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.
When we put out the call last week for our recruiting question of the week video we got a lot of good submissions. Since we just completed the early signing period there are lots of questions on people’s minds. Like we always say in the videos watch this space because you never know when your question will pop up. For today’s notebook I want to explore a question I received last week from @Tork44 on Twitter.
It is said by many that one reason Nebraska has had a hard time in the Big10 is they can’t recruit Texas the same way because they played games in Texas in the Big12. If so, why doesn’t Nebraska recruit Ohio/Penn harder? Similar situations on games
— Tork (@Tork44) December 19, 2021
They want to know why Nebraska doesn’t seem to recruit Ohio and Pennsylvania more. Especially considering all the talk about losing Texas as a recruiting pipeline after Nebraska moved to the Big Ten.
It’s a popular sentiment to bring up. Have the Huskers struggled in the Big Ten is because they have a harder time recruiting Texas now? The idea behind that thinking is that Nebraska no longer plays games in the state so the team isn’t able to land Texas talent. I don’t think that’s true or is actually a reason that Nebraska has struggled in the Big Ten.
The Huskers have signed 25 players from Texas from the 2011 recruiting class to the 2022 class. That’s a little more than an average of two players per class from the Lone Star State. During that same time the Huskers have signed 31 players from Florida. The Huskers’ recruiting efforts have shifted away from Texas over the years. Since Bo Pelini roamed the sidelines, the number of Texas joining the team has dropped. I don’t think that’s because Nebraska plays less games there.
I believe it’s because Nebraska has hired coaches without ties to Texas. Mike Riley’s staff had a lot of ties to the west coast from their days coaching in the Pac-12. Coach Scott Frost’s staff has heavy ties into Florida. They do a great job in other southeastern states like Georgia. The current staff has made it a priority to recruit Iowa a lot more heavily than previous staff. Louisiana recruiting will see an uptick with wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph on staff.
There is one thing I do think this current staff could do a better job of. Recruiting states that other Big Ten schools set up shop in. If those states have talent that is good enough for your rivals it should be good enough for Nebraska. You’d also get an added bonus. Hurting the teams you play by winning head-to-head recruiting battles with them. There is a problem with going after Ohio and Pennsylvania players. Two schools dominate those battles. Seven of the top 10 players in Ohio went to Ohio State or Penn State in the 2022 recruiting class. Six of the top 10 players in Pennsylvania went to Penn State.
It makes sense to do what the Huskers have done with recruiting Iowa. It makes a lot of sense to hit that state hard led by defensive coordinator Erik Chinander who is an Iowa native. Nebraska has spot recruited states like Minnesota, Illinois and Indiana. A couple of those states could use more attention. New Jersey is a state that Nebraska has focused on more as of late. Outside linebackers coach Mike Dawson leads that effort.
There are several reasons why the Huskers have struggled in football. A lot of people expected more when joining the Big Ten. Recruiting Texas isn’t one of those reasons for me. There are several ways to construct a winning roster and loading up on Texas players isn’t the only way to do it.
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Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.