Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Many Factors at Play When Discussing Transfer Quarterbacks

September 21, 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.


We are in the era of the transfer portal.

The discussion around players transferring in today’s college football world grows each season. It’s no longer something that can be ignored or dealt with if it happens to come up. Now teams need strategies for how to scout and recruit players that are looking to transfer.

I was asked a couple of weeks ago for our recruiting question of the week video if I thought the Huskers would go after a quarterback in the transfer portal this offseason. Part of my answer was that we needed to let more things develop because we were too early in the season to know. We have had some developments that could re-shape the answer to this question.

Adrian Martinez is having a great season so far. If he continues at this pace, he will be an All-Big Ten caliber quarterback. That might make for a good time for him to move on from Nebraska despite having the ability to return for a bonus year. For the sake of this discussion, let’s say Martinez moves on after the season.

Logan Smothers and Heinrich Haarberg would be the two returning scholarship quarterbacks. Nebraska’s 2022 quarterback commit Richard Torres arrives in Lincoln in January. The early enrollee’s availability is in doubt now that his season is over with a knee injury. Would that change the Huskers’ thinking on adding a transfer quarterback?

Nebraska has been active adding transfers at many positions on the team. Currently, quarterback is the only position on the offense without a transfer player. I spoke with offensive coordinator Matt Lubick about the challenges of bringing in a transfer quarterback.

“It all depends on who you have on your team and your own roster,” Lubick said. “If you take a transfer quarterback, is he going to help you? Is he going to be an upgrade? Can he play right away? That’s the biggest question with not just the quarterback but any position. Usually, quarterbacks coming from a transfer position because they are coming in to play. You got to weigh where you are with your own depth chart and can they play? Then how well does the guy learn? That’s hard to find out sometimes for a transfer.

“There’s a whole bunch of things you got to measure when you’re looking at a transfer like that? Because the quarterback to especially play early, there’s a lot we put on that guy mentally. Can they be there in the summertime? Those are all big factors.”

Team chemistry is a concern to consider too. Not just in the quarterback room but on the entire team. The question of if a quarterback will detract from or add to the team culture is a key. At the end of the day the central question is if a quarterback can help the team. Could that player compete for a starting job? Nebraska is not in that position currently as we enter the heart of Big Ten play.

Things might be different after the season. That all depends on what the picture looks like at quarterback.

Recruit Watch

>> Check out the edit that the Huskers made for Lewis Central running back Jonathan Humpal.

>> Midseason highlights are posted for 2023 defensive end/outside linebacker Asa Newsom.

ICYMI

>> The latest Straight Up Breakdown podcast is here to talk a little bit of running and a lot of Nebraska-Oklahoma.

>> In Conversations with Cook (Premium), Jacob Padilla explores lineups, toughness and super seniors.

>> Erik Chinander felt that tackling needed to be improved during the Oklahoma game. Chinander also acknowledged that his defense played well (Premium) but he wants them to be “air tight.”

>> The defensive line is excited for the challenge (Premium) that Michigan State presents this weekend.

>> Husker volleyball is focused on accountability as focus turns to Northwestern.

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