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Scott Frost cautious about filling class too early
Plenty of recruits across the country are taking advantage of a new NCAA rule that allows high school juniors to take official visits during the spring, and Nebraska football has hosted dozens of recruits the last two weekends. But the option for them to take an official visit to Nebraska is off the table for a variety of reasons.
For one, Nebraska has only two official visits allotted for the current term, which expires in August. Additionally, Huskers coach Scott Frost is not crazy about the idea of hosting official visits before the fall.
“We’re not going to be real fired up about using official visits in the spring,” Frost said after practice Wednesday.
The primary reason, Frost said, is his desire for recruits to experience the game-day environment in Lincoln.
“There’s some situations where kids will want to commit early and we’ll have to think about using them, but I want kids to be able to come and experience what a game is like here,” Frost said. “There are very few game-day experiences like we have in Lincoln. It’s a great time for kids to come visit us.”
It’s a worthwhile strategy. Memorial Stadium is a sight to be seen on fall Saturdays. The atmosphere the fan base provides is mostly unmatched across the country. Recruits will respond to that, and Frost wants to use that to his advantage.
Another underlying reason for Frost’s view on spring official visits is that he would rather wait to fill his class.
“I’m also not personally crazy about getting too many kids committed in May to June, because you have to hold on to them for a long time,” Frost said. “When a kid commits, I want it to be final. I want them to be done looking. We’re going to be committed to them and not yank their scholarship if somebody better wants to come or if they get hurt. If a kid belongs to us, they’re ours and we’ll honor that, and if a kid commits to us, we expect them to honor that as well.
“Sometimes getting a kid to commit early leads to a long haul and making sure they stay committed all the way through December or February.”
Frost and his staff did just fine putting together the 2018 recruiting class in a couple of months and built the foundation in a matter of weeks from when they took the job to the early signing period. Frost’s desire to have recruits be 100 percent solid is reasonable. However, not accepting commitments early in the cycle could be a dangerous game.
But if that’s how Frost wants to operate, that’s how the Huskers will go about it. No matter when the commitments come in, the staff will recruit the right players for the program.
Transfer market starts to take shape
College football’s transfer market is heating up, particularly among quarterbacks. Nebraska has been connected to two recent happenings.
Patrick O’Brien was granted his release Thursday by Nebraska. And on Wednesday night, former Arizona quarterback Brandon Dawkins announced that he committed to Indiana on Tuesday. Dawkins held interest in the Huskers and would have been a good fit in the offense. While it’s a young quarterback room, there’s now only two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster — redshirt freshman Tristan Gebbia and freshman Adrian Martinez. Neither have taken a college snap.
That’s why it’s not unreasonable for Frost to be interested in the quarterback-transfer market and why Dawkins and the Huskers made sense, depending on when Dawkins would be eligible. It will be interesting to see whether Nebraska ends up pursuing the transfer market further.
“The guys we have are doing a pretty good job,” Frost told the Omaha World-Herald’s Sam McKewon. “If we feel good enough to go into the season, with what we’ve got, that’d be better than trying to add somebody else to the mix at a later stage. We’ll look at options, but right now we’re pretty happy with the guys who are here.”
If Nebraska does take a closer look at transfer quarterbacks it should be directed at graduate transfers. In that case, the player would be immediately eligible. The benefit is that Nebraska could use a scholarship on the transfer for one season while developing Martinez and Gebbia throughout the 2018 season.
I wouldn’t expect any action to materialize until the end of the month or early May, when spring practice ends and the coaches have a better idea of where Martinez and Gebbia stand.
And if the Huskers do target a transfer, expect them to use an official visit to bring him in. I’m sure Frost wouldn’t mind.
Missing out on Nebraska recruiting? Check out previous editions of The Harvest here.