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Nebraska Football Recruiting

Nebraska Recruiting: Flexibility Needed to Recruit in Today's Landscape

August 12, 2020

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.

Fitting all of the puzzle pieces together in a recruiting class takes a lot of hard work. There is also a lot of forecasting of situations that have not yet occurred. Nebraska inked the 2020 recruiting class in December. There are things Coach Scott Frost couldn’t have possibly known at that time. The biggest one affecting the world is the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Missouri Valley Football Conference announced last week it will not conduct football this fall. The conference is one of many conferences altering plans this fall. It plans to play a full eight-game league schedule in the spring.

Former Bellevue West star Cade Johnson has entered his name into the transfer portal.

Players coming available in the age of the transfer portal always looms. Frost spoke about it after signing day when asked about still waiting on letters of intent. Nebraska was still waiting on upwards of two signatures at that point.

“There is one we are waiting on for sure and maybe one more that we would accept if it comes,” Frost said. “We kind of made a decision that in a perfect world we would still have a spot or two left going forward just to see what is available. We didn’t know if we were going to get to that number for sure or not but, it looks like we are going to. So, there are still some targets out there for us and we will see where those land.”

The next logical question is whether or not there a chance that Johnson would follow in his dad’s footsteps and play for Nebraska. Well, that’s tricky. Nebraska does not have a scholarship to give currently. Cornerback Nadab Joseph took the 25th spot allotted from 2020, so Nebraska needs a waiver granted to get the Henry Gray scholarship back. Losing the spot from Jaiden Francois also puts the Huskers in a bind. As is stands now, Johnson would have to walk-on. 

It’s certainly worth it for Nebraska to explore all options to add Johnson. He had 72 receptions for 1,222 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Yesterday’s news of the Big Ten delaying the season to the spring could throw an even bigger wrench into the hope that he joins Nebraska. Also, Johnson has lots of options. He could join a Power 5 team and see significant playing time almost anywhere. He could elect to just train for the NFL Draft. If Johnson really wanted to, he could return to NDSU and play there this spring. 

Flexibility has become crucial now in recruiting. Johnson’s case won’t be the last that makes the Huskers wish that they had an extra spot or two. A number of things are up in the air right now around the world of college football. The storyline of where Johnson lands is one worth following.

Recruit Watch

>> For all recruits, the NCAA has extended the recruiting dead period through Sept. 30.

>> Class of 2023 athlete Noah Hutmacher, Nash’s younger brother, is already moving some serious weight this summer. 

>> Huskers defensive back commit Marques Buford showed off a cool edit the team did for him.


>> As Brandon Vogel writes, without football apparently the ideals the sports holds dear are null. 

>> No fall sports presenting a unique situation for the Huskers is the latest topic in Padding the Stats.

>> In the Hail Varsity Mailbag we discussed Nebraska’s next steps amid a football-less fall. 

>> Newcomer JUCO defensive lineman Jordan Riley is feeling like Frost has his back.

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