Photo by John S. Peterson
Nebraska Football Recruiting

Nebraska Recruiting: Huskers Building Stable of Running Backs

June 23, 2020
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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.


When you think of the things associated with Nebraska football, a few things often come to mind like the offensive linemen, Blackshirts defense and Tom Osborne. It doesn’t take long before your mind goes to the running back tradition that Nebraska has built over the years. 

Some of the best in school history include Mike Rozier, Johnny Rodgers, Lawrence Phillips and Ahman Green. There have been some outstanding backs in recent years too, like Ameer Abdullah, Roy Helu Jr. and Rex Burkhead. The standard is high for the position at Nebraska. Running backs coach Ryan Held is pretty up front during the recruiting process. Prospects should come to Lincoln prepared to fight for a spot.

“Well, what I tell them is you are coming into a historic place,” Held has previously said. “Two, you are going to be treated right. Three, you better be ready to compete. You aren’t going to be given anything, that’s not how this world works. You are going to be put in a position to be successful. Then it’s up to you to make plays. I try to give guys the tools when we watch film. Here’s the play, here’s what the front is, here is what the blocking scheme is and here are the opportunities for the big play. We talk about that all the time.”

With Scott Frost and Held leading the charge Nebraska is on its way to building a nice running back stable. Senior Dedrick Mills has a lot of chatter around him about a potential breakout season. We saw flashes in the back half of the 2019 season that show what type of runner he can be. Behind him the Huskers have a host of intriguing backs filled with potential. Redshirt freshman Rahmir Johnson has sprinter speed and a year of strength and conditioning under his belt. Ronald Thompkins is a wildcard depending on his long-term health.

Sevion Morrison and Marvin Scott are on campus waiting their turn to make a move up the depth chart. Both came to Lincoln after highly productive high school careers. Morrison broke Spencer Tillman’s rushing record that stood for 37 years. Scott ran for 7,482 yards during his time playing high school football. 

The team added Gabe Ervin as a verbal commitment for the 2021 recruiting class on Tuesday. A stout runner with good speed and balance, Ervin will be a welcome addition to the room for Held. The Huskers are likely not done with running back in the 2021 cycle either. The biggest question going forward is if they’ll want to add another all-around back like Ervin, Morrison or Scott or if they can find a big-time home run threat. 

If things break right for the Huskers, the present and future is shaping up for the running back position. That would be a welcome sight for fans who are used to seeing great backs wear the scarlet and cream. 

Recruit Watch

>> Former Nebraska linebacker commit Chris Paul Jr. picked up an offer from Minnesota.

>> Cornerback target John Howse got another SEC offer when Arkansas entered the mix on Tuesday. 

>> The Huskers have landed in the top group for New Jersey lineman Geno VanDeMark.

ICYMI

>> Nebraska volleyball is finding a new routine in its return to campus. 

>> Derek Peterson took a look at the best games on the 2020 schedule in the Big Ten. 

>> JUCO defensive back Darius Moore told Hail Varsity that he felt at home with the Huskers. (Premium)

 
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