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.
This weekend had a strange feel to it in Lincoln. Typically, the last weekend before National Signing Day in February is a big one. It is normal for the staff to host one final group of official visitors. That's part of a push to finish the recruiting class strong. Instead, the Huskers did not host an official visitor this weekend and only hosted one in the entire month of January. Nebraska is only still actively recruiting one prospect, Tanoa Togiai, but he took his official in December. There is a reason for the quiet weekend leading up to the dead period resuming. It's because of the work the staff was able to put in for the December signing period.
The Huskers are fortunate to be in the position they are in currently. Not having to scramble to fill the recruiting class provides a couple key bonuses. First, there aren’t many prospects left on the board. It was anticipated that the implementation of the early signing period would cause a high number of prospects to end the process early. The number of early signees seems to climb each year as a result. That means more schools are fighting over a smaller number of players by February. That is not a place you want to find yourself in if you have needs. Schools with coaching changes are at a big disadvantage due to this.
Second, having 23 players signed in December for the current class pays off for future class recruiting. At this point Nebraska is caught up with recruiting cycles. Now the Huskers can focus on working ahead after being behind the eight ball when this staff first took the job. Since recruiting these days isn’t just about the current cycle, it takes a long time to get caught up. During January, the Huskers were able to get out on the road and spend a lot of time evaluating 2021, 2022 and even 2023 prospects. This staff is known for an ability to recognize talent early. Getting the chance to do that and build relationships earlier should pay dividends down the road
Because the team hosted just one official visitor this month doesn’t mean they weren’t busy when not on the road. The team hosted a pair of Junior Days this month and several top targets for the 2021 recruiting cycle made their way to Lincoln. Many came away impressed with the attention to detail from the staff. Other highlights were the strength and conditioning presentation and future facility plans.
While it is ultimately a good thing that Nebraska had a quiet weekend, it also doesn’t make it any less of a strange feeling. Yet, it is a feeling that Scott Frost and his staff would prefer to keep going year to year. This could become the new normal and that is OK.
>> The Huskers added an intriguing walk-on Sunday when Oklahoma native Tyler Crawford annnouced his commitment to the team. Crawford is joining as a kicker and punter who saw 44/65 kickoffs go for touchbacks last season.
#committed 🔴⚪️ #GBR 🌽 pic.twitter.com/DeAiUyFryw
— Tyler Crawford (@TylerCr81) February 2, 2020
>> Hayden Nelson, a 2021 Wisconsin defensive end, got a visit from offensive line coach Greg Austin last week. Nelson visited Nebraska for the game against Northwestern last season.
Thanks @GregAustin2717 for making the trip to my school last week #GBR pic.twitter.com/sWJSVq7GHP
— Hayden Nelson (@Hayden9Nelson) February 2, 2020
>> Kris Abrams-Draine was the lone official visitor for Nebraska this month. He committed to Missouri.
Canceled my visit and committed to the ZOU🐯 pic.twitter.com/apm5Sr8eg3
— Kris Abrams-Draine🦍 (@KD1ERA) January 31, 2020
>> A 2022 Colorado running back to know, Gavin Sawchuk, picked up an offer from Wisconsin. He’s one of the fastest players in the state regardless of class.
Blessed to say I have received an offer to play football at The University of Wisconsin. Huge thanks to Coach Chryst, @CoachAprilUW & the rest of the staff for this opportunity. Thanks to the coaching staff at Valor, #OnWisconsin #weaponx @GoValorFootball @valorsportsnet pic.twitter.com/1u87pJ74ZP
— Gavin Sawchuk (@G28football) January 31, 2020
>> Brandon Vogel made the case Sunday morning that we need to grade coaching hires on a curve.
>> Derek Peterson continues to ‘score the Huskers’ and turned his focus on the running backs.
>> Erin Sorensen took a dive into Nebraska’s history with the Super Bowl.
>> The listless men’s Husker basketball team lost their seventh straight game on Saturday night in a poor showing.
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.