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Nebraska Recruiting: Why Figuring Out 2022 Top Targets is Harder Than Ever

May 25, 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.


One of the things that I say often in this notebook or radio appearances is that recruiting is so fluid. Things change very quickly in the world of recruiting. Prospects change who is in their top groups consistently. Coaching staffs also have an ever-evolving big board for each position group.

Nailing down top targets for Nebraska is always a moving target. It’s more difficult than usual during the 2022 recruiting class. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it can lead fans to believe that recruiting isn’t going well. The truth is we don’t know yet.

The Huskers have been recruiting via Zoom for 15 months now. That has harmed their recruiting efforts. Many of the 2022 prospects only know Nebraska from Zoom and virtual visits. We know that a huge selling point for Nebraska is getting prospects and their families on campus. We often hear during post visit interviews about how Nebraska is “different than I thought.” If players spent the last 15 months not getting to see Lincoln in person that perception remains. Running backs coach Ryan Held spoke about this challenge prior to the spring game.

“There is no question that this is going to be a very challenging recruiting cycle,” Held said. But every recruiting cycle is challenging just because you’re competing against good teams for kids. We haven’t been out on the road in a long time. And we haven’t been able to have kids show up, which is a winning deal for us. So all those things add up.

“Again, that’s not an excuse because everybody’s dealing with the same issue. We just got to be able to really crank it up and work hard and sell our vision to this next round to kids.”

There’s another thing that hurts Nebraska in the perception battle. The on-field product. Four straight losing seasons is bound to catch up even if the staff is great at selling the vision. At some point players need to be enticed by more wins. Then they’ll feel like they can be part of getting things to the next level. That’s why the start of this season will be so important for Nebraska on a recruiting front. Yes, the team needs early momentum and confidence but that confidence would trickle down to recruiting too.

June is going to reset things with the big board after visits and camps. Nebraska could make big moves with prospects after getting them to Lincoln. The program will also uncover new talented players to pursue. Based on the last few recruiting cycles it’s not wise to not count coach Scott Frost and his staff out. At some point each cycle since 2019 there has been hand wringing in the fan base of the state of recruiting.

Each time Frost and company pull it together to produce a quality class.

Recruit Watch

>> Georgia running back Justin Williams is ready to get to Lincoln for the first time on his official visit June 4.

>> Former Bellevue West quarterback Nate Glantz posted highlights from his impressive first season at Iowa Western.

>> Council Bluffs tight end Brayden Loftin was offered by Miami (OH) on Tuesday.

>> Husker 2022 wide receiver target Jacob Bostik was offered by Iowa Monday night. Bostik’s recruiting is heating up.

ICYMI

>> The latest episode of the Straight Up Breakdown podcast is here. I was joined by Sparky Fifer of Wendy’s Big Show in Milwaukee to discuss how pressure bursts pipes.

>> Jacob Padilla took a look at resetting the Husker roster (Premium) this time focusing on defense.

>> I explained why the Husker early recruiting evaluations are good (Premium) but something is missing.

>> There are updated Big Ten title odds and some win total projections starting to trickle in.

>> The Nebraska Preps Postgame show is diving into some summer hoops talk this week.

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