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 a pivotal offseason for Nebraska football under coach Scott Frost. The program needed a shakeup entering the fifth season under Frost. We knew it was coming when he elected to let go of four offensive assistant coaching before the 2021 season ended. He was going to have to hire new coaches while also overhauling the roster. The 2022 recruiting class was not going to be big. There was one big reason for that. The team decided that going into the transfer portal for more immediate impact players would help jumpstart the team in 2022.
That’s a lot to take on at the same time. The results on the field haven’t met expectations yet, so it was fair to wonder how this offseason would go. It’s safe to say that so far, it’s going better than expected. Especially considering the program went 3-9 during the 2021 season.
It all starts with the assistant coach hires. A lot of names got thrown around as being in the mix for the open spots. There were many ways Frost could have gone to put together a coaching staff. The mixture that he seems to have landed on is pretty good.
One of Frost’s hopes was to find an offensive coordinator that he could trust to handle the offense. Hiring a veteran coach in Mark Whipple checks that box. Seeing how the program will blend Whipple and Frost’s ideas on offense remains to be seen. The potential is there for it to be good. There might not have been a better choice for wide receiver coach than Mickey Joseph. He brings recent success and recruiting prowess to a program that needs both. Donovan Raiola is a wildcard. The case can be made that he’s a young, up-and-coming coach that will do well in the college ranks. Moving Bill Busch to coaching special teams made a lot of sense too.
The portal additions have made sense and have tried to fix real needs on the team. It will get lost that Nebraska reeled in a new scholarship punter and kicker. The team also added a new long snapper to the mix. Nebraska was able to circle back with a defense back it loved out of high school. A pair of offensive linemen are transferring to Lincoln to compete for playing time. Two new wide receivers are also in the mix. A new quarterback is also on the way. Nebraska also added another running back to the mix in the search for a lead back.
There were notable late high school additions that look good, too. New Jersey defensive back Jaeden Gould is Nebraska’s highest-rated player. Joseph showed his recruiting chops by landing Decoldest Crawford before he ever visited Lincoln. There is an encouraging thing about Nebraska’s ability to add talent. The offseason isn’t over. The team is still looking to add a handful more players to the mix.
Just because encouraging things have happened doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It also doesn’t mean this overhaul will work. A lot has to go right for this major shakeup to result in more wins this season for Nebraska. I do think a takeaway here is that Nebraska still carries some weight. Part of the battle to rebuild the program is convincing players things can turn around. Frost also needed to find coaches who believed that. Nebraska is giving itself a chance this offseason.
That’s about the best you can hope for.
>> One-time defensive back target Darion Green-Warren committed to Nevada.
— Darion Green-Warren (@gogettadarion) January 10, 2022
>> Nebraska 2023 edge rusher target Denzel Moore has been working hard this offseason.
— Denzel Moore (@Denzel2023) January 12, 2022
>> Fast-rising 2022 tight end prospect Danny Lewis left the Cincinnati recruiting class on Wednesday.
First off I want to thank the University of Cincinnati for giving me an opportunity. Thank you guys for recruiting me to the fullest! However, I am choosing to decommit to rethink my decision and open up my recruitment.
— Danny Lewis Jr. (@DannyLewis2022) January 12, 2022
>> I took a look (Premium) at which positions could be a focus for the Huskers during the 2023 cycle.
>> Steve Marik spoke with a local coach to find out what goes into being an offensive lineman.
>> Jacob Padilla dives into a couple big volleyball topics in the latest Padding the Stats.
>> Nebraska basketball suffered a Payne-ful loss to No. 25 Illinois on Tuesday night.
>> Nebraska basketball was dealt a blow when it was announced that Trevor Lakes is sidelined indefinitely.
>> The Nebraska football schedule has seen some tweaks for the 2022 season.
>> The Hail Varsity staff is back to answer your questions in the mailbag including if the men’s basketball team can win a conference game this year.
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.