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Nebraska Recruiting: Long Term Impacts From Last Year Will Linger

June 07, 2021

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.


The questions never stop in the recruiting world. No matter what time of year it is, there is always something to talk about so we have been taking reader and listener suggestions on questions. I then answer the questions in a quick video. This week’s topic comes from Craig Casper on Facebook.

“I am curious what the recruiting effect will be resulting from the COVID year. If I understand correctly, seniors coming back for the extra year of eligibility do NOT count toward the 85-scholarship limit. With regard to walk ons, one of the carrots is getting a scholarship. How is that extra year of eligibility going to impact the preferred walk-on program?”

This is a good question with a lot of layers to it. Craig is correct. The super seniors that returned to Nebraska do not count against the 85-man scholarship limit this year. There isn’t much impact immediately for putting walk-ons on scholarship. Nebraska has already put running back Jacquez Yant on scholarship this summer. There could still be another player or two that go on. Kicker Connor Culp would be a good candidate for that as the returning Big Ten Kicker of the Year.

The issue that comes in with the extra year of eligibility is after this season. There is a general belief in the recruiting world schools will be taking smaller recruiting classes for the 2022 cycle. That was started by the trickle-down effect of the bonus year. Starting next year, the players that decide to use an extra year of eligibility count towards the 85-man scholarship limit.

Let’s say quarterback Adrian Martinez decides to use his extra year of eligibility. If he returns for the 2022 season his scholarship counts next year. That’s when the math gets fuzzy and the decisions become difficult for the coaching staff. Martinez isn’t someone coach Scott Frost would encourage to move on. But would that mean the team couldn’t take a high school quarterback this recruiting class?

Coaching staffs around the country are going to be dealing with that dilema for the next three years. That is unless the NCAA changes the rules to help. The conversations at most schools will be between keeping a player in your program or bringing in a high school prospect.

At Nebraska, with the focus on the walk-on program, that could be an issue, too. This rule will play a role. So will an effort to keep the roster size manageable. But I do think the Huskers will take fewer walk-ons in the coming years.

This entire issue is quickly turning. It started as a feel-good story. It has the potential now to become a nightmare. We’ll see if the NCAA makes any moves to help schools and student-athletes moving forward.

Recruit Watch

>> Iowa 2022 lineman Luke Vonderhaar enjoyed his unofficial visit to Nebraska last Friday.

>> After his official visit to Nebraska this weekend Indiana offensive lineman Ashton Craig was offered by Michigan.

>> Florida 2023 defensive back Dwight Bootle was offered by Washington State after a good camp performance.

ICYMI

>> The Huskers stayed alive with a dramatic win over the top-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks.

>> After a great official visit the Huskers are in the lead (Premium) for Georgia running back Justin Williams.

>> Derek Peterson took a look into which summer arrivals could see the field right away for Nebraska in 2021.

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