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Nebraska Recruiting: Lessons From True Freshmen Who Played Week 1

September 03, 2019

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.

There is a lot that goes into trying to play early in your Husker career. Getting on the field quickly has nothing to do with where you ranked as a recruit or what state you are from. Things tend to reset once you arrive on campus.

Nebraska has a lot of unique situations this season with its true freshmen and when to play them. The four-game redshirt rule complicates things from a strategy standpoint. We don’t have enough data on this coaching staff using the rule to make any predictions on that. 

“There are some [freshmen] that are clear that they’re going to play, some that are going to redshirt,” Coach Scott Frost said last week. “There are others that we’re going to be in a holding pattern and at least get four games out of them.”

Four true freshmen made their Husker debuts during Saturday’s season opener. Defensive back Quinton Newsome, linebacker Garrett Nelson, wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson and kicker Dylan Jorgensen all saw action against South Alabama. Various Husker coaches spoke this fall about what it takes to play as a freshman. 

But what do the players that got into the game on Saturday think they did to put themselves in position to play? 

“I feel like I was just gaining all the knowledge from the older guys,” Newsome said. “I was taking in everything they were trying to help me out with. I felt comfortable when I came in. I just stayed in the film room a lot with the older guys and made sure I was ready when my name got called.”

Newsome counts the size difference of the players as the biggest change from high school in Georgia to playing college football. The footwork that he was praised for by defensive backs coach Travis Fisher was something he worked on before arriving in Lincoln. 

Scottsbluff's own Nelson had a simple formula to what was behind him getting on the field. 

“I mean, just work hard, man,” Nelson said. “That's all I gotta say. There was no secret, there is no special thing that I did. I'm not different from anybody else. I'm not bigger, stronger, faster. I'm probably one of the slowest dudes. So, you know, just run everywhere and just work hard. Work as hard as you can as long as you can.”

Time will tell which of the other freshmen get into the action for the Huskers this season. It would be wise for future players to learn from the lessons of the class of 2019. Work hard and prepare. It seems so simple until you arrive to college having to put into practice.

Recruit Watch

>> Christopher Paul Jr., who I mentioned in Monday’s notebook about 2021 recruits to watch, had a heck of a game this weekend. 

>> Junior college defensive back target Brian George posted some highlights to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.


>> In this edition of the Lo-Down we see what Husker volleyball is looking for when making the schedule. 

>> I took a look at how much Colorado talent (Premium) is fleeing the state and not just to the Huskers. 

>> Nebraska’s defense is prepared to play ‘Where’s Waldo’ on Saturday against Colorado.

>> Maurice Washington’s legal case has been continued again. 

>> Jacob Padilla has your breakdown of how Frost managed the offense (Premium) against South Alabama.

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