Nebraska Recruiting: Huskers Quest to Win The 500-Mile Radius
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Recruiting: Huskers Quest to Win The 500-Mile Radius

April 15, 2020

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 Huskers recruit nationally. That simple statement has been true for as long as I’ve followed Nebraska football. Each coaching staff has a slightly different approach to how they want to build the roster at Nebraska but each end up doing a lot of recruiting outside of the region. The Mike Riley staff really liked California. Sorry if you thought you’d never read the phrase “Calibraska” again. 

The Scott Frost staff likes the South. Florida, Georgia, Texas and Alabama make up 149 of the 356 scholarship offers for the class of 2021. That makes sense given this staff’s ties to the area and having just coached at Central Florida. We talk a lot about Nebraska’s recruiting in the South but are we underselling the efforts in the region?

In today’s mailbag we had a question from @InDaWilderness that really got me thinking. 

So, we look likely to snag the top four recruits out of Nebraska, plus the top recruit from South Dakota, and some from Iowa, thus making up the core of the class with locals. What are the implications of being able to both dominate that coveted 500m radius, and have top level skill in it?

Nebraska is a significant player in the recruitment of the in-state prospects. Cornerback Avante Dickerson, wide receiver Keagan Johnson and tight end AJ Rollins are considering Nebraska. Offensive lineman Teddy Prochazka is already on the commit list. So is Randolph Kpai (South Dakota) and Henry Lutovsky (Iowa). Iowa tight end Thomas Fidone, linebacker Seth Malcom and outside linebacker TJ Bollers are all in play. Missouri wide receiver Jaylin Noel is someone considering Nebraska at this point too. There are others Nebraska could make a move with in Missouri. Oklahoma has also emerged as a state the Huskers are putting effort into.

Stepping just beyond the 500-mile radius, Nebraska has increased activity within the Big Ten footprint this cycle. The number of offers in Illinois (14) and Michigan (13) exceed the number in Iowa (10). We have talked a lot about the efforts that the Huskers are putting into the Hawkeye State. 

What it would mean for Nebraska to “win” the 500-mile radius this cycle? It would say good things about the future of Husker recruiting. It also means Frost showed up at just the right time when talent in the region is surging. This staff has been able to cast a vision of what they want the football program to look like in Lincoln. Prospects in the region are responding well to that message. It’s a great sign because a 17-year-old doesn’t have the same memories of Nebraska winning at the level that older Husker fans do. 

It is ideal for the Huskers to build a recruiting from the inside out when it comes to the location of the signees. The 2021 recruiting class provides a unique opportunity for the team to do that goal.  

Recruit Watch

>> Bellevue West wide receiver Keagan Johnson showed off a cool edit that the Huskers did for him. 

>> Huskers JUCO defensive back target De’Juan Warren received an offer from Florida on Wednesday. 

>> Florida also offered 2022 Omaha Central offensive lineman Deshawn Woods on Tuesday night. 

ICYMI

>> The North-South Nebraska Shrine Bowl Game will be delayed beyond June 6 but no later than July 31.

>> I caught up with Oklahoma lineman Aden Kelley to see where he was with his recruitment after it’s taken off (Premium) in the last few weeks. 

>> We have reached No. 9 on Derek Peterson’s most intriguing Husker list and the slot belongs to a Nebraska native. (Premium)

>> Jacob Padilla gave his late signing period takeaways for Nebrasketball in his latest Padding the Stats. 

>> The Huskers got the jump on Stanford but pitching punched the Cardinal’s CWS ticket, Mike Babcok writes in his baseball look back.

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