Photo Credit: Greg Smith

Nebraska Recruiting: Young Players Ready to Make Moves During Winter Conditioning

January 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.


Winter conditioning is here for Nebraska. Well, sort of. It was scheduled to begin in full on Jan. 25. The huge snow storm in Lincoln made starting with 100% participation difficult, but players will be lifting weights, getting stronger and faster in preparation for the 2021 season soon enough.

There are a lot of young players in the program that are ready to take the next step in their development. Who are some of the players that it will be exciting to hear about this winter?

Defensive Tackle Nash Hutmacher

Hutmacher arrived on campus last year as one of the stronger players on the team. Now he has a year of college football under his belt. It will be interesting to see if Hutmacher can get into the mix at defensive line for 2021. He’s not in a make or break season by any means though. If he contributes at a deep position group this season we should consider him ahead of schedule.

Defensive End/Outside Linebacker Jamin Graham

We have heard very little about the Alabama native since his arrival on campus as part of the 2019 class. He came to Lincoln hoping to grow into a pass rushing outside linebacker the Huskers have been missing. Now it looks like he’s potentially made a move to defensive end under Tony Tuioti. Graham needs to make a move on the depth chart soon. He risks being passed up by younger players and recent JUCO additions. He posted 85 tackles, 37 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks and 20 quarterback hurries as a senior in high school.

Safety Noa Pola-Gates

Pola-Gates is in such an interesting place right now. As part of the 2019 recruiting class, he is entering his third year on campus. He lost a season to a knee injury in 2019. He played mostly on special teams in 2020 while getting back into the full swing of things. Now a full offseason of development without rehab will be key. He could really become a key piece of the defense this season and beyond. Both Deontai Williams and Marquel Dismuke are returning as seniors. Pola-Gates won’t need to be rushed into action.

There are plenty of other intriguing players for Nebraska this winter. Many players are reaching pivotal points in their careers as we start winter conditioning entering Coach Scott Frost’s fourth season in Lincoln.

Recruit Watch

>> It was a busy day in Nebraska for Oklahoma. The Sooners offered 2022 TE Kaden Helms and 2022 OLB Devon Jackson on Monday.

>> Nebraska signee Mikai Gbayor was named the New Jersey High School Player of the Year on Monday.

>> Georgia defensive back Ryland Gandy took a virtual visit with the Huskers over the weekend.

ICYMI

>> As Derek Peterson wrote, Nebraska’s special teams needs to change amidst an absence of change.

>> The Red to Black podcast is back to speak with former Nebraska defensive back Kieron Williams.

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