Each month, Land of 10 will take a look at the Cornhuskers’ recruiting to-do list for the upcoming month. This outlook focuses on three priorities for the program in the weeks ahead. We now move to March.
With February and National Signing Day in the rearview mirror, March will be another important month on the recruiting trail for Scott Frost and Nebraska as it begins to build the foundation of the 2019 recruiting class. With only two commitments and another big class expected, plenty of work remains.
Here are three things the Huskers need to do in March:
1. Keep offers flowing
Nebraska has been an offering machine for Class of 2019 prospects. It is reminiscent of the offer spree the Huskers went on right after Frost and his staff were hired in early December.
Offers are important because they don’t take much effort to extend. However, it usually means the staff has completed significant evaluation of a prospect, which is a key part of the recruitment process.
It also is important for the staff to get out in front and make offers before recruits whose stocks may rise during the summer take off. Getting a foot in the door is important in recruiting, and it usually starts with an offer.
2. Schedule junior day and/or other recruiting events
Lots of programs have started hosting prospects for a variety of junior days, unofficial visits and other recruiting events. Nebraska has not dabbled in those tactics. Nebraska needed January and the first week of February to finish the 2018 class, setting the Huskers back compared with programs that built the bulk of their classes during the early signing period in December.
The spring game is expected to be a huge recruiting day for Nebraska. The guest list should be long and filled with top talent. However, that list will fluctuate until the actual weekend of the spring game (April 21). Aside from that, though, Nebraska needs to schedule a junior day or a Friday Night Lights event (taking a page out of Mike Riley’s book) and bring recruits to campus.
Such events would help rack up commitments without using official visits. They also would provide opportunities for the coaching staff to do in-person evaluations.
3. Build big board, identify priority recruits
Offering prospects is one thing. Identifying which ones you really want is the next step. That involves getting to know recruits, speaking to their inner circle and discerning which ones are the best fits for the system.
Eventually, Nebraska’s staff will have to rank prospects. Some of this already might be done. When April comes around, the Huskers need to know which recruits they want the most and will pursue the hardest as spring turns to summer.
Nebraska did a great job of identifying its top prospects in a short time with the 2018 class. With ample time to recruit the 2019 group, there is no reason to believe this practice won’t be massively useful for the Huskers once again.