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 take reader and listener suggestions on questions. I then answer the questions in a quick video. This week’s topic deals with providing an update to a pressing question. The Huskers need to add more pass rush to help the defense. It’s been an ongoing goal for years. What’s the latest on Nebraska’s pursuit of portal pass rusher?
Nebraska has been focused for several years on getting more pass rush on the team. It’s been a mixed bag of results with traditional recruiting. Most of the team’s best pass rushers during the coach Scott Frost’s tenure were players he inherited. Garrett Nelson’s five sacks during the 2021 season were the most to date by a player Frost signed. The team was 12th in the Big Ten last season in sacks with just 20.
This spring the players on the team will get all the reps they can handle to prove they can be in the rotation this season. The Huskers are banged up this spring on the defensive line. The players are expected back for the summer and fall but that provides an opportunity. The team is evaluating those players in spring ball. They are still pursuing another avemue to add talent to the team. The Huskers have several offers out to proven pass rushers.
Ochaun Mathis had the Huskers in his top five last month. The Huskers made the recent top five for TCU pass rusher Ochaun Mathis. The defensive end (6-5, 257) had 45 tackles, seven for loss and four sacks in 2021. Mathis has a connection with Nebraska running backs coach Bryan Applewhite. That should help the Nebraska get its foot in the door. He’s visited Texas since entering the portal. That’s his only known visit.
North Texas twin transfers Grayson and Gabriel Murphy were offered by the Huskers. The duo had an impressive 2021 campaign. They combined for 26.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks. After making noise at North Texas they wanted to test their skills in a different way. They visited UCLA and committed to the Bruins.
Georgia Tech transfer Jordan Domineck had 38 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks last season. He went into the portal on Feb. 19 and his recruitment quickly took off. He reeled in offers from Nebraska, Michigan State, Kansas, Auburn, UCF, Indiana, Penn State, Iowa State and others. He quickly become one of the portal’s most wanted current transfers. He committed to Arkansas after visiting the program.
New offers to pass rushers are sure to come. More players will enter the portal as spring football gets completed around the country. Adding depth to the interior of the line could be a priority too depending on how things shake out this spring. The Huskers have promising young outside linebackers Blaise Gunnerson and Jimari Butler. Their emergence could have an impact here. Dawson has his work cut out for him on the field and the recruiting trail in his new role.
It will be interesting to see how many more transfers the Huskers bring to campus for visits this spring. That could happen through practices in March or for the Red-White Spring Game on April 9. The Huskers need to start getting these highly-sought after players on campus to have a shot. The search for pass rush for the Huskers will likely go all the way through the summer. Players can be added as through fall practice.
>> Florida 4-star defensive back Jordan Castell will be at the spring game to check out the Huskers.
I will be at the University of Nebraska on the 8-10th !!!
— Jordan Castell (@Jordan_castell) March 21, 2022
>> New Jersey 2023 linebacker target Phil Picciotti visited Michigan State and Michigan this weekend.
— Phil Picciotti (@PhilPicciotti) March 21, 2022
>> Colorado EDGE target Blake Purchase visited Arizona State last week.
— Blake Purchase🃏 (@BlakePurchase) March 20, 2022
>> Nebraska freshman sensation Bryce McGowens is headed to the NBA.
>> Jacob Padilla explored if a staff shakeup signals a new approach for Husker basketball.
>> Steve Marik has what we want to know in the second half of spring practices for Nebraska.
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.