Recruiting never stops and it’s easy to miss the top stories day-to-day. Hail Varsity recaps all things Nebraska recruiting news, analysis and more so you never miss a thing.
The play, at Nebraska this year or any school that has turned to staff changes to shake out of a string of subpar results on the field, is pretty transparent and definitely hopeful. Such a school is looking for a boost, a jolt, a jump-start, whatever term you want to use. The hope is some sort of change (in some cases, any change) results in the actual change needed (in most cases, more wins).
Scott Frost chose the term “shot in the arm” while talking about wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph and running backs coach Bryan Applewhite at Big Ten Media Days on Tuesday. He cited their behind-the-scenes results first, saying both have “done a great job managing their rooms, and the personalities in their rooms, making sure those rooms are disciplined.”
While the season may be technically underway with the Huskers beginning fall camp Wednesday, this is still the summer. The behind-the-scenes gains are things nobody outside the program has been able to see yet. The more visible trajectory for Nebraska’s new additions has been on the recruiting trail, particularly from Applewhite and Joseph.
“I also think we’ve gotten a shot in the arm from recruiting standpoint,” Frost said. “Both those guys love it and are good at it. They’ve gotten us opportunities to get some quality players that we might not have gotten before. It’s been exciting for me to watch that happen.”
Joseph and Applewhite came to Lincoln from two states, Louisiana and Texas respectively, that were very good to the Huskers, particularly during the Tom Osborne years. We’ve already touched on the immediate impact Joseph has had in this space. Small sample size, but the short version is this: The average 247 rating for the 22 receivers Nebraska signed pre-Joseph was 0.8806; since his arrival, that average is 0.8930 across eight receivers, close to the 0.9000 threshold for 4-star status when you include the high school ratings of transfers at the position.
What about Applewhite? He has landed or helped land five players since arriving in mid-January. Applewhite signed 3-star (0.8837) running back Ajay Allen, a former TCU commit from Louisiana, in the 2022 class. He has yet to add a running back for 2023, but 247 Sports lists Applewhite as the primary recruiter for 4-star defensive lineman Riley Van Poppel (0.8996) and 3-star linebacker Dylan Rogers (0.8693), both from Texas. Applewhite was the secondary recruiter, with Joseph serving as the lead, on 4-star wide receiver Omarion Miller (0.9290) and 4-star edge rusher Ashley Williams (0.8996).
The average 247 Composite rating for one of Applewhite’s additions so far is 0.8962 against a Frost-era average of 0.8796 prior to the new assistant’s arrival. That may not seem like a huge difference—nothing does when you’re dealing with four spots after the decimal point—but it’s going from the low end of what the site defines as a “high 3-star” range to the high end. Do that over a long enough span, and it should be a difference people notice.
Frost already has.
>> Current wide receiver commit Jaidyn Doss is looking to raise funds for his high school football team.
https://t.co/ESOhcaMa9K Friends, Family and Fans please help my HS football team by buying a Fundraising Card. It will be shipped to you! Thank You!!
— Jaidyn Doss (@JaidynDoss) July 27, 2022
>> 4-star Florida defensive back Braeden Marshall already announced he had he Huskers in his top three, but now we’ve got a commitment date and time, too.
This Saturday July 30th! Party starts at 6. Commitment at 6:45. Focused on these 3 schools💯 Who Will It Be? For more details about party hit my dm https://t.co/j415GwBHWi
— Braeden Marshall (@MarshallBraeden) July 27, 2022
>>Jacob Padilla power ranks the nonconference schedule for men’s basketball in his latest column.
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.