Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Recruiting: Picking a Pair of Huskers to Watch in 2021

January 10, 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.


It is never too early to start thinking toward next season. The roster isn’t fully settled yet but Nebraska will return a lot of players for the 2021 season. The recruiting classes have been solid so there are plenty of players that fans are eager to see more of. If you were to start thinking about this list at this point last year, I would have mentioned Nick Henrich, Myles Farmer and Bryce Benhart as guys we’d be talking about after the 2020 season.

Who could some players be that we haven’t seen much of that could see the field on a regular basis in 2021?

It’s probably too easy to select offensive tackle Turner Corcoran. He burst on the scene late in the 2019 season. Though seeing him as the full-time starter will be something to watch. His development into the cornerstone type of tackle that Coach Scott Frost described him as on his signing day would be a big help for the team.

One of the first names that I thought of was defensive lineman Jordon Riley. The 6-foot-6, 330-pound defender from North Carolina played in a handful of games this season. However, he was slowed by a knee injury that occurred at the end of fall camp.

Heading into the Minnesota game, defensive line coach Tony Tuioti thought he was rounding into form.

“Just now I’m starting to see him be able to get his twitch back,” Tuioti said. “He doesn’t have the knee brace anymore. He’s starting to look like the guy that I saw in training camp that, to me, was going to be a guy that was going to have a really, really good season for us.”

Riley could end up being in a similar position that Casey Rogers found himself in this year. Riley could be a steady contributor. I can see him showing flashes that show why he needs a carved-out role.

On the offensive side of the ball, how about a local player that had one big moment this season? Zavier Betts could be in for an increased role during the 2021 campaign. Betts was just getting his feet wet in the 2020 season. He showed enough that Frost will need to make him part of the weekly gameplan moving forward.

Betts ended the season with 12 receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown. A year of college football and a full year of strength and conditioning work could allow Betts’ potential to shine through.

The roster continues to be settled during the offseason. It can be counted on that new players will need to step up into larger roles for the Huskers in the 2021 season.

Recruit Watch

>> Elkhorn South offensive lineman Isaac Zatechka picked up a preferred walk on offer from Kansas State.

>> Former Notre Dame defensive back Isaiah Rutherford is transferring to Arizona.

>> Seth Malcom is all set to join the Huskers later this month.

>> Check out 2022 defensive end/outside linebacker Samuel Okunlola working on his pass rush technique.

ICYMI

>> Husker defensive lineman Marquis Black has been getting work in this offseason.

>> Take a look at the photos as the No. 5 Husker wrestling team took down the No. 17 Gophers to start the season.

>> Jacob Padilla has the roundup of the MAC Shootout Border Battle.

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