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 so many ways, this year can be summed up with one word: strange. There is no better word to describe the feeling around the early signing period starting tomorrow. The Huskers have at least one more football game this week. The staff is likely going through coffee and energy drinks at a rapid this week with everything going on.
The end result on Wednesday will feel familiar. Nebraska will have 20-23 new additions sign with the team. It will be a tremendous day for those players and their families who have worked so hard to get to this point. Yet, how we got here is anything but familiar. The 2021 recruiting class will always have a memorable spot in recruiting history. It will always be known as the class that was put together during a pandemic. That caused no official visits, in-home visits or camps.
There is a huge chunk of the evaluation and relationship building missing from this class. We will see where that leads us with the incoming classes around the country in the coming years.
Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander spoke on Tuesday about the challenges.
“Just like everything else, it’s been challenging,” Chinander said. “We sit here and talk about how hard the recruiting is but I know there’s people in the country that are facing a lot worse stuff than we’re going through – just not being able to meet kids, so I can’t complain too much.”
In a normal year, the Huskers have a game plan they like to use to build relationships with recruits. They get them on campus early and often for unofficial visits, practices and Junior Days. That’s all before the official visits happen during a prospect’s senior year. Because of that, several Nebraska commits have been on campus and met the Husker coaches face-to-face. But not 100% of them.
“Everyone in this recruiting cycle, hopefully you’ve met these kids at some point in time, and for the most part, you do,” Chinander said. “But it was probably once when they were a junior or even younger. Without being able to see them recently, you just don’t get to physically put your eyes on what they look like as they matured. You don’t get to sit in a room and talk to them and really find out about them. Now there’s been a bunch of Zooms and those types of things, and obviously talking to their coaches and everybody around them.
“But the real truth to the matter is there’s going to be kids around the country at every program that are probably going to sign a scholarship letter that have never been in the room with a coach. It is what it is. It had to be that way this year, but that’s a little scary. I don’t think any of us would probably marry somebody that we met over Zoom, but some of that’s got to go on. It’s just a necessity by the situation in the country.”
Everyone is having to make the best of a difficult situation during this year. Wednesday should be a great day for the Huskers welcoming new players into the family, even if a lot of it was strange along the way.
>> It’s the day before the early signing period opens and Nebraska’s recruiting offices are ready to roll.
— Nebraska FB Recruiting (@NEB_Recruiting) December 15, 2020
>> Bellevue West 2022 tight end Kaden Helms picked up an offer from TCU on Monday night.
— Kaden Helms (@KadenJHelms) December 15, 2020
>> The Huskers started sending out graphics for class of 2022 guys to get them excited as the page turns towards them. Check out this one for Oklahoma athlete Chris McClellan.
— Chris McClellan 7️⃣🦍 (@ChrisDMac10) December 15, 2020
>> The latest episode of the Straight Up Breakdown Podcast is here from myself and Jay Foreman. We explain why it is so key that Nebraska has good habits to fall back on.
>> From back yard Husker to the real thing, it’s time for Thomas Fidone to put pen to paper tomorrow. I told the story of how he got here.
>> Husker inside linebacker Collin Miller announced that he is retiring from football following his injury a few weeks ago.
>> Quarterback signee Heinrich Haarberg has “the part upstairs” to succeed in college according to his high school coach.
>> It’s rinse and repeat time in the latest episode of the Moore To It Podcast.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.