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Photo Credit: Greg Smith

Nebraska Recruiting: Looking Into Huskers’ Success in Iowa

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.

Recruiting in the 500-mile radius is always a big deal for Nebraska. In the last few cycles since Scott Frost arrived in Lincoln, a shift has happened to recruit more of the “Big Ten footprint” which has resulted in an increased number of battles on the recruiting trail with programs the Huskers will play.

There is also what the Huskers have been attempting to do in Iowa. Nebraska has been steadily ramping up its efforts in the Hawkeye State ahead of this huge cycle in the state for 2021. After the transition class in 2018 the Huskers have landed at least one Iowa native. They have also added walk-ons from the state every year.

The talent in Iowa for 2021 is special. Nebraska, along with many other programs, have noticed the uptick in talent. Ten of the top 14 players in the state hold an offer from Nebraska. What happened with those 10 and where they are going to school is fascinating. The top three players in Iowa are leaving the state––Thomas Fidone is heading to Nebraska, outside linebacker TJ Bollers is going to Wisconsin and q uarterback Jake Rubley, who did not have a Nebraska offer, is going to Kansas State.

It’s not hard to imagine what the reaction would be locall if Nebraska lost the top three in-state players, especially if two of the three were major national-level recruits. Nebraska did lose two of the top three players in this class with one heading to Iowa City. But they did go 4-for-6 with the offered Nebraskans in 2021.

When you zoom the lens out a bit, the Hawkeyes performed better. Overall Iowa did well in their home state holding verbal commitments from nine of the top 14 players. There is still one uncommitted Iowan in that group. There is another thing worth noting. Iowa has cleaned up against Iowa State this cycle within the borders. There isn’t an Iowa native inside the top 17 prospects that is committed to the Cyclones.

The 2020 cycle was better for the Cyclones since they landed three of the top seven from their state. Iowa got three of the top five though. Nebraska landed outside linebacker Blaise Gunnerson. He was rated as the third best player in Iowa for 2020.

Iowa battling Nebraska to keep prospects home is going to continue into the 2022 recruiting cycle. There is early crossover between the two programs with more to follow if the pattern from the last two cycles holds. In the end these battles will only make the rivalry on the field continue to grow.

Recruit Watch

>> One of the top 2022 players in Iowa, athlete Xavier Nwankpa was offered by Ohio State on Monday.

>> Papillion-La Vista 2022 athlete Tyson Money has started his season strong by consistently making plays like the one in this clip.

>> Early 2022 national prospect Kenji Swanson has an impressive group of first 15 offers under his belt.


>> Derek Peterson has thoughts on recruiting and a subdued but impressive start for Heinrich Haarberg in his latest column.

>> A lot of things brought Tyler Hildebrand back to Lincoln but the relationship with John Cook sealed the deal writes Jacob Padilla.

>> In the latest Moore To It podcast Jay catches up with former Husker Zach Potter.

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