Bellevue West crushes through the paper sign and runs out onto the field before game
Photo Credit: Greg Smith

Nebraska Recruiting: Ruud Excited For Return of High School Football

August 27, 2019

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.

Nebraska schools will kick off their high school football seasons this week and there are plenty of intriguing storylines to track this fall across the state. Will Omaha Skutt or Omaha Burke be able to repeat? Can Bellevue West complete its mission of unfinished business? Are teams with potential (like Omaha Westside and Elkhorn South) ready to take the next step?

Families and players around the state aren’t the only ones excited for the season to start. Nebraska inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud is too. The Lincoln Southeast legend also runs in-state recruiting for the Huskers, so he has a personal and professional connections to all those Friday night lights. 

“Yeah, I guess it is double importance for me now,” Ruud said following Tuesday’s practice. “Personally, I get very excited about it. Some of my fondest times were playing in high school. It should be competitive in Class A this year. I got to see a lot of those guys in 7-on-7 camps and team camps this summer. It’ll be cool to see who comes out on top.”

One of the other things to watch this season in Nebraska high school football is the rise of young talent around the state. Cornerback Avante Dickerson, offensive lineman Teddy Prochazka and athlete AJ Rollins are just a few of the juniors to keep an eye on this season. More players will likely emerge as potential scholarship players on Nebraska’s radar because it can be difficult to identify Power 5 players early in their high school careers. 

“I think a negative of recruiting is that things really have gotten sped up,” Ruud explained. “There is a lot of room for growth in high school, 16 to 17 is a big jump. Sometimes the guys that are more physically mature when they are younger they get all the attention because they are really good as freshman and sophomores. A lot of guys aren’t really good players until their junior and senior year. You have to be patient and know because a guy isn’t a world-beater as a junior doesn’t mean he can’t be as a senior. In these types of states, you have to have a little bit of patience and watch guys develop throughout their career.”

One player that may be ready to blossom in Lincoln is walk-on and former Kearney standout Isaiah Stalbird. The safety cracked Nebraska’s opening two-deep depth chart on Monday. There will be a lot to watch for around the state this season in high school football. Hail Varsity will be there to keep you informed, starting Thursday when Omaha Burke takes on Lincoln Southeast.  

Recruit Watch

>> Kansas defensive back Dontae Manning is getting ready to narrow things down in his recruitment.


>> I checked in with Nebraska quarterback commit Logan Smothers to get his thoughts on his senior season, when he will visit Nebraska and more. (Premium)

>> Derek Peterson spoke with Blackshirt Jay Foreman about what the tradition means to him. (Premium)

>> The Lo-Down is back to tell you who and what to watch for this volleyball season.

>> Outside hitter is next up on Jacob Padilla’s volleyball preview series. 

>> Georgia native Caleb Tannor has confidence and quickness but also has a chance to make an impact this season. (Premium)

>> The Blackshirts and depth chart are out and Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander is ready for a game. 

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