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Nebraska Recruiting: Transfer Portal Impact on High School Recruiting

December 20, 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 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. This week’s question has been on the minds of a lot of people this month. Twitter user @kincaidgbr wants how lone before high school recruiting will be less important than recruiting from the portal.

This is one of the hottest topics in college football right now. There are several reasons why Husker fans have the portal front of mind currently. The success of Michigan State using the portal to flip its program around shows that it can be a viable path. Coach Mel Tucker expertly navigated the portal. It led to a terrific season ending with a huge contract extension for him.

The portal has also continued to see increased numbers of players enter. We are seeing many more players enter the portal than we did last season. It’s not just players who were not successful at their previous schools that enter the portal. Multi-year starters are now looking for new homes. They are mixed in with players that need a fresh start for more playing time.

We also have to factor in the Huskers desire to restock the talent on the team quickly. That has to happen with more immediate impact players. Those players are coming from the portal and JUCO recruiting for Nebraska this year. The Huskers have made good on that intention so far during the offseason. We’ve seen Nebraska add five scholarship transfers to the roster and one player from JUCO.

It feels like the portal is replacing high school recruiting in college football. A lot of high school coaches out there feel like their players aren’t getting the same looks to play college football that they once did. There is a trickle down effect of schools getting players that have already been in college. It seems to hurt late-blooming high school talent. A lot of colleges will save those spots for transfers now.

The Huskers are certainly in that mode this offseason. The team only added 13 high school players to the roster. Part of that is the team is already young. Some of that is wanting to get older players in the program that can help in 2022 as I mentioned before. Frost commented on this during his signing day press conference.

“I don’t want to live in that world,” Frost said. “If there are players that come up in the portal that we feel like can make us a better team and fit with our culture and our team and make us better we are going to keep our eye on that. Definitely save some spots in case those people show up and want to be in Nebraska.”

There is another factor that has to be considered as teams look at bring transfer players in. One benefit to bringing in high school players is the ability to develop them long-term in your system. The portal is good for solving immediate needs, especially when you pick up a graduate transfer for one season. I think that’s why Nebraska has tried to target more multi-year transfers this offseason. Each transfer for the Huskers has at least two seasons of eligibility.

We’ll see what the long-term effects on high school recruiting the portal has. The teams that recruit in the top 20 of the recruiting rankings will stock their teams with preps talent. If every school starts saving three to five spots for transfers though it will have a big impact.

Recruit Watch

>> Husker tight end signee Chase Androff released his senior highlights over the weekend.

>> De’Myrion Johnson, a 2024 defensive lineman from Louisiana, was offered by the Huskers.

ICYMI

>> Nebraska volleyball assistant coach Ty Hildebrand was named the head coach at Long Beach State.

>> Mickey Joseph wants to ignite a battle in the Huskers wide receiver room as Derek Peterson writes in his latest column.

>> Steve Marik has four 2022 recruits that are the closest (Premium) to seeing the field.

>> Despite changes, Nebraska reverted back to old habits in its loss to Kansas State.

>> Nebraska volleyball finished No. 2 in the AVCA Coaches Poll.

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