Nebraska Cornhuskers Gabe Ervin Jr. runs past a de
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Recruiting: Which Young Huskers Could Raise The Offense’s Ceiling in 2021?

July 08, 2021

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 2021 season will be such a pivotal one for the Huskers. We are now in the fourth year of coach Scott Frost running the program. There have been some weird circumstances around the start to his tenure. The first year is almost always a transition year. That went about as expected, even if the start to the season was rough. The second season under Frost is where most expected things to take off. It was surprising when it didn’t. Last season during the pandemic, no one knew what to expect.

This year fans are expecting to see progress. The team has recruited well despite the struggles on the field.

This year more than ever though it doesn’t feel like fans are waiting on the next batch of recruits to save the program. The players to turn this thing around are already on campus. Who are some of the young players on the roster that can help raise the ceiling for 2021 and beyond? Let’s take a look at a pair of offensive players.

There is a reason why freshman running back Gabe Ervin was number seven on Derek Peterson’s most intriguing list. Standing at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, the early enrollee turned a lot of heads this spring. He certainly got the attention of running backs coach Ryan Held.

“He’s got really good vision and he’s really smooth in what he does,” Held said this spring. “He’s slippery. He can get through there on different things. He catches the ball well. It means something to him. He wants to be really, really good. He’s mad when he doesn’t execute a play right and that’s what I want, I want guys where it bothers the heck out of you if you don’t do it right.”

Nebraska needs a running threat from a running back desperately in the 2021 season. The young Ervin is as good a candidate as any to give Nebraska that boost.

Ervin could have a breakout freshman season that gives Nebraska’s running game a boost. To do that he will need good blocking. At least three of the five offensive line starters will carry a freshmen class designation in the 2021 season. Bryce Benhart, Turner Corcoran or Ethan Piper could get the nod here. I’m going to narrow it down to Corcoran as the player who raises the ceiling of the offense most of this trio.

Corcoran got his first start in Nebraska’s season finale against Rutgers. He made that start last season as a true freshman. The 6-foot-6 and 300-pound tackle from Lawrence, Kansas, helped the Huskers rack up 620 yards of total offense. Corcoran got his first taste of a full spring practice schedule this year. The lineman assessed how he finished the spring after the Red-White Spring Game.

“It was a little shaky starting out,” Corcoran said. “There were things like (Greg Austin) was saying in a previous interview where I’m making freshman mistakes and I did make some mistakes but it was a really good spring for me to finish strong.”

The ceiling for the highest-rated recruit to sign with Nebraska under Frost is sky high. Corcoran may have the most long-term potential of anyone on the roster. If he starts moving towards that it would provide Nebraska with a big boost for years to come.

Recruit Watch

>> The Huskers made the cut the four-star wide receiver Kevin Thomas out of Philadelpha.

>> Bellevue West tight end Micah Riley committed to Auburn on Wednesday evening.

ICYMI

>> Nebraska basketball secured a commitment from Arizona State transfer Alonzo Verge Jr on Thursday.

>> The Hail Varsity staff answered questions in the mailbag including NIL questions and more.

>> Jacob Padilla’s latest film study subject (Premium) is New York guard Quaran McPherson.

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