Coach Scott Frost is going in a different direction with special teams in 2021.
Hail Varsity has confirmed that Nebraska and special teams analyst Jonathan Rutledge have parted ways on Thursday after only one season together.
The Huskers hired Rutledge in February 2020 to manage special teams. He came to Lincoln followings stops with Auburn (2018-19) and Missouri (2016-17) special teams. An Ole Miss graduate in 2011, Rutledge began his foray into coaching as a quality control coach for the Rebels, where he spent the next four years working with the team’s quarterbacks.
Rutledge was a graduate assistant at Memphis for two seasons and then North Carolina for two seasons before joining Barry Odom’s staff in Missouri as a special teams analyst. He filled the same role at Auburn while working with Gus Malzahn.
Rutledge saw some success at Nebraska on special teams, primarily with All-Big Ten kicker Connor Culp, who he recruited from LSU.
However, the Huskers struggled in other areas of special teams, like kickoff and kickoff return. Nebraska ranked No. 13 in the Big Ten in average starting field position on kickoffs. The Huskers also gave up a kick return for a touchdown in 2020, had two opposing teams convert on fake punts and never returned a kick past the 29-yard line.
Nebraska struggled in the punting game as well, particularly after Australian punter Daniel Cerni suffered a season-ending injury in practice. Adding insult to injury in the punt game, the Huskers also had a punt blocked in 2020.
The Huskers finished 115th nationally in special teams efficiency, per ESPN’s Football Power Index.
It’s unclear at this time how Frost plans to replace Rutledge, who made $150,000 in his one year with Nebraska.