Nebraska’s losing streak to ranked opponents extended to a 21st game on Saturday as the Huskers became No. 3 Michigan’s latest victim. The Wolverines jostled their coaching staff and head coach Jim Harbaugh took a pay cut after a 2-4 COVID season. Michigan is 22-2 since that season. Nebraska is 6-16 in that same timeframe and without the head coach that started it.
Interim head coach Mickey Joseph witnessed from the sidelines as Michigan controlled every aspect of the game. The Wolverines were bigger, more agile, stronger, more explosive, faster, swarming and, effectively, everything Nebraska wants to be. Joseph was asked afterwards what he thought Nebraska needed to do to bridge the gap between itself and the third-ranked program.
“Recruiting,” Joseph said simply. “We have to recruit better.
“Every position. We’re 3-7. Every position. We have to recruit better at every position as a staff. And we will.”
Nebraska’s recruiting class of 2022 ranked No. 41 after National Signing Day — 10th in the Big Ten behind not only the traditional powers but Maryland, Indiana, Rutgers and Purdue. The Huskers ranked No. 20 the two years before that, according composite recruiting rankings. Thirteen of Nebraska’s 26 enrollees in its 2020 recruiting class have since left the program. That goes back to comments Joseph made last week, stressing the importance of keeping players in the program to develop their talents.
“That is the big thing about once you recruit him, you have keep him in the program. We have to keep them here,” Joseph said in his Nov. 8 press conference. “Everybody in the Big Ten is doing it. They are keeping the kids there, and now the kids, with the COVID fifth-year juniors and sixth-year seniors. We have to get to that. We are a young football team right now. But, we have to do that, and it goes back to recruiting. It also goes by when they get here we need to start developing them. You cannot develop them if they are not here. But, we have to keep them here.”
Max Olson of The Athletic revisited the 2018 recruiting rankings earlier this year to coincide with the conventional four-year recruiting cycle. Michigan initially ranked No. 22 in the rankings but finished No. 3 in the revisited rankings. Iowa ranked No. 39th by signing day 2018 but finished No. 6 in the revisited rankings. Nebraska ranked No. 23 nationally for its 2018 recruiting class. The program finished 69th out of 70 Power 5 programs reevaluated.
As of now, Nebraska’s committed class of 2023 is No. 32 in the national rankings. Joseph, an accomplished recruiter throughout his career, has secured two commitments since becoming interim head coach, including top in-state prospect Malachi Coleman. His staff has hit the recruiting trail hard the past two months in attempts to build a sustainable, bright future in Lincoln.
The rematch is set. It will be Omaha Westside versus Gretna in the Class A State Championship. Westside junior quarterback, Nebraska target, Anthony Rezac threw for 121 and a touchdown and ran for another 67 yards with a touchdown. Other Warrior players Nebraska’s expressed interest in are receiver Teddy Rezac (63 yards and a touchdown, receiver Jaylen Lloyd and athlete Caleb Benning. Gretna punched its ticket to another State Championship on the play of Nebraska pledged walk-on Korver Demma. The son of former Husker volleyball player Megan Korver blocked two punts in the win over Grand Island. Gretna also is led by Nebraska offensive line target Mason Goldman and Oklahoma State commit quarterback Zane Flores.
Nebraska commit Benjamin Brahmer and Pierce will play Aurora and standout running back Carlos Collazo for the Class C1 State Championship. Brahmer is a pledged tight end in the 2023 recruiting class while Collazo hasn’t received a scholarship offer but was on the Memorial Stadium sidelines earlier this season.
>> The Nebraska women’s basketball team puts its hot start on the line during Tuesday’s rivalry meeting with Creighton.
>> Freshman linebacker Enrest Hausmann has come a long way since his first few snaps in Ireland, culminating with a third-quarter sack against Michigan.
>> C.J. Wilcher’s big night helped Nebraska score a physical, gritty win over Omaha last week.