Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Should Huskers Pursue Familiar Name in Transfer Portal?

December 21, 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.


This is offseason is going to be wild around college football.

OK, it’s always a bit on the crazy side but hear me out. The transfer portal is exploding. So many players have entered the portal this month. It will force many of them to drop below FBS football to get a roster spot somewhere. The flip side to the musical chairs game is that teams looking to fill holes on the roster will have the opportunity to try with the portal.

Coming off a 3-5 season, the Huskers are certainly a team that should be looking into players in the portal. No one should ever be handed a starting job but new competition could help the team quite a bit. You can make the argument that Coach Scott Frost and his staff should add a transfer at many positions. On that, we didn’t expect to be talking about coming into the 2020 season was running back.

This season’s running back usage was confusing. A running back didn’t lead the team in carries this season. Each scholarship running back dealt with injury or health related issues. The running game never seemed to be a consistent factor for the team. We aren’t sure yet if Dedrick Mills is returning for an additional year of college football. Behind him, there is very little experience. Rahmir Johnson, Marvin Scott, Ronald Thompkins and Sevion Morrison all return.

So, when former Nebraska target from the 2018 recruiting class TJ Pledger announced he was entering the transfer portal, there was immediate interest from Husker fans.

Then running backs coach Reggie Davis and coach Mike Riley pursued Pledger hard. Even though he was committed to Oklahoma at the time, that staff got him to take an official visit.

Pledger was a 4-star prospect that year. He stuck with the Sooners over Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, UCLA and others. In college, Pledger has struggled to get the bulk of Oklahoma’s carries but he has had production. In 2020, Pledger got 95 carries for 451 yards and five touchdowns. He ends his time at Oklahoma with 695 yards and six touchdowns on a total of 135 carries in his time with the Sooners.

Should the Huskers pursue the former target? In my opinion, absolutely. Pledger has Power 5 experience at positions of need. He is already familiar with Nebraska. Those guys don’t come available often. It makes a lot of sense for the Huskers to quickly move on gauging his interest in transferring to Nebraska.

Pledger will have lot of options on the table. So ultimately this will come down to what part of the country he wants to play in and the best fit for him. Nebraska should make its own pitch on why Lincoln would be the right fit this time for him.

Recruit Watch

>> Baylor transfer quarterback Charlie Brewer committed to Utah over the weekend.

>> Incoming freshman Thomas Fidone is getting ready to hit the ground running with his training.

>> Major 2022 athlete target Brenen Thompson from Texas will be dropping his top 12 soon.

ICYMI

>> Nebraska is worn out and that perfectly is fine, writes Derek Peterson.

>> Jacob Padilla has a look around the Big Ten as the Huskers head into conference play.

>> Watch Fred Hoiberg speak about the Big Ten, playing over the holidays and more.

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