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.
The questions never stop in the recruiting world. No matter what time of year it is, there is always something to talk about so we have been taking reader and listener suggestions on questions. I then answer the questions in a quick video. For this week’s topic we are diving into a question from Twitter. This week’s question from Tyler is all about selling the vision to recruits.
So, the first few years of a coaches tenure they sell a vision to recruits and that ultimately gets some to buy in. If in gear 4 what types of challenges are there if results are limited? How likely are we to see “game changers” in classes going forward if we continue to struggle
— Foss_93 on twitch ❤ (@Foss_07) September 2, 2021
This question is tricky because it gets to the heart of one of the great recruiting mysteries. Does a coaching staff need results to be able to land “difference-making” recruits? The answer to that in most cases is yes. Programs generally need to have success to show recruits to get them excited. That success doesn’t have to come from the coaches’ current school.
In the first-year of a coaching tenure, it appears easier to get players excited to join the program. Scott Frost had a lot going for him when he took the Nebraska job. He was coming off a high-profile undefeated season. His Central Florida team put up video game offensive numbers. Things looked fun down in Orlando. Frost was coming home to resurrect his alma mater. Sounds like a compelling pitch for high school talent.
Fast forward to Frost’s fourth season. Everyone acknowledges that things haven’t gone as expected. Wins have been tough to come by. That casts doubt in prospects’ minds about the vision Nebraska is selling.
‘Things will be different once I have my guys.’ Coaches find creative ways to say that to prospects. A lot of Frost recruits are now on the field. That pitch is weakened.
The other selling point that schools use even if the wins aren’t there is the NFL. Every high school prospect believes they have a shot at playing professional football. Having a reputation for sending players to the NFL is a huge boost. Nebraska has struggled with that in recent years. The Huskers have only had four players selected in the NFL Draft under Frost. Nebraska developing players to be NFL draft picks at a high rate would boost the ability to sell the vision.
Developing players also helps the program. Prospects need to see current examples of what they can become. A great example of this just happened. Nebraska wide receiver commit Victor Jones Jr. spoke with Hail Varsity after visiting. He was closely watching Samori Touré during the Fordham game. The Nebraska coaches told Jones that he could be used in a similar way. Touré’s success is already helping the Huskers.
Nebraska has geographic disadvantages in recruiting. Most other schools with its resources and history don’t have those. The talent level is on the rise in the region. It’s still not the same talent base as Southern or West Coast schools enjoy. The Huskers need to have strong selling points on the recruiting trail to land ‘difference-makers.’
The staff has good recruiters but they can only do so much when the results are there. If the struggles on the field continue the staff will have to flex its muscles on developing players. That will be the way to improve the team.
>> The Huskers wished 2023 offensive line commit Gunnar Gottula a happy birthday.
— Gunnar Gottula ⁷⁷ 🦦 (@GottulaGunnar) September 13, 2021
>> Check out the sweet feet of 2023 defensive back prospect Ethan Nation.
Footwork 👀. We 3-0. pic.twitter.com/49rzEHwjsD
— Ethan Nation (@ethannation5) September 13, 2021
>> Nebraska defensive end commit Hayden Schwartz released his first three games of highlights.
— Hayden Schwartz (@hayden_schw47) September 13, 2021
>> Derek Peterson discussed a defense trending up, a quarterback firing downfield, the option and more in his weekly column.
>> Steve Marik has five standout plays (Premium) for you from the Buffalo. Game on the rewatch.
>> No. 6 Nebraska volleyball is looking to bounce back at No. 16 Stanford.
>> Nebraska is looking to cut down on turnovers and special teams errors against No. 3 Oklahoma this weekend.
>> In the hallway notebook (Premium) I focused on Teddy Prochazka’s rise, Adrian Martinez’ desire and stacking days ahead of the Oklahoma game.
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.