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.
For years it's been established that St. Louis is the best place in the Midwest for recruiting. The area has produced several Power Five players in recent years. While Nebraska has not quite gotten the foothold there, the Huskers continue to try.
Is there an emerging area in the same state that is even closer to Lincoln? Is Kansas City on the verge of becoming the next St. Louis with talent produced? When I spoke to Michael Rose-Ivey for the story on his new passion for helping young people, he mentioned the city being on the rise.
“I think Kansas City is getting kind of a little bit of a hotbed for recruiting,” Rose-Ivey said. “Especially for these Midwest schools plus the Big Ten, Big 12 and even the MAC schools as well. We are really just trying to find a way to get these kids everything they need in order to be successful at getting to the next level. Then also excelling at the next level.”
I reached out to William Lowe, the head coach at Lincoln College Prep. That's where Rose-Ivey is the defensive coordinator. He agrees with Rose-Ivey that there has been an increase in college attention.
“I think honestly it's just that the kids in the 2021 and 2022 classes have been really strong,” Lowe said. “Everything goes in cycles especially with kids and athletes. Once some colleges got in on the area and started recruiting they all did. I think that has a little to do with it too. Just being honest cause I'm in that weight room every day.
“So I see all the coaches that come in. In the last couple of years, they're recruiting Kansas City a lot. It's always been recruited heavily by the MIAA and Division II schools.”
Lowe feels the Division I recruiting intensity has definitely picked up. Major 2021 Huskers defensive end target Tobechi Okoli has offers from Auburn and Georgia. Schools like that from the SEC have never really recruited in the Kansas City area in the past. The area has been mostly recruited by Big Ten and Big 12 schools but Lowe thinks a familiar name to Husker fans changed it all.
“I really think it has to do with kids like Isaiah Simmons that have come out of the Midwest,” Lowe said. “People now know that in the South there's just a lot of competition down there for the high-end kids. I think some of the colleges are starting to realize this and really there is good talent in the Kansas City area that may not be as watered down with recruiting.
“Nebraska does a great job recruiting Kansas City as does Iowa State. I have seen the turn with the SEC schools moving up north, which surprised me a little bit.”
The changing sports landscape had made it so schools are not afraid to leave their traditional areas to find talent. We see it on a yearly basis now around the country. One thing that Lowe tries to do with his program is play some schools from across the state in St. Louis. This year his team will get a lot of exposure by taking on St. Louis powerhouse Lutheran North. If that school sounds familiar, it's home to former Husker target Travion Ford. The Huskers lost the battle for Kansas City native Jaylin Noel over the weekend. Still, the Huskers are just getting started in the area with several offers out to underclassmen.
It seems like the Huskers are picking the right time to make an early investment into the Kansas City area.
>> Elkhorn South linebacker Mekhi Nelson-Douglas picked up an offer from North Dakota State on Monday.
— Makhi Nelson-Douglas (@Makhi_02) June 1, 2020
>> New Huskers commit Shawn Hardy showing on social media that he isn’t just a great football player but a great student-athlete.
Have to be great on and off the field. pic.twitter.com/qa6P1giGeo
— Shawn Hardy II (@ShawnHardyII1) May 30, 2020
>> Major 2022 target from Missouri Dasan McCullough was offered by Clemson on Monday.
— Dasan Mccullough ¹✊🏾 (@Dasan2022) June 1, 2020
>> California wideout Xavier Worthy trimmed his list and the Huskers did not make the cut.
Thank you to All the schools that gave me a chance to play at the next level🙏🏽…
Final 6️⃣ pic.twitter.com/NIoJxFQFQq
— The Real Flash⚡️❄️ (@Xavierworthy2) June 1, 2020
>> We unveiled the Hail Varsity Football Yearbook cover that features senior cornerback Dicaprio Bootle.
>> Consistency will be key for the Huskers at outside hitter for Nebraska volleyball, writes Jacob Padilla.
>> In the latest Moore To It Podcast, Jay Moore is talking golf with Brady Schnell.
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.