Nebraska Cornhuskers fans release the balloons after the first touchdown against the Fordham Rams
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Nebraska Recruiting: Positive Buzz From Weekend Gives Huskers Needed Boost

May 01, 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.


We knew this could be a good weekend for Nebraska.

Husker fans have been waiting for this weekend since TCU EDGE transfer Ochuan Mathis announced his commitment date. The timing of the announcement also lined up with the NFL Draft. The Huskers had several players that were hoping to hear their names called by NFL teams.

These are the type of offseason weekends that can build momentum.

The stakes are high for Nebraska football right now. It’s a popular thing now to poke fun at the program “winning the offseason” but each piece of good news is helpful for a program going through a lot of transition. These offseason victories are key. They will help the Huskers’ chances of turning things around under coach Scott Frost. It’s better than having all bad news in the offseason.

The biggest need for Nebraska football in recruiting for years has been pass rush. Nebraska landing a commitment from the best pass rusher in the transfer portal is a huge deal. Mathis tallied 15 and a half sacks over his career at TCU. He (6-5, 220) was also a two-time second-team All-Big 12 selection with the Horned Frogs. Mathis could be a big addition for the Huskers on and off the field. His pass rush skills should help free up Garrett Nelson. Mathis should help the secondary which is breaking in new starters.

Off the field, this was a big win for Nebraska’s ability to mobilize NIL quickly. We are never going to know the full details on how big of a factor NIL played in his decision to pick Nebraska. We will also not know the exact figure he’s slotted to earn. What we do know is that Nebraska can compete with anyone in the country with NIL packages. That perception is good enough to get the program’s foot in the door with players it may not have been able to get in front of before.

The NFL Draft also provided highlights for Nebraska this weekend. The team had three players selected in the draft. Those players give the Huskers unique stories to sell recruits. The program can sell recruit identification and development. It’s important to show how the team helped get a high-profile transfer up to speed. In the transfer portal era that will be a powerful pitch.

Things didn’t go 100% to plan for the Huskers in the draft. A couple players didn’t get picked who were projected as draft picks. That’s tough but those players were signed quickly as free agents.

The positive buzz for the program comes at a great time. It gives more material for Huskers to sell on recruiting trail. The assistant coaches are the road for the evaluation period. Mathis was a high-profile transfer that surely caught the attention of recruits. Every recruit also wants to know the plan to get them to the NFL.

Nebraska has more to use while trying to finalize official visits for late May and June. The next step will be to see if Nebraska can rise up recruits’ lists. Can it get in on players that the team didn’t have a great shot with before? We’ll know more on that when we see who takes official visits to Lincoln this summer.

Recruit Watch

>> The Huskers offered Florida 2023 defensive end Gavin Hill over the weekend.

>> Nebraska is part of an early group of offers for 2023 Texas defensive back Tay’Shawn Wilson.

>> Class of 2023 EDGE Michael Kilbane was offered by Nebraska. The Ohio native is up to 30 scholarship offers.

ICYMI

>> With an eye toward next year’s NFL Draft, Ochaun Mathins picked Nebraska over Texas as Steve Marik writes.

>> Steve and I gave our instant analysis of the Mathis decision on the Hail Varsity YouTube page.

>> Check out which NFL teams the former Huskers signed undrafted free agent deals with.

>> Those who know Turner Corcoran have seen a change in the Huskers’ offensive lineman.

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