Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Recruiting: Huskers Still Forming a Sellable Identity

December 20, 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.


What does Nebraska football stand for? What type of play will you see when you flip on a Husker game on the Big Ten Network? If the answer is fuzzy—and it is—then the Huskers are still working on find the identity of the program under Coach Scott Frost.

When Frost was hired, he wanted to blend Oregon speed with old-school Nebraska power. That was going to be a path to winning a lot of football games. I think that’s what the Huskers have been trying to do the last three years. It’s time for a different approach.

The slight change that Nebraska needs to make is away from more of an Oregon (or Central Florida) approach. Move toward Ohio State or Florida under Urban Meyer. The difference may seem slight but it could be impactful for Nebraska. Shifting the team’s identity offensively to a power spread that relies more on letting the offensive line maul people with a more physical style could be beneficial for this offense. Nebraska has the ability to do this. We saw it this week against Rutgers.

Talking to Nebraska’s players after the game, they seem to like this style. We’ve seen the offensive line more engaged when they know the game plan is to consistently on running the football. It’s a matter of sticking with it, as wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson said after the win over Rutgers.

“It was really just coming down to making a commitment to really doing it,” Robinson said. “We had known going into week Coach Frost said that’s what they really wanted to do is be able to go in and just run the football. So that was one thing that we were able to do. It was nice for us to be able to do that.”

Coming into a game knowing that goal, the first thing you have to do is to impose your will on the line of scrimmage. That can have a powerful impact for a team’s mindset. Even in a December night game in New Jersey on Friday night. Nebraska finished second in the conference in rushing yards per game. It also finished second in yards per attempt.

Why does any of this matter for recruiting? Well, if you know what you can expect from Nebraska, the program can recruit to that. Frost and his staff can go on the recruiting trail and sell to players how they fit into the vision of how they play.

It also makes identifying the players they want on the team easier. The adjustments to the player profile Nebraska is looking for is already shifting. We’ve seen Frost go after bigger lineman, wide receivers and running backs in each class. The team would still need versatile playmakers at tight end and wide receiver. This mentality shift would not create less opportunities for them to make plays.

There are a lot of things that will and should be examined this offseason for Nebraska. The Huskers need to become obsessed with the details to end the errors that have plagued the program. That should be priority one. The next thing could be how to inject life into an offense that needs to take off for the program to be successful.

Recruit Watch

>> Iowa native and 2022 linebacker target Jacob Imming picked up an offer from Kansas State.

>> Arlen Harris Jr., a 2022 running back target from St. Louis, committed to Stanford.

>> Bellevue West 2022 tight end target Kaden Helms continues to rack up offers. Texas Tech was the latest school to enter the mix.

ICYMI

>> I caught up with a lot of Nebraska’s early enrollees who shared their eagerness to get to Lincoln.

>> Nebraska football has opted out of bowl season. We have the statements from Scott Frost and Bill Moos.

>> Jacob Padilla looked into the good and the bad we saw from Adrian Martinez in Friday’s game.

>> Within in the same season Nebraska’s defense went from one of the worst 3rd down defenses to one of the best writes Derek Peterson.

>> As Brandon Vogel wrote, Friday’s game was the only ending that made sense for Nebraska football.

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