Herbie Husker at football game
Photo Credit: John Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: The Impact of a New Athletic Director for the Huskers

July 14, 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.


The Huskers ended their two-week search for an athletic director on Wednesday. It was announced that former Husker defender and UNO athletic director Trev Alberts will take the open athletic director position. During those two weeks, one question came up from fans: does what is happening with the athletic director position matter to recruits?

The short answer for me is no.

Recruits want to see stability and upward trajectory in the program. What happened in this case with Bill Moos wasn’t necessarily tied to any one sport. The football team’s underperformance so far under coach Scott Frost is not what led to his earlier than anticipated retirement. There are exceptions to that rule though. We have actually seen it play out at Nebraska. When Shawn Eichorst was let go, that was clearly seen as a precursor to the decision to fire Mike Riley.

When Moos was brought in, his first priority was to evaluate the football program. Job two was to hire Frost. That situation caused some panic with recruits. Schools were able to use that against Nebraska on the recruiting trail. It’s also different when these moves are made in season. Alberts doesn’t enter his new position at Nebraska with that same mandate.

There was something that caught my attention from a football player at Nebraska. We were able to speak with tight end Austin Allen following the press conference. Allen contributed to on an advisory committee that helped select Nebraska’s athletic director. He spoke about the importance of Alberts being a former football player at Nebraska.

“A guy like Trev Alberts, he’s been in my shoes,” Allen said. “He’s been in my shoes and he’s been through it all. He understands what we’re going through as student-athletes, and that’s promising to me as a football player. He has a background of exactly what goes on here. He’s been doing it for a decade now. He’s not here for two years, just by talking to him. He’s here for the long run, Nebraska is where he wants to be.

“Like I said, it’s nice that he’s been in my shoes. So, he understands what I’m going through at this point. I know he will be a voice for all the rest of the athletics here too.”

I think who the athletic director is becomes much more important for players once they are on campus. Not every athletic director meets recruits during the recruiting process. Even if they do meet it is not much interaction outside of introductions. Once a player is on campus they want to feel like the athletic director will take what they have to say into account. The perception is helped by having a former Nebraska student-athlete running the department.

There are a lot of factors that go into why recruits pick a school. The athletic director doesn’t move the needle much in that process.

Recruit Watch

>> Check out Husker 2024 quarterback target Dylan Raiola getting it done on the mound this summer.

ICYMI

>> The Huskers added a commit on Wednesday when Florida defensive lineman Hayden Schwartz joined the class.

>> As Derek Peterson writes, Trev Alberts can find success not by following the Nebraska way but if he stays true to his way.

>> Fred Hoiberg, Will Bolt and Austin Allen offered thoughts on Nebraska’s hire of Trev Alberts.

>> The Mind Your Own podcast is back and their episode on name, image and likeness is here.

>> In his latest Padding the Stats Jacob Padilla explores Shoe Circuit Grassroots basketball coming to Omaha.

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