Big Red Recon: Looking at Some Big Fish for the Huskers
Photo Credit: Greg Smith

Nebraska Recruiting: Rankings, Development Over Time for Huskers

January 02, 2020

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.

Happy New Year! We made it to 2020. It will take some getting used to typing and saying that but I digress. 

Bowl season is winding down as we have entered a new decade. As we take in all the various matchups, the age-old debate about recruiting rankings has been raging on social media. It seemed to heat up quite a bit after Louisiana Tech took down Miami in the Independence Bowl by the score of 14-0. Miami has 33 four or five-star on its roster while Louisiana Tech has just one. 

I am not actually here to debate the merit of recruiting rankings. I’m a firm believer that “stars” are just the start but fit and coaching matter too.

What I am here to talk about is what that conversation made me think of. We have all reflected on the decade that was for Nebraska football, but that “stars” debate made me curious about the Huskers’ highest rated players last decade.

Here are the top five:

  • Aaron Green (2011)
  • Turner Corcoran (2020)
  • Tyjon Lindsey (2017)
  • Jamal Turner (2011)
  • Charles Jackson (2011)

Current offensive weapon Wan’Dale Robinson and NFL-bound cornerback Lamar Jackson are just behind this group.

Let's give a little more perspective to those top five though. That group comprises five of the top 15 highest-rated Husker recruits since 2000. The Huskers have not made a living recruiting high-end prospects over the last 10 years. Nebraska is a program that develops prospects into good college players. 

That history is why I’m so curious on what the future holds for Nebraska recruiting. The top 20 rated recruits of all-time has three Coach Scott Frost recruits already. That is in two full recruiting cycles. Nebraska signed 17 4-star prospects in the 2019 and 2020 recruiting cycles. Wisconsin signed six, Iowa signed four and Minnesota signed two. As I said before, stars don’t tell the whole story. Frost is 1-5 against those teams early in his tenure at Nebraska. 

It could also be argued that there is room for Nebraska’s recruiting under Frost to get better. Conventional wisdom says that if the Huskers’ staff can recruit like this with bad seasons, it will improve with winning seasons. The hope is that as more of his style of player sees the field more the results will flip. As players develop in Frost's system over multiple seasons, the plan on the field should become consistent.  If Nebraska is going to catch those teams on the field it will be because of a combination of recruiting, development and coaching. 

Based on the early recruiting returns, Frost and his staff are on their way with one piece of the puzzle.

Recruit Watch

>> The Huskers have set the first known official visitor for after the dead period. Kris Abrams-Draine, a wide receiver from Alabama, will take an official after the dead period ends the weekend of Jan. 17.

>> Priority 2021 tight end target Thomas Fidone was identified as one of the top underclassmen in the country. 

>> Naquan Brown, a 2021 4-star defensive end/outside linebacker from Virginia, included the Huskers in his top 10. 


>> Nebraska basketball added junior college transfer Lat Mayen to the 2020 class on Tuesday evening.

>> The Hail Varsity staff put together a roundtable to discuss the defining moments of the decade for Nebraska athletics. 

>> Check out the 2019 year in review for Nebraska volleyball. 

>> The mailbag is also back where we talk new year resolutions for the Huskers and more. 

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