Nebraska Recruiting: Looking At The Need For Pass Rush Help
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Recruiting: Looking At The Need For Pass Rush Help

December 05, 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 are three clear needs that the Huskers are trying hard to fill as they wrap up the 2020 recruiting class. Pass rushers, linebackers and wide receivers are the clear needs for the rest of this cycle. Let’s take a look today at why pass rush is such a need. Also, who the Huskers are still in the mix with as we close in on two weeks until the early signing period opens. 

Nebraska’s defense (and any defense) is made better by having the ability to get after the quarterback while not having to blitz. 

It came up repeatedly during press conferences this season. Nebraska needed to develop the ability to win matchups and affect the passer. The raw sacks numbers for the Blackshirts in 2019 were middle of the road in the conference. Their 27 sacks was good for seventh just above Minnesota’s 26. In 2018 the Huskers registered 25 which was up from the measly 14 sacks in 2017. 

Scott Frost and his staff have tried to bolster the number of players on the roster who can get after the quarterback. Caleb Tannor, David Alston, Jamin Graham and Garrett Nelson have all joined the outside linebacker group. Blaise Gunnerson and Junior Aho are waiting in the wings in the current cycle. Casey Rogers, Tate Wildeman, Ty Robinson, Mosai Newsom and Keem Green have joined the defensive line. That's all since the 2018 class. Nash Hutmacher and Marquis Black are in the current class. 

So, who are the Huskers still in on that are projected pass rushers? 

  • OLB Kaden Johnson
  • OLB Jimari Butler (Tennessee commit)
  • OLB Jared Ivey
  • OLB Keyshawn Greene (FSU commit)
  • OLB Jah Joyner (Boston College commit)
  • JUCO OLB DeVere Levelston
  • JUCO DE Julius Coates (Colorado commit)

Keep in mind that list doesn’t include inside linebackers. For these purposes, I'm not counting JUCO target Eteva Mauga. Just defensive ends and outside ‘backers.

The list the Huskers are working from could continue to grow as they learn more about the interest level of prospects while on the road. The Huskers should add at least two more pass rushers to the mix before the December signing period is over. However, it’s not just up to the new guys to bolster the pass rush. The players on the roster already need to continue developing. The staff needs to coach them up as well.

It’s a clear need and one that the staff seems locked in on trying to address. 

Recruit Watch

>> Outside linebackers coach Jovan Dewitt was in New Mexico to see new commit Junior Aho on Wednesday. 

>> The Huskers made the top five for recently offered slot wideout Alante Brown. He has an official visit lined up to Nebraska soon.

>> Bolingbrook, Illinois, inside linebacker Tyler McLaurin picked up an offer from the Huskers as Greg Austin made the rounds in Illinois.

>> Nebraska’s staff was down in the Florida panhandle yesterday and Scott Frost even got some hoops in. 

ICYMI

>> Stay up to date on where all things Huskers recruiting this week (Premium) with our recruiting tracker. 

>> Nebraska basketball is heading to Georgia Tech for their first road test of the season and Jacob Padilla will get you ready.

>> The Hail Varsity staff is back to answer questions in the mailbag including about Christmas movies and hamburger buns.

>> After early season shooting woes, the Huskers are finding the shooting touch, writes Derek Peterson.

>> Five Husker volleyball players were honored by the Big Ten on Wednesday. 

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