In this week's mailbag, Hail Varsity's Brandon Vogel, Greg Smith, Jacob Padilla and Derek Peterson answer your questions about JUCO recruiting, transfer restrictions and a potential high-profile quarterback that might be on the move.
Do you think the amount of JUCOs NU has gone after this year will be similar every year? (@IBeLionsBeats)
BV: I would expect it to taper down a little bit as the staff has more time to really shape its recruiting plan. The obvious advantage a high school player has over a junior college player is that the staff gets to control the training and teaching from the very start. I think most coaches probably prefer that. But Nebraska currently has positions of need, a change in scheme on offense and a totally unique recruiting landscape given the early signing period and the Peach Bowl, so it made perfect sense for the coaches to look for immediate contributors at key spots. It also signals some degree of urgency, too. Nobody wants this to be a four-year turnaround process. I don’t think you’ll see Nebraska ever totally out of junior college recruiting with this staff. Its connections to those ranks, particularly the Jayhawk Conference via Ryan Held, are too strong to do that again. But it would surprise me if this 2018 class is the high-water mark for JUCO signees either.
GS: Barring any surprise additions that are not currently on the radar, the Huskers will finish with five JUCO players in this class. I think that is about the most you’ll see in a class going forward unless there are special circumstances. The amount of JUCO players Nebraska pursues may slow down but the quality of player will stay high. Ryan Held has deep JUCO connections and the coach of Iowa Western and Frost are close. By the way, IWCC could have the No. 1 defensive lineman in JUCO next year. I would suspect every position but QB going forward could see JUCO players added in a given class.
The @HailVarsity staff has been given control of the NCAA football transfer rules/regulations. What do you change, add, keep the same? (@Corn_Huskers)
DP: I want to talk about Noah Vedral for a minute. I understand blocking player transfers in conference, but blocking transfers cross-country between schools that don’t and won’t play each other anytime soon is ridiculous. Now Vedral not only loses a season (which I don’t like in the first place) but loses a year of his scholarship. As someone who also lost their scholarship in school for a year, I know the kind of burden that brings. Whether we’re looking at scaling back powers that schools have over their players’ transfer requests or allowing players to transfer penalty-free during their first two years, I would do something to keep players from getting hosed.
GS: I would like to see players have the ability to transfer one time, penalty free during their freshman and sophomore seasons as long as they don’t stay in conference. Beyond that, if your coach takes another job, you can also transfer penalty free. The letter of intent is way too slanted in the favor of schools in my opinion. Adjustments need to be made to match what coaches are doing to schools/players.
JP: I’ll just echo the thoughts of both Derek and Greg. UCF blocking Vedral’s transfer to Nebraska is ridiculous. They can say they want to prevent mass transfers of kids following Frost, but this is a Nebraska kid we’re talking about who never would have been at UCF in the first place had he been offered by Nebraska out of high school. As for transfers on the whole, I am very strongly Team Player in all of these discussions. I like Greg’s idea of freedom to transfer following a coaching change. I don’t even need the free transfer in the first two years if players get their release (if they want it) following a coaching change.
Is Maurice Washington a nebraska lean and would corbin frederick walk on at nebraska even though he has scholarship offers from d1 school? (@huskernation515)
GS: I would consider Washington a Nebraska lean but things may not move as quickly as they normally would with a player of his talent due to academics. I believe Frederick will walk-on at Nebraska and play with his high school teammate 4-star safety Cam Jones. Jones is coming back to Lincoln this weekend after taking an official visit last month.
Is there any truth to the rumor that Jalen Hurts and Scott frost have mutual interest in each other? It's been mention more than a few times!!! (@excalibersk)
BV: I haven’t been able to determine if there’s any truth to it, but it at least makes sense on paper. There are a lot of quarterbacks interested in playing for Frost, particularly post-Mariota. Would that interest be mutual? Well, the guy has lost two games as a starter, so I’d say “yeah.”
GS: I’ve done a little poking around and haven’t found this to be true yet but color me intrigued. The big question with Hurts for me is, would he look to transfer immediately to go through winter conditioning and spring ball somewhere else or does he try to battle with Tua and win the job back? Huge decision for the young man.
JP: How good of a fit would Hurts actually be for Frost’s system? He’s hovering around 60 percent as a passer on much less volume than what McKenzie Milton did last year for the Knights (over 300 yards per game at a 67 percent completion rate). Hurts was a 4-star prospect and the No. 4 dual-threat QB coming out of high school. Adrian Martinez was actually more highly-regarded as a recruit. Add in Vedral already in the fold as a transfer this year plus Patrick O’Brien and Tristan Gebbia with time in the program under their belts plus their continued pursuit of another quarterback in this 2018 class plus a 2019 high school prospect like Max Duggan just across the border in Council Bluffs and I’m not sure Hurts is the right fit for Nebraska.