One of the big calling cards for Nebraska football recruiting is being able to host visitors for game days. The team has lost that weapon on the recruiting trail for the last year. The NCAA-mandated dead period in response to the COVID-19 pandemic did that. But now restrictions are loosening up. Players are finding their way to campuses for spring games. Fans are allowed to attend these games with various capacity limits around the country. Since fans can go, technically recruits can get tickets like a regular fan and check out the action.
There is a catch for the recruits. They cannot have any interaction with the coaching staff of the school while on campus. The recruits are also not allowed to go into the athletic facilities. We are still in the dead period, which will likely end on June 1. Still, the Red-White Spring Game will give prospects an opportunity to check out the atmosphere at Memorial Stadium. It’ll be the first time in over a year they get to do that.
“We all know that playing at Nebraska is one of the best parts of that is Saturdays in Memorial Stadium,” defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said.
“Those guys got that taken away from them last year a little bit by no fault of their own or anyone else’s. So having some people back to watch it will be nice. That spring game should be really nice for them. Those guys love the fans. I don’t think it’s that they get up for the fans.
“They just love the fans because they know how supportive the people of Nebraska are to them. So, they just love playing for the fans. But it’ll be really nice for them to have people back in the stands.
The current players will be fired up to see the fans. The enthusiasm that Husker fans have is second to none. That is something that the coaching staff will be able to show recruits that attend the spring game. Whether the capacity is at 50% or gets bumped up, it will be a fun atmosphere on May 1.
Nebraska’s coaching staff has been selling the program with virtual visits and Zoom. But it is totally different for prospects and their families to get to see campus and Lincoln for themselves. It consistently comes up when interviewing recruits after visits. Lincoln is different than they expected. You only get that if you visit in person.
Players always talk about how centrally located everything is on campus, too. It’s harder to convey that with a virtual visit than it is when you walk around campus and see for yourself.
Ironically, this idea is something that came from the extended dead period. Recruits were barred from visiting campuses for months. They took visits into their own hands. Several 2021 prospects took their own self-guided visits. They walked around campus and saw what the cities had to offer.
The Huskers already have several prospects who want to attend the spring game. The headliner is 4-star Georgia quarterback MJ Morris. Linebacker commit Ernest Hausmann plans to attend the game. Recruits visiting have put together group meetups and activities on their own at other spring games. It wouldn’t surprise me if something like that doesn’t come together in Lincoln, too.
It’s been a whole new world of recruiting over the last year. This year’s spring game will be unique. It appears prospects and the schools are attempting to make the most out of it.
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.