Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Balancing Act for Huskers With Next Group of Super Seniors

October 17, 2021

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.


Each week during the recruiting question of the week video, we say that if you don’t see your question answered in that video we may use it somewhere else. I am doing just that in today’s notebook.

Every school will have to deal with an intriguing question following this season. What do you do with players that are able to return to school for an extra season? That topic is what Sal wants to see answered.

It’s so interesting that Nebraska only has eight players that are seniors on the roster right now. That’s of course in part because of the COVID eligibility freeze from last season. Even with that, one of those seniors, linebacker Will Honas, is attempting to get the year back so that he can play for Nebraska next season.

The group of juniors that have decisions ahead of next season is a large group that contribute a lot to the team. Here are some selected players from the 19 juniors listed on the team.

  • QB Adrian Martinez
  • DT Damion Daniels
  • DL Deontre Thomas
  • WR Oliver Martin
  • TE Travis Vokolek
  • OL Matt Sichterman
  • LB Chris Kolarevic
  • TE Austin Allen
  • CB Cam Taylor-Britt
  • WR Omar Manning
  • OLB Caleb Tannor
  • OLB Pheldarius Payne

It would not be ideal for Nebraska to lose all the players after this season. I do believe the conversations will be ongoing with players who are able to return for an extra year next year. Some may have already decided that playing more college football isn’t for them. There are players in that group with NFL aspirations. It could also be a situation where players are just ready to move on and start the next phase of their lives.

It does get tricky when it comes to bringing those players back for a couple reasons. Like Sal wondered, there is a component of upsetting younger players. There are guys on the team who are ready to take on larger roles. That is going to depend from position group to position group though. Some position coaches for the team have shown a willingness to rotate players. Others haven’t and that could be a factor.

The other reason it’s tricky is because of the scholarship numbers. We all know by now that Nebraska’s 2022 recruiting class will be small. Let’s say those juniors elect to return to school next season. Their scholarship then counts against Nebraska’s overall number. That was not the case this season. That changes how coach Scott Frost will approach this too.

I do think that in the end this will mostly work itself out. There will be some surprise players that stay at Nebraska and some that move on. When we find out, I’m sure the coaches will have known based on talking to the players through the season. This whole situation is part of a unique roster management problem. All schools are dealing with.

As the season gets closer to being over these decisions are going to have more spotlight on them.

Recruit Watch

>> Recent 2023 Nebraska offer Malachi Coleman had a huge week for Lincoln East.

>> Nebraska offered 2025 USC defensive back commit Arron White a scholarship.

ICYMI

>> As Steve Marik wrote, Nebraska is left looking for answers again (Premium) after another loss to Minnesota.

>> Scott Frost and Adrian Martinez stood by the fourth-down play calls after another narrow loss.

>> The Nebraska volleyball team swept Illinois behind Madi Kubik’s big night.

>> The movie that is Nebraska football won’t change without a rewrite of the script, writes Brandon Vogel.

>> Mistakes continue to plague (Premium) the Huskers in a loss to the Gophers.

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