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Nebraska Recruiting: Early Evaluations Key for Huskers Staff

March 12, 2019
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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.


Getting a glimpse into how a team sets its recruiting board and the philosophies behind it can be difficult. A question that comes up fairly often from fans is why they haven’t offered a player that seems like a slam dunk offer from the outside looking in. That especially comes up in cases where fans are wanting the coaches to get out ahead with future recruiting classes. 

Running backs coach and junior college recruiting coordinator Ryan Held was asked about that topic on Monday after practice and gave great insight.

“Well, when you start getting to 2021 and 2022, that’s down the line,” Held said. “I know that kids are getting these offers and good for them. There are certain guys that I think fit that. I can tell you having been a JUCO head coach, there is a lot of difference between that first year, if the guy improves a lot and it becomes a good offer or if a guy can decline and we say, ‘There’s no way we want to move forward with this guy.’

“It’s a balance. Sometimes you see a kid and think there is no doubt, we need to offer. I’ll say this, there are guys getting all these offers and we need to trust our eyes in evaluation. Just because 30 other schools say yes, he’s an offer, doesn’t mean he fits us. Being national here, we do have to expand out net a little more but that doesn’t mean we will offer every single person out there because other schools are. They might not fit us.”

We have already seen this philosophy play out for Nebraska numerous times. It’s been said a lot that Nebraska’s staff is very good at evaluating whether or not prospects actually fit the team. They have also proven to be good at projecting which prospects will see their stock rise and aren’t afraid to be a kid’s first or an early offer.

For example, 2020 Colorado offensive lineman Roger Rosengarten received his first scholarship offer from Nebraska last season. Since then, Rosengarten has exploded on the recruiting scene and holds over 20 offers, including Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oklahoma. 

Jonathan Odom is a 2020 tight end from Tampa, Florida, who also got one of his first big offers from Nebraska last season. Odom visited for the Michigan State game and has since seen his offer list grow to over 30 offers, including Alabama, Auburn and Florida. Both Rosengarten and Odom have the Huskers in their top schools.

Being good at evaluations and trusting them is an important skill for a recruiting staff and coaching staff to have. So far, the Huskers seem to be in good hands under Coach Scott Frost and company. 

Recruit Watch

>> Incoming wide receiver Demariyon Houston is still excited to get to Lincoln and make an impact. 

>> Jermaine Hamilton-Jordan, a 2021 outside linebacker from Missouri, will be back in Lincoln for Junior Day on March 30th.

>> Incoming running back Ronald Thompkins is continuing his rehab from a knee injury as he gets ready to arrive in Lincoln this summer. 

>> RJ Mickens, one of the top safeties in the nation for the 2020 class, has the Huskers in his top 11. 

ICYMI

>> Nebraska is putting an emphasis on leadership along the offensive line, writes Jacob Padilla.

>> Nebraska guard Amir Harris is out for the Big Ten Tournament.

>> Nebraska’s Nate Fisher was named Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week following a strong performance last week. 

>> Are you excited for Wan’Dale Robinson to hit the field at Memorial Stadium? You aren’t the only one, writes Derek Peterson. 

 
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