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Nebraska Recruiting: Using NFL Combine as a Recruiting Tool

March 01, 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.


After having just one player invited to the 2019 NFL Combine for the Huskers, some were left scratching their heads. Those feelings changed this year. Defensive linemen Darrion Daniels and Carlos and Khalil Davis were invited. So was Lamar Jackson, a four-year cornerback for the Nebraska defense. All have been in Indianapolis over the last few days to compete at the pre-draft workout. The goal is to improve their draft stocks. 

That's closer to what the Huskers want for representation at the marquee event. The team used it as a way to market itself to prospects they are after on the recruiting trail.

It is good to have many players representing your school at the combine. It’s great to have them making a big impression, garnering buzz throughout the weekend. 

Something also dawned on me leading up to the NFL Combine. The Huskers participating were brought to Lincoln by three different coaching staffs. The Davis twins were originally recruited by Bo Pelini’s staff. Jackson was one of the prized recruits of the Mike Riley Era. Darrion Daniels transferred to Nebraska under Coach Scott Frost. 

Those facts are another stark reminder of how much turmoil Nebraska football has operated under in recent years. Different coaches, training styles and defenses surely had an impact on the development of Husker players in recent years. Consistent training and messaging from Frost and head strength and conditioning coach Zach Duval will help a great deal, especially with the way recruits rave about what Duval has to offer. Remember what Bellevue West wide receiver Keagan Johnson told Hail Varsity after his most recent visit to Lincoln.

“It was super eye-opening with all the technology and tracking,” Johnson said. “The technology they use at Nebraska is crazy. Being able to measure what your body is prepared for that day, how much sleep you got last night. It’s a whole bunch of stuff that I didn’t even know you could do. It was super eye-opening.”

As the Huskers get off the ground under Frost, they need a thing. Something that when you look at the program you know what to expect. It could end up being quarterback play. It might be good offensive lines under offensive line coach Greg Austin. Becoming known as a school that can prepare guys for the NFL would be a big thing. I hear repeatedly in conversations with recruits that they want to go to the NFL.

If prospects feel comfortable that they will be developed into having a shot at the NFL it is a game changer for the Huskers.

Recruit Watch

>> Check out Husker signee Nash Hutmacher making history on the wrestling mat, winning his fourth straight Class A heavyweight title.

>> Huskers priority defensive end target Ru’Quan Buckley picked up an offer from Minnesota over the weekend.

>> Mekhi Miller, a 2022 wide receiver, will be in Lincoln for Junior Day on March 14. 

>> Keeshawn Silver, one of the top defenders in the Southeast, released a top seven that did not include the Huskers. 

>> Omaha Westside star cornerback Avante Dickerson picked up another Big Ten offer when Penn State added itself to his list of suitors. 

ICYMI

>> We have a running post on how the Huskers are performing in the NFL Combine this year. 

> > JUCO cornerback De’Jahn Warren is a hot prospect right now. He told Hail Varsity how thankful he is for it all (Premium) and gave the latest on his recruitment. 

>> Jacob Padilla reached out to get some background (Premium) on the latest Nebraska basketball commit Kobe King.

>> Derek Peterson spoke with former Oregon quarterback Nate Costa to get more information on what Matt Lubick is bringing to the table. 

>> The Husker seniors leave behind a foundation, hard work and resiliency according to Jacob Padilla.

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