Photo by John S.Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: The Search for Masters Versus Jacks

May 5, 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.


If you want to be an elite team in college football, you need to be good on the lines. That’s not breaking news and we have talked about it a few times here that Nebraska will take the steps it wants to as a program when things get better in the trenches. Since Tony Tuioti came on as the new defensive line coach, we have seen new offers go out to lineman around the country for this class and beyond. 

As Tuioti is out searching for the next wave of future Blackshirts to join his room, position flexibility is a high value. Guys like Carlos Davis—an athletic big guy that can play anywhere along the defensive line—will always bring added value to the roster. However, there is also something to be said for being a master of your craft.

“I tell our guys all the time in the meetings, it’s about being a master versus a jack,” Tuioti explained. “The jack is good at a lot of things but isn’t a master of anything. For us, in our room, we want to be a master at what we do. The nose guard needs to be a master of what he does. He needs to dominate from A-gap to A-gap. The defensive end, the 4-high has to be a master of that position. He has to defeat the tackles. In our base defense he has to protect the inside gap and then help us expand and shrink the outside gap. He has to be able to rush the passer too.” 

Tuioti has a specific way of teaching that mindset to the guys in his room.

“There are 11 guys out there on defense, I look at them as characters in a play,” Tuioti said. “Every character has a specific role. I look at it the same way on defense. Each guy is a character in the scheme of the defense. The nose is a character. The end is a character and the corner is a character. That’s where I come from to get the mindset to train themselves between a master and a jack. I tell them, all of you have a specific skillset. You have to find what you do really well and master that.”

After that, it’s up to the coaching staff to put the players in a position to succeed on the field. It all begins with having a defined skill set that can be identified in recruiting to get noticed in the first place.

Recruit Watch

>> Cooper Davis, a 6-foot-7 defensive end from Florida, picked up an offer from the Huskers on Friday. Davis visited Lincoln back in February for Junior Day.

>> Seth Malcom, a 2021 linebacker target from Iowa, helped his team win state in track relays. 

>> Blayne Toll, the No. 1 player in Arkansas, cut his list down to five and did not include Nebraska. 

>> Gavin Sawchuk, a 2022 running back target from Valor Christian in Colorado, blazed a 10.62 100m dash over the weekend. 

ICYMI

>> Derek Peterson has re-scored the position groups after spring practice concluded. 

>> Jacob Padilla takes a look at a new era of Nebraska basketball in his latest Padding The Stats column.

>> ‘Love or Hat’e is back to talk Cam Mack and all the offers Nebraska has put out over the last two weeks.

 
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