Stay updated with Nebraska Cornhuskers football recruiting in the latest edition of The Harvest, which posts at 7:30 p.m. ET Sunday through Thursday. Don’t miss out on Nebraska recruiting news, and check out previous editions of The Harvest here.
New transfer rule gives players more control
Two groundbreaking measures from the NCAA announced Wednesday made it the biggest day of the offseason. First, the NCAA announced that transfer players no longer have to go through the “permission-to-contact” process, effectively ending the practice of a player’s school being able to bar them from specific destinations.
Athletes no longer have to be released from their scholarships. Simply put, beginning in October, athletes are free to transfer whenever they want, as they inform their school. At that point, the school uploads that information into a national database, where other schools can find transfers’ names and start recruiting.
“I know we’ve scoured through it in the Big Ten and gotten a lot of input from coaches and such,” Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos told Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald. “This is probably not the last we’ll hear about the transfer rules.”
The obvious impact on recruiting is that it will be a time-consuming task for coaches and program staffs to monitor the database and keep track of which athletes are on the market.
A secondary effect of this rule change is that high school and junior college recruitments will hold less weight. If players can come and go as they please, their initial decisions will not mean as much. Of course, athletes will still have to sit out a season if they decide to transfer before graduating. That rule has not changed.
New redshirt rule has plenty of advantages, should benefit Huskers
The second rule change Wednesday has even more of an impact on recruiting. This new statute dictates that players can participate in up to four games without burning a redshirt. They can then begin the next season as redshirt freshmen. The rule doesn’t apply to “midyear enrollees who participate in postseason football competition that occurs before or during the student-athlete’s first term at a school.”
That means that an early enrollee, such as a freshman who starts school in January, cannot play in a bowl game.
“I think it will help with the development of young players and their transition to the college game,” Huskers coach Scott Frost told McKewon. “They can get an opportunity to see what the competition level will be, stay more engaged and feel like they have an opportunity to impact the team. It also helps in the case of injuries at a position late in the season, and not having to make a difficult decision on whether or not to take a redshirt off a player.”
The advantages lie in both the beginning and end of the season. You can see whether a new player has what it takes to play early, and then perhaps take him off the table by the time Big Ten play rolls around. Or, you can use it the other way around. If the player needs work in the weight room and makes those strides during the season and can hold his own toward the end of the season, then maybe he plays. Bowl games suddenly are in play for all players.
Coaches also essentially could activate a player for a specific game. For example, if one position group is battling injuries for a series of weeks — like the Huskers experienced at linebacker in the middle of last season — a player could be “activated” to offer some depth.
In recruiting, this also offers a different wrinkle. Instead of insinuating that players will or will not take a redshirt when they get to campus, coaches can put the ball in the athlete’s court. What those conversations will boil down to is, “We’ll have the opportunity to play you, and if you show us enough, you won’t be redshirted” — or vice versa.
Missing out on Nebraska recruiting? Check out previous editions of The Harvest here.