Photo by John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: It's All About the Defensive Line

December 30, 2018
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Recruiting never stops and it's easy to miss the top stories day-to-day. Recruiting analyst Greg Smith recaps all things Nebraska recruiting news, analysis and more so you never miss a thing.


Throughout the weekend while watching bowl games, I noticed a lot of Husker fans on social media watching the games and evaluating just how far off Nebraska is from competing with some of these schools. I’m not going to necessarily get into all of that for now but I do want to explore something that stood out to me during this year’s College Football Playoff games:

Defensive line recruiting and development is king in college football. 

Every team in the College Football Playoff (even Oklahoma) had big-time players on the defensive lines. It’s not just about landing high 4-star and 5-star recruits, even though each school has its share of those too. Once the players get to campus they need to be developed. I keep coming back to the Scott Frost quote from his signing day press conference about line size.

“I said this after the Iowa game, but there were a few games this year where, looking across the 50 at other people warming up, I thought teams were bigger than us and that’s not supposed to happen at Nebraska,” Frost said. “The Nebraska I know is bigger, stronger and more physical than other teams. We certainly have some of those guys on our team right now but we need more of them. We wanted to get bigger, particularly on the two lines, but also in other areas and other positions. We weren’t just recruiting size, we wanted good players and good athletes. I think we were able to fill those needs for the most part.”

A lot of talk and column inches will always be devoted to the offensive firepower that Frost is amassing in Lincoln. Perhaps the most important thing that he, defensive line coach Mike Dawson and defensive coordinator Erik Chinander have done so far in the 2019 recruiting class is continue to reshape the defensive line group. Mosai Newsom, Ethan Piper, Ty Robinson and Brant Banks are a nice group to pair with Tate Wildeman and Casey Rogers from last year’s recruiting class. 

The first goal is catching up to Northwestern, Iowa and Wisconsin along the lines of scrimmage. Player development this winter can help the Huskers get closer to those Big Ten West foes but the bar has been set by Clemson and Alabama.

It’s up to Frost and Zach Duval to clear that bar or get close enough to compete.

Recruit Watch

>> Nebraska offensive tackle signee Matthew Anderson was getting some work in this weekend. The recently named All-Louisiana lineman enlisted some unique help too.

>> Priority 2020 offensive line target Carson Lee from Colorado tweeted out some criteria for his future school to keep in mind. 

>> Another top 2020 target, defensive lineman Nash Hutmacher, picked up another big honor. 

ICYMI

>> The Hail Varsity staff gave our picks for the best quote of 2018 in Husker sports. 

>> Erin Sorensen gave three takeaways from Nebraska’s win over SWMS. 

>> Take a look at the best of 2018 of Nebraska football in photos

 
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