nebraska football coach scott frost at press conference
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Nebraska Recruiting: Where Does WR Rank Now on 2021 Needs?

March 03, 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.


Things change quickly in recruiting. I wrote about the top recruiting needs for Nebraska heading into spring practice. It wasn't that long ago that I did that for the 2021 recruiting class on Feb. 12. Here is a direct quote from that piece

“For 2020, linebackers and wide receivers were at the top of the needs list. The Huskers hit the mark at each position, infusing new talent into the positions. As we turn attention to 2021, will a new set of needs emerge? Given the number of wide receivers who have come into the program over the last two cycles, it’s safe to say that won’t be a huge focus this year. Nebraska will likely instead focus on landing a pair of key targets.”

Outside linebacker and defensive end were my clear top two needs. If the Huskers are going to make this 3-4 defense work, they will need to start recruiting and developing outside linebackers at a higher rate. Related to that the need for disruptive defensive ends is always high. There is plenty of uncertainty about so many defensive linemen this year. Nebraska will need to pound the pavement for quality prep options. 

I previously had tight end/a pure cornerback tied for my third biggest need or Nebraska in 2021. A game changer at tight end would be a huge boon for Nebraska. A shutdown corner that isn’t a safety hybrid would also be nice. But, this was before Darien Chase, Jaevon McQuitty and JD Spielman all left Nebraska football. 

Given the recent departures, where does wide receiver rank now on the needs list?

I would put it in a solid third place for now. Questions remain with the Huskers bringing in five wideouts in the 2020 recruiting class. Only Alante Brown is on campus early so he gets a huge jumpstart on his development. Omar Manning and Zavier Betts are star recruits, yet each have work to do academically before they can arrive this summer. Marcus Fleming and Will Nixon are also good prospects who arrive in the summer. There are too many questions to just say the cavalry is coming this summer and only take two receivers in 2021. 

Until receiver attrition slows down, Coach Scott Frost and offensive coordinator Matt Lubick should take no less than three wide receivers per class. There are currently 4 scholarship wide receivers on campus. They’ll have nine assuming all five make it to campus this summer. Kade Warner and Ty Hahn are walk-ons that can be counted on for some type of contribution. 

Feelings may change on how receiver ranks for 2021 based on how things go in the fall. For now, it should be part of the plan to load up on pass catchers in 2021.  

Recruit Watch

>> Former Husker running back target Tazhawn Henry announced his intentions to leave Texas Tech. 

>> January inside linebacker visitor Danny Stutsman picked up an offer from Oklahoma on Monday night. 

>> The Huskers became the latest team to offer 3-star New Jersey DE/OL Keshon Griffin.

ICYMI

>> Derek Peterson took a trip through the transfer portal (Premium) to see if there is any help available now in Nebraska’s ever-changing wide receiver room. 

>> Take a look at our photo gallery of Husker men’s gymnastics over Penn State.

>> Jacob Padilla has five thoughts (Premium) on the A-6 District basketball finals.

>> Leigha Brown and Kate Cain earned Big Ten end of season honors for Nebraska women’s basketball. 

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