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Nebraska Recruiting: Setting Needs for 2022 Recruiting Class a Moving Target

February 11, 2021

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.


Each recruiting cycle has different sets of needs. Attrition, injuries, balancing classes and other factors play into those needs each year. Nebraska has two needs that are essentially set in stone each cycle. The team will always want to take a quarterback each cycle. Coach Scott Frost and quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco like carrying at least four scholarship quarterbacks on the team.

The other need that will never go away is outside linebacker. Nebraska is a base 3-4 defense that also likes to give multiple looks. The need will always be there to get hybrid outside linebackers who can rush the passer and stop the run in the Big Ten. Aside from the two standing needs for the Huskers, the rest of the list can be pretty fluid. Even needs that are important for the class can shift through the cycle.

Think back through last recruiting cycle. Nebraska lost three starters from the defensive line. You’d assume the team would be going heavy after replacements in the 2021 class. Things didn’t quite work out that way. The staff did a good job of getting young players ready behind those starters. They performed well in the 2020 season during their time to shine. The Huskers then ended up taking two defensive linemen in the 2021 recruiting class.

There are a pair of position groups that could shift around. Their position on the needs scale this winter and spring depends on a few factors. Both are skill positions. Frost is excited about the skill positions heading into this offseason.

“This is the best depth we’ve had by far, and the best overall talent we’ve had by far at the skill spots, in my opinion,” Frost said.

Defensive back has the ability to control its own destiny. The team got a big boost for the 2021 season with Marquel Dismuke and Deontai Williams returning to school. The future of that position group will depend on a bevy of players. At safety, Noa Pola-Gates and Myles Farmer are players with a lot of potential. Each has been injured with Farmer suffering his injury last season. Getting both players to 100% and contributing will be big. That could determine how hard to recruit safeties. Braxton Clark’s return from injury after showing flashes of promise is also a key. Quinton Newsome and Tamon Lynum are two other corners in the program with a lot of promise too.

Wide receiver is the other position. We could feel differently about after the winter, spring and into the season. The group is young right now and will should mostly be in tact beyond this season. In the 2021 recruiting cycle the Huskers signed three wideouts. Four of the five receivers signed in the 2020 recruiting class are still on campus. If that group progresses that could make the need smaller for Nebraska in the 2022 recruiting class. At the least it could allow Nebraska to focus in on quality over quantity.

There is a reason these small tweaks to the numbers in 2022 matter so much. It’s expected that spots in the 2022 class will be smaller around the country. This might be the year that Nebraska isn’t able to take a full boat of recruits even if there is more attrition. There is good news. There are position groups on campus that can help ease recruiting efforts.

Recruit Watch

>> Columbus linebacker Ernest Hausmann got another Big Ten offer when Northwestern was added to his offer list on Thursday.

>> Priority 2023 Iowa offensive lineman Kadyn Proctor was offered by USC.

>> Check out the edit the Huskers did for 4-star defensive back Jordan Allen who is from Louisiana.

ICYMI

>> Brandon Vogel took a look at inferring a 2021 win total (Premium) from the Huskers’ initial S&P rating.

>> As Jacob Padilla writes, Kayla Caffey played catch-up to earn a starting role at Nebraska.

>> The latest entry into the Scoring the 2021 Huskers series is special teams.

>> On Wednesday night the Huskers couldn’t sustain a good start in a loss to No. 21 Wisconsin.

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