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Nebraska Recruiting: Huskers Young Again but Have Talent to Improve in 2021

January 21, 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.

The Huskers will be a young football team again in the 2021 season. Coach Scott Frost’s group was among the youngest teams in 2020. That will remain the case in 2021 but comes with a couple notes that need to be added for context. Technically, no one’s eligibility status has changed so starting right tackle Bryce Benhart will be a redshirt freshman once again in the 2021 season. When you glance at the depth chart, the team is mostly in the same spot it was during the 2020 season.

Look a bit deeper and you’ll see that lots of those players have Big Ten experience under their belts. Benhart started the full season in 2020. Redshirt freshman guard Ethan Piper worked himself into a starter by seasons end. Turner Corcoran is still a “freshman” but was on campus early last January and got a start this season. I’m focusing on the offensive line right now but the defensive line, linebacker and the secondary are in similar positions.

Even where the Huskers may be young—like running back—the team added a veteran presence in Markese Stepp. Frost mentioned him during his radio appearance on Wednesday night.

“He was highly thought of in high school and he went out West just like I did back in high school,” he said. “We were going to be young, but I have a lot of confidence in the other backs. Just to add another veteran in there will help those younger guys grow.”

Running back is one of the few spots where the team is both young and inexperienced. The battle for the starter and back-up role at that position is one of the top stories to watch this spring and fall camp. Wide receiver is another spot where Nebraska is young for 2021 again but the group has a mixed bag of experience.

It helped ease Frost’s mind adding Montana transfer Samori Touré.

“Same thing in the receiver room,” Frost said. “We are young there, and just adding somebody with experience should really add to our team.”

It is important to keep something in mind. Kade Warner, Chris Hickman, Zavier Betts and Alante Brown are the scholarship wideouts with a catch at Nebraska. The rest that Frost recruited are either no longer on the team or haven’t played. Adding a scholarship player with college experience was needed. That doesn’t mean that talent in the room is lacking. Betts was a top 150 recruit. Brown was the number one rated player in prep school. The staff thinks highly of Will Nixon who is returning from injury. From the 2021 class, Latrell Neville, Kamonte Grimes and Shawn Hardy will come to Lincoln this summer.

On the defense, several seniors decided to return. That will make the Husker defense a veteran group. The team will still rely on emerging yet young players. Quinton Newsome, Ty Robinson, Luke Reimer and Nick Henrich are a few. The defense has a better blend of older players with many years of experience with young emerging players.

Still, the days of Nebraska using youth as a blanket reason for the program’s performance are over. There are plenty of talented players on this team that can help get the Huskers to a bowl game in 2021.

Recruit Watch

>> Indiana 2022 offensive lineman DJ Moore has the Huskers in his top eight that he released on Thursday.

>> Iowa 2022 linebacker Jacob Imming committed to Iowa State on Thursday.

>> Lincoln Southeast 2023 linebacker Teitum Tuioti was offered by Boise State on Wednesday night.


>> Volleyball is here and so is the January issue of Hail Varsity magazine.

>> Derek Peterson dove into the offensive line in the latest entry into the Scoring the 2021 Huskers series.

>> Scott Frost set a spring game date, talked special teams and Nebraska’s decision to not play in a bowl game.

>> As Jacob Padilla writes, Lexi Sun is poised for a strong senior season.

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