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Nebraska Recruiting: Is a Husker Youth Movement Coming or Is It Already Here?

November 09, 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.


Fans are left searching in the wake of another disappointing loss under Coach Scott Frost. Is it time for Nebraska to go with a youth movement?

This question is brought up a lot because of a couple factors. First, the team has started 0-2. Never mind the first loss was to one of the elite teams in college football. It appears for now that the 2020 Northwestern Wildcards are good. Hats off to Pat Fitzgerald’s crew for bouncing back from a rough season in 2019. In normal times, those two losses could be explained away. The issue at hand is that Nebraska lost on Saturday the exact same way it did.

Second, the free year of eligibility has caused some to wonder. Would the Huskers be better off playing to get ready for the 2021 season? I would say there isn’t a reason go with a full-on “youth movement” right now, mostly because we are only two games into the season. It’s too soon to hit the ejector button on the 2020 season. Not at the expense of any seniors who have spent years pouring into the program.

The other reason I would not go there yet is that we already see a good mix of youth playing on Saturdays.

“We had a lot of kids play well,” Frost said. “A lot of young kids that I think ready to play, and I think our team understands that we’re going to compete and let them compete on the practice field and play the guy that practices the best and gives us the best chance to win. So, there’s a bunch of positions that will be that way this week, including quarterback.”

Competition will reign supreme on the team as it always has according, as Frost said Monday. The hottest topic—outside of who will be the team’s quarterback on Saturday—has been about the wide receivers. It doesn’t take a coach to see the talent of the bevy of 4-star wide receivers that the Huskers brought in. They need to play more.

Frost was asked specifically about how Zavier Betts, Marcus Fleming and Omar Manning performed on Saturday.

“I thought those guys played well,” Frost said. “There’s a couple mistakes here and there, but you know just looking at the film, honestly there’s no doubt with those guys on the field that they help us stretch the field more. We’ve just got to keep bringing those guys along, and for all of them it’s a matter of getting practices under their belt.

“I mentioned this, but they’ve all for different reasons missed part of our preparation up to this point. Now they’re all up and going, so we’re going to fast track and see how fast they can pick everything up and again evaluate the practice and play the guys that we think give us the best chance. All those guys are coming along and we’re anxious to have them know the whole system so we can get them out there.”

If the Huskers can manage to get those young, talented wideouts on the field a lot of this conversation will die down. Young players are making an impact on the defensive line and offensive line. They are playing at inside and outside linebacker. You can argue that redshirt freshman safety Myles Farmer earned more playing time. Especially after his performance on Saturday.

The Huskers have recruited well. A lot of young players are showing up on Saturdays early in their careers. That’s an encouraging sign. The youth movement doesn’t need to be announced because in a lot of ways it is already here.

Recruit Watch

>> The Huskers completed a success virtual visit with 2022 Columbus High athlete Ernest Hausmann.

>> Check out the sophomore season highlights of intriguing Lincoln Southeast offensive lineman Gunnar Gottula.

>> Major Husker defensive target for the 2022 class Xavier Nwankpa picked up an offer from Clemson over the weekend.

ICYMI

>> One thing is clear after Nebraska’s time with media on Monday. The Huskers know they have to ‘earn it’ against Penn State. You can also watch the video of Frost and the players.

>> Practice ahead of the Penn State game will determine Nebraska’s starter at quarterback.

>> As Jacob Padilla explains, the back-up running back position is still a wildcard for Nebraska.

>> The latest episode of the Moore To It podcast explores the potential quarterback controversy for Nebraska alongside Corey McKeon.

>> Derek Peterson’s Sunday column focused in on a defense that deserved more, wideout usage and future studs.

>> Pinnacle Bank Arena will host the Golden Window Classic later this month.

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