Photo Credit: Greg Smith

Nebraska Recruiting: NCAA Recruiting Rules Changes Just the Start of Change-Filled Summer

May 19, 2022

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 NCAA Division I Council voted Wednesday to put a two-year waiver in that shakes up the recruiting landscape. Programs will be allowed to sign a larger number of recruits in a year. This will surely help some programs and have unintended consequences.

The previous rule on initial counters was that schools could sign 25 scholarship players in a recruiting cycle. That were ways to increase that number with countbacks and other loopholes. Teams were able to count early enrollees back a class if they had the space. That allowed them to take more players in the current class.

These rules quickly became outdated in the transfer portal era. Schools can now see double-digit players enter the transfer portal in a given year. It’s harder for teams to keep up with attrition so teams end up under the 85-man scholarship limit more often. Even if they want to sign more to get back to 85, it isn’t possible.

Now there is a new rule for two years. A team can sign as many players as they want in a recruiting class but they just have to stay under the 85-man limit. That will provide a way around some interesting situations for schools. Coaching changes can batter a school’s scholarship situation right now. It doesn’t matter if your school hires a good replacement for a coach, like Oklahoma did this offseason. You can still see a lot of attrition that you weren’t expecting. This rule helps that particular problem.

It’s also easier for coaches to move on from players. Coaches encouraging attrition is part of the college football landscape. It’s become talked about openly more over the last year because teams have the portal to pluck players from. Now that coaches can take more than 25 players in a class, there should be less worry about replacing players. No longer worrying about being at the limit of players for that cycle helps.

The rule change is brand-new so we don’t know the eventual impact. Ultimately it could be viewed as good or bad for players. It’s easier for coaches to move on from non-contributors. The coaches know that they can replace those numbers under these rules. The flip side of that is more teams will be able to pick players up. That opens the possibilities for finding landing spots after entering the portal.

This is just one step in larger changes to college football recruiting this summer. The NCAA seems poised to put transfer windows in place so everyone has a better handle on player movement. The recruiting calendar can always be streamlined too. It’s still too confusing knowing when coaches can contact prospects and how.

Like any rules in college football we will see consequences of this rule that were not anticipated. Smart teams will find a way to maximize within the rules. We’ll all be waiting to see how that plays out.

Recruit Watch

>> The Huskers have locked in an official visit with Pennsylvania linebacker Phil Picciotti.

>> The Huskers were the first defensive end offer for Indiana 2023 tight end Jackson Carver.

>> Nebraska 2024 tight end target Christian Bentancur was offered by Vanderbilt on Thursday.

ICYMI

>> I’ve got you covered with an official visit preview for the May 20 weekend for Nebraska. Steve Marik and I also discussed the weekend visitors on the Hail Varsity YouTube page.

>> Teddy Prochazka and Gabe Ervin are working their way back after season-ending injuries.

>> I caught up with Scottsbluff offensive lineman Brock Knutson who is ready for June official visits and a summer decision.

>> Steve Marik dove into how September could unfold if Nebraska beats Northwestern and if it doesn’t.

>> Marik and I discussed our three most intriguing Husker football games for the 2022 season.

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