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.
For the second straight year there was a shakeup to Scott Frost’s coaching staff. It was announced on Monday, Jan. 6, that outside linebackers and special teams coach Jovan Dewitt would be leaving Nebraska for the same position at North Carolina on Mack Brown’s staff.
Dewitt won’t soon be forgotten as he was inspirational during his battle with cancer. He was always a pleasure to talk with and one of the smartest football coaches I’ve ever met. His departure leaves a hole on the coaching staff. There are many ways Frost could elect to go to fill the spot.
What about from a recruiting standpoint?
The newly departed Dewitt had responsibilities in the upper Midwest and in Florida. He played a role in hanging onto outside linebacker David Alston in the 2018 recruiting class. In that same class he also assisted in signing six players from the state of Florida. Dewitt had a hand in landing offensive tackle Bryce Benhart. He was the first point of contact in Minnesota during the 2019 cycle. He was sidelined this past summer due to cancer treatments. Dewitt was active during the contact period leading up to the December signing period last month.
There is an immediate recruiting question that comes to mind when thinking about a new hire. Does Frost want somone with deep connections to a specific area and what area of the country should that be? Let’s say Dewitt’s previous areas are divided up among current staff. Inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud could take over the upper Midwest. A combination of defensive backs coach Travis Fisher and tight ends coach Sean Beckton can hold down Florida.
What other areas could Frost target? Georgia comes to mind but the Huskers have that covered with the coaches on staff. You could always look toward Texas ties. The Huskers could want to increase efforts there. There was a push for Nebraska to restart the success they used to have in the Northeast. That was before Mike Dawson left for the New York Giants. He’s available now but adding a coach with ties to that region makes sense.
Adding someone to the staff with Texas ties or connections in the Northeast makes the most sense. Both are places where Nebraska has had success in the past. There is plenty talent to be had in each location. It’s an important decision for Frost. Whoever coaches and recruits outside linebackers will be under the microscope. The position is that important to the Huskers’ defense.
>> Take another 2021 quarterback off the board. Santino Marucci visited Nebraska last summer but committed to Wake Forest on Monday.
— Santino Marucci (@santinomarucci) January 6, 2020
>> In 2022 quarterback news, Walker Howard took home top quarterback honors at the All-American Combine last week. Howard will be a major national recruit and visited Nebraska for a game in 2019.
🚨NATIONAL COMBINE AWARDS
🏆 TOP QUARTERBACK:
WALKER JAMES HOWARD (Louisiana) pic.twitter.com/O0SEbOi0Xa
— Football University (@FBUcamp) January 5, 2020
>> A frequent visitor in Lincoln, Tyler Maro, updated his Hudl film. The 2021 offensive lineman is one of the many talented players in Iowa for that cycle.
>> Hail Varsity caught up with 4-star tight end Thomas Fidone to get his thoughts (Premium) on the experience at the All-American Combine, his decision timeline and more.
>> We’ll find out soon enough but this year’s women’s basketball team might be special, Derek Peterson writes in his Monday column.
>> We have started a running list of confirmed Junior Days visitors (Premium) for the Huskers this month.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.