may enter the portal they’re going to be a little bit more finished product,” Ruud said. “You should have a better idea of what you’re getting. Whereas high school is a little bit more projection of what can this guy be. If a guy enters the portal and he’s in his fourth-year college you probably got a pretty good idea of what you’re getting.”

Nebraska is in an interesting place when it comes to recruiting. The program offers a lot to potential players. That ranges from top-notch facilities to fan support. Yet there are disadvantages to being in a colder landlocked state. Frost thinks the Huskers just need to get players in Lincoln for visits. That helps the Huskers out in a major way on the trail.

“We have a lot of advantages here,” Frost said. “We have some uphill battles to fight but again I think when people come and see Nebraska and experience game day and see the fans here and get to know what Nebraska is all about we got a great chance to get anybody that visits here.”

Nebraska may need to lean on more transfers this offseason. It doesn’t sound like the program is backing away from that as it continues to add more talent to the roster.

Recruit Watch

>> Nebraska 2023 wide receiver target Shelton Sampson was offered by Penn State.

>> Kansas City 2023 defensive end target Chandavian Bradley was offered by Illinois on Wednesday.

>> Check out the graphic that the Huskers put together for Vince Genatone ahead of his game this weekend.

ICYMI

>> The Nebraska volleyball team destroyed Creighton with an impressive sweep backed by a strong defensive performance.

>> Check out the photo gallery from the Huskers’ sweep of the Bluejays.

>> Brandon Vogel is back with the I-80 preview podcast to look at Nebraska’s matchup with Buffalo.

>> In this week’s Tom’s Time, Mike Babcock looks back at a shutout to start the season in 1994.

>> Nebraska is ‘prepped for a battle’ as Buffalo visits Lincoln.

>> In the Nebraska Preps Postgame show Jacob Padilla and Damon Benning look at big games in Class B, surprises in Class A and the Mostek machine.

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