Nebraska Recruiting: Watching Major Targets Visiting Elsewhere
Photo Credit: Greg Smith

Nebraska Recruiting: Navigating the New Landscape In-State

March 07, 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.

In-state recruiting is always a hot topic for college football fans. Regardless of how many players your state produces, no one likes to see homegrown talent playing for another school.

In Nebraska’s 2019 recruiting class, inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud leads in-state recruiting. He went five-for-five with the players the Huskers offered scholarships to. Now, all Ruud has to do is repeat that success as 2020 and 2021 prospects around the state are picking up more and more out of state offers. 

“When I was coming up, I think maybe other teams were scared off by recruiting in-state players because I think, like me, my decision took 25 seconds to make and I think a lot of kids were like that,” Ruud said. “I think the goal for me is hopefully we get it back to the point where if we offer a kid from Nebraska, we’re just expecting him to commit. Right now, we’ve got to prove it I think there are really good players in this state and I think the guys who get a lot of offers from the state, it’s deserved. I think sometimes there are other cities where maybe guys are over-recruited.

“I don’t think Nebraska’s an over-recruited state by any means but I think now other schools aren’t necessarily afraid to come in to Nebraska and offer really good players.”

Often times when thinking about recruiting in the state of Nebraska, Omaha becomes its own isolated case. Last cycle there were definite concerns from fans about the ability to land both linebacker Nick Henrich and tight end Chris Hickman. For Ruud, it’s all about reestablishing the standard and brand of Nebraska football with recruits all over the state.

“I think the biggest thing is, No. 1, a lot of times kids form Omaha aren’t necessarily lifers,” Ruud said. “A lot of them have moved on, their parents have moved on. Sometimes a kid from Omaha, their favorite team growing up isn’t Nebraska, and that’s a little bit different. I think whatever it was, the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, most kids form Nebraska, that was their favorite team and that’s what they grew up doing and that’s not always the case now. I think first and foremost, it starts not he field. If you put a product out there that people like and relate to, then it becomes easier to recruit. That’s not just in Nebraska, that’s in all the states too. It goes hand-in-hand. 

“I think recruiting becomes a lot easier when you play well; that’s always the first step. If the product’s good on the field, recruiting gets a little bit better.”

We have already seen a reignition of enthusiasm among walk-on candidates in the state. When the on-field results are there, I agree with Ruud that recruiting overall will take a step forward.

Recruit Watch

>> The Huskers showed some graphic love to junior college cornerback target Art Green on Wednesday. 

>> Kansas City defensive end target Johnny Wilson also got some neat graphics from the Huskers. 


>> State basketball is back and Jacob Padilla has your preview.

>> There may not be another position with as many questions as running back this spring but that certainly creates some opportunities.

>> Nebraska is bringing a different group of defensive backs to the table and it brings a lot of promise, writes Derek Peterson.

>> The Hail Varsity staff answered the age-old question of “is a hot dog a sandwich” and more in the mailbag.

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