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Nebraska Recruiting: Rapid Changes in College Football Creates Unique Offseason for Huskers

April 26, 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.


College football has always seemed slow or resistant to change. Rule changes have traditionally been slowly introduced at a rate that often left fans scratching their heads. That’s what makes what is currently happening in the sport so jarring for many. The speed that college football has undergone significant change without great structure in place can make your head spin.

The reality of where we are right now in the sport is that college football coaches have a lot to juggle when it comes to roster management.

There is no better example than our current spot in the calendar. The evaluation period is a busy time for assistant coaches to be out on the road in high schools. They meet with high school coaches and get a look at various high school prospects. It’s a great time for colleges to show interest in players and discover new prospects. There are a couple key wrinkles for the Huskers this time around.

The first thing is that Nebraska is reshuffling recruiting efforts on the fly with new assistant coaches and people in the recruiting department. That included moving Bill Busch to a full-time assistant.

“We got a lot better as a staff from a recruiting standpoint, just the effort that those guys put in,” Coach Scott Frost said on Sports Nightly. “One or two more special players can make a difference and those guys are really doing what they need to do to get those guys in. Bill is experienced at it, he’s recruited to a lot of different places and he’s recruited to Lincoln before. He works as hard at it as anybody I’ve been around.”

We should not underestimate the difficulty for the staff to come together and get the recruiting operation humming while also preparing for an important 2022 season. The other wrinkle that has grown a great deal since in Frost’s time at Nebraska is the transfer portal. It’s a double-edged sword for a program like Nebraska that is rebuilding. For every Casey Rogers that you might not want to lose there is an Ochaun Mathis who you’d be thrilled to add.

Managing additions from the portal and attrition almost year-round makes things difficult. Then there is name, image and likeness.

“To be honest, we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg right now,” Frost said. “Every time you hear a new story or what a kid’s getting or what’s happening out there, it seems to get more and more extreme. It’s going to change college football as we used to know it and I don’t think anybody’s sure where the ball is going to stop rolling. But it’s going to be a tumultuous few years here until something happens to try to get a handle on all these changes.”

The portal and NIL are related because they share something important. Both are things that most college football coaches would rather not have to deal with. They are also both things that you aren’t going to win at a high-level without. Those trains have left the station and coaches have to at least position their schools to take advantage of opportunities.

This is a unique time in college football. The skills required to operate a program at a high level has evolved rapidly. It’s making for a very interesting offseason for Nebraska football.

Recruit Watch

>> The Huskers offered California early 4-star wide receiver Jordan Anderson on Monday.

>> Nebraska 2024 tight end target Christian Bentancur was offered by Virginia Tech.

>> Nebraska also offered California 2023 offensive lineman Elishah Jackett.

ICYMI

>> Steve Marik has all the details on what Frost said during his ‘Sports Nightly’ appearance including defensive line depth and the quarterback competition.

>> Defensive back Cam Taylor-Britt is up next in Jacob Padilla’s Path to the Draft series.

>> It’s time to re-score the tight ends after an injury-filled spring for the Huskers.

>> Nebraska volleyball defensive specialist Keonilei Akana entered the transfer portal.

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