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Nebraska Recruiting: Newcomers Can Provide Boost but Development is Key for Huskers

March 17, 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 inching closer to spring football. We’ll be talking about which players are impressing and who is pushing up the depth chart before you know it. One thing about spring football and all that it brings has been on my mind lately.

We are preparing for coach Scott Frost’s fourth season running the Husker program. There are a lot of newcomers to be excited about. The Huskers landed transfers that could have an instant-impact on the program. Wide receiver Samori Toure, running back Markese Stepp and linebacker Chris Kolarevic should all have roles on the team this fall. We never saw punter Daniel Cerni in action last season and he counts too for the purposes of this discussion.

Then there are the incoming freshman. Every year there are first-year players that find their way into the rotation. Tight end Thomas Fidone seems like a safe bet to achieve that feat. There is good early buzz about running back Gabe Ervin. There is bound to be another player or two that rises up quickly.

What I keep coming back to in my mind when thinking about the exciting newcomers is simple. At this point in Frost’s tenure, it’s not enough to rely on the cavalry of newcomers to arrive and save the program. We’ve been here before all too many times and it hasn’t worked. It would be great if these newcomers hit the ground running and provided an immediate spark for the team. What is more important for Nebraska’s fortunes in the 2021 season is what happens with the returning players.

Development is going to be crucial for this team over the offseason. A full almost normal winter conditioning period plus spring football is so key. The offensive line has a lot of potential but will need time to work together and gel. Stepp could be the starter at running back this season. Who else can carry the ball besides Adrian Martinez? Running back is another position with a lot of players returning with potential. It needs to be developed.

The argument can be made that every position group on the offense will be improved in the 2021 season. If that happens it will likely be driven by the strides made by players returning, not those new to the program. If it feels like this is focused heavily on the offense, that is correct. We know so much more about the defense based on their steady improvement and who is returning.

It is great that Frost and his coaching staff have brought in talent via transfer and the latest recruiting class. The hope is that every year provides new players fans can be excited about. The sooner the Huskers get away from the latest group of players being the saviors of the program the better. It’s too much pressure and leaves out a huge piece of the team building puzzle which is development.

Recruit Watch

>> Former Husker commit Brendan Radley-Hiles is on his way to Washington after entering the transfer portal.

>> Nebraska defensive tackle target Domonique Orange was offered by Illinois on Tuesday.

>> The Huskers are in early on 2023 Iowa defensive lineman David Borchers.


>> In the latest episode of the Mind Your Own podcast Erin Sorensen and Sausha Durkan share their own experiences following the murder of Sarah Everard.

>> The Hail Varsity staff is answering your questions in the mailbag about point guards, jersey retirements and that thing with Oklahoma.

>> Jacob Padilla takes an early look at Nebrasketball heading into the spring in this week’s Padding the Stats.

>> Watch Will Bolt talk Nebraska’s pitching rotation, the Iowa matchup and more.

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