Ryan Held was quick to deflect praise for his recruiting efforts after the Huskers locked up their 2018 recruiting class, but that doesn’t mean the praise isn’t still coming.
On Friday, Rivals.com named the Nebraska running backs coach one of its 25 best recruiters in the country.
“He’s been very good at [building relationships with recruits] ever since I met him,” defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said of Held. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a running back, it doesn’t matter if it’s a defensive lineman, it’s just anybody that he comes in contact with he’s going to do a great job with them.”
Over the course of the last two months, the Kansas City native and former Husker walk-on has been hard at work helping build a class that was once ranked in the 90s by the major recruiting sites into one that finished inside the top 25 almost across the board.
“The thing is the time was ticking so you didn’t have a whole lot of time,” Held said. “There wasn’t any time to rest.”
Nebraska signed 13 members of its class during the early signing period, which began on Dec. 20 — less than a month after the new staff officially took their jobs at Nebraska. Held had a hand in almost every recruit signed. The staff was behind the eight-ball so to speak with less than half of their allotted visits to work with and the responsibilities that came with preparing Central Florida for its Peach Bowl game against Auburn on Jan. 1.
“All our coaches do a great job of recruiting both sides of the ball,” Held said. “We didn’t have as many visits as we would have liked, so being able to sift through the kids — we couldn’t mess with the hats, the guys that had 10 hats on the table, so we had to find guys that were interested in us and that we had a really good chance to get and fit what we do. There wasn’t a lot of time to mess around.”
Georgia running backs coach Dell McGee was named the Recruiter of the Year thanks to his hand in Georgia landing eight five-star prospects — the most by any school since 2004 — and the top overall class in 2018.
Other Big Ten assistants in the top-25 included Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and defensive line coach Larry Johnson and Penn State offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne.
To read more on Ryan Held check out the recruiting issue of Hail Varsity which hits newsstands next week.
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.