Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Recruiting: Let’s Talk Husker Attrition

September 21, 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.


Nebraska’s attrition issues are not new. We have talked at length about the giant holes in the roster left over the years. Big chunks of recruiting classes didn’t complete their time in Lincoln. So during this recent run of attrition Nebraska has seen, there is an element of “here we go again” fear with fans.

Nebraska lost linebacker Keyshawn Greene, as well as defensive backs Henry Gray and Jaiden Francois. Greene was the most surprising departure and the one with the biggest impact. The linebacker was Nebraska’s highest-rated defensive commit for the 2020 recruiting class. He had legitimate All-Big Ten potential. Losing Gray and Francois hurt too. They were the second and third highest-rated defensive players from the 2020 class. Having quick departures by your top three defensive signees is tough.

Nebraska has put a lot of effort into recruiting Florida under Coach Scott Frost. The fact that all three players are from the Sunshine State stings. There is always risk involved with bringing in players from so far away. It’s all about identifying the right kids as Frost pointed out last December.

“[I have been] recruiting in Florida for a long time and there are some kids that I don’t think it serves them well to leave the state,” Frost said at the time. “There are others that probably the best thing in the world for them is to get out of there and go be their own man somewhere else. I think we focused on the right kids. We focused on kids that were anxious to get out and experience something else.”

There is a big factor that Frost or anyone else could have seen coming. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been wide-ranging. There is one unique trickle-down effect that could be in play, which is players experiencing homesickness when they don’t have their normal routines. Those routines revolve around football while at Nebraska. It can already be a culture shock coming from far away to Nebraska. When you take away the main reason they came to begin with, that can cause some issues.

Despite the recent run of Floridians leaving the program, Nebraska has done well with attrition under Frost. That 2018 transition class had 12 players out of 24 leave early. As we’ve learned through coaching changes, transition classes can be tricky. Since then Nebraska has had four signees leave the team early.

It will be worth tracking over the next few classes if Frost can continue the trend of generally low attrition rates. Being able to maximize the roster will be critical to his success in Lincoln. Identifying the right players, retaining them and developing them sounds easy enough. It has been elusive for Nebraska in recent memory.

Recruit Watch

>> Former Nebraska linebacker Keyshawn Green has transferred to FAU.

>> Arizona offensive lineman Gavin Broscious showed off the mail that he got from the Huskers on social media.

>> Cam’ron Valdez, a 2021 running back target from Texas, posted his electric highlights from week one.

https://www.hudl.com/video/3/6631989/5f53e707b018770b1056c8f5

>> Iowa 2022 athlete Xavier Nwankpa continue being on a roll when he picked up an offer from Texas.

>> Jaren Kanak, a 2022 athlete from Kansas, posted his week one highlights in which he did a little bit of everything.

ICYMI

>> There is a report out that a Big Ten vote is coming this weekend ‘at the earliest.”

>> I offer up an early look (Premium) at Huskers 2022 recruiting storylines.

>> The latest Mind Your Own Podcast with Erin Sorensen and Sausha Durkan is here to discuss what to do when you find yourself home alone.

>> In Padding the Stats this week Jacob Padilla runs through why he is grateful for his opportunity to coach.

>> The Hail Varsity mailbag is back to discuss the effects of saying no to football, domes, logos and more.

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