Nebraska Recruiting: The Impact of Losing Keagan Johnson to Iowa
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

What We Learned About Nebraska Recruiting During Evaluation Period

May 29, 2019

The evaluation period ends on May 31 and the Nebraska coaches will need to come off the road and stop visiting high schools around the country. They have been going non-stop since they have been able to and have seen many prospects for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 classes. They won’t have much time to catch their breath though as part of the staff will attend the Lindenwood Mega Camp in Missouri on May 31. 

Let’s take a look at some things we learned during the evaluation period. 

2021 QB Recruiting Is in Full Swing

We got to see Nebraska take full advantage of having a very stable quarterback situation during the evaluation period. On the current team, we know that Heisman-hopeful Adrian Martinez has multiple years of eligibility left. Behind him Noah Vedral, Luke McCaffrey and Andrew Bunch round out a good unit. Nebraska has its 2020 quarterback, Alabama’s Logan Smothers, who is locked in on the Huskers. That gives Nebraska the ability to look ahead to 2021 and the Huskers did just that as quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco was out looking for his next “cube.” 

Staff Is Mostly Caught Up

The new reality of recruiting is that you are never just recruiting the current class. That’s especially true for prospects that are highly-rated prospects who have been recruited heavily for two years now. We saw a lot of 2021—and even 2022—offers go out from Nebraska over the last month. That indicates that the Huskers have a good grasp on their initial boards for those future classes. That’s a great sign as Nebraska builds relationships with those players. 

Priority Targets Emerging

One thing that you glean from where coaches go when they are allowed out on the road is who the priority targets are. This time around, it wasn’t so much about learning who new ones are but instead comfirming some that we thought. Nebraska’s Xavier Watts, California defensive lineman Jamar Sekona, Iowa outside linebacker Blaise Gunnerson, South Dakota defensive lineman Nash Hutmacher, Oklahoma running back Sevion Morrison and Iowa Western defensive lineman Perrion Winfrey all received at least one visit from a staff member during the evaluation period. 

Coast-to-Coast Blitz

Nebraska will go anywhere to find talent. The Huskers have traditionally recruited from coast-to-coast but some states were still untapped. Now it really seems like the Huskers will try to recruit any state to find talent. Hawaii, Utah and Connecticut are some of the newer states to get increased attention. Arizona, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois are also states with good football that Nebraska is competing in more now. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see where the Huskers can build pipelines and consistently pull players from. 

IWCC Connection Building Up

For years now, the lack of Nebraska recruiting at Iowa Western Community College has been a sore spot for fans. It just didn’t compute why the Huskers weren’t tapping into a program that has been so successful and sends Division I players out every season. Business seems to be picking up now. The Huskers have an incoming walk-on offensive lineman Josh Wegener from IWCC and they are heavily recruiting Winfrey. In addition to that, offensive lineman Jacob Gamble holds an offer from Nebraska and a group of Reivers made their way to Lincoln for an unofficial visit.  

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