The Nebraska recruiting machine churns all week. Join us Monday through Friday nights when we recap recruiting news and offer analysis and context.
Friday Night Lights fan fest
Nebraska announced on Wednesday there will be three fan fests this month, two of which will take place before the Huskers’ Friday Night Lights camps on June 16 and 23.
There also will be a fan day on June 30. All of them will include free food, giveaways, games and appearances by former Huskers.
This was, no doubt, set up to bolster Friday Night Lights attendance. Nebraska did not say specifically in its release the fan fests are for the Friday Night Lights camps, but that’s only because it really can’t.
As we learned during the story on how Nebraska recruits in the digital age, athletic departments can’t promote the presence of recruits at an event. They can, however, announce the stadium will be open to the public for an event, and fans can figure out they’ll see recruits.
In that story, we also learned the importance of fans at an event such as the Friday Night Lights camps. Nebraska’s recruiting department head Dan Van De Riet said opening the event to fans last year might have been the staff’s best idea so far.
“I think what we’ve learned over our time here is the support in this state and fans nationally; the support they give the team is so classy and positive,” Van De Riet told Land of 10 a few weeks ago. “And then you start to realize when you see people engage with recruits just the general fan and the impact that has on everything, that’s something that we really like.”
Van De Riet mentioned in that story that Nebraska fans will come to pretty much anything. So it’s not as if Nebraska needed to put on a fan fest before the Friday Night Lights camps beforehand.
But, what it does is subtly push the Friday Night Lights camp from a new, exciting event to an entire evening of events. The entire setup feels like something that soon will be a tradition, which of course Nebraska fans love.
So even if this fan fest brings in about 1,000 more people, that’s still 1,000 fans in the stands for the camp, which recruits notice. And that’s the end game here: getting recruits to notice the fanfare of the Nebraska fan base.
So if fans are meddling around Lincoln all afternoon, then eating around the stadium for dinner, then watching recruits in the evening, recruits from out of town constantly will be surrounded by a sea of red. Which will, in the end, play well on the recruiting trail.
Yet another good idea from Van De Riet and his staff that is sure to pay off.
Joshua Moore update
Despite an influx of 247Sports Crystal Ball projections for 4-star wide receiver Joshua Moore to end up at Florida State, Nebraska still feels good about its chances to land Moore when he announces on June 18.
We’ve also heard the visit Moore has planned to Lincoln is for after his commitment date, not before. He’ll supposedly be in Lincoln for the June 23 Friday Night Lights camp. If true, it’s hard to imagine he’d come to Lincoln five days after committing somewhere else.
Nebraska coaches and life on the recruiting trail
Nebraska coaches are right in the middle of their weeklong satellite camp trip. And judging by this tweet from wide receivers coach Keith Williams, it looks like life on the road might be taking a small toll.
Even Donte "Luke Skywalker" Williams @coachD_GBR needs some Zzzz ,,mid text too‼️
"Come be a part of Money Teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" pic.twitter.com/L72XoWb2Yg
— Keith Williams (@wideouts) June 8, 2017
The best part of this photo really is the fact that cornerbacks coach Donte Williams fell asleep texting.
Donte did get Keith back the next day, however.
— Donte Williams (@coachD_GBR) June 8, 2017
On Thursday afternoon, Huskers coaches were at the Florida Atlantic Adidas Showcase, which was hosted by new FAU coach Lane Kiffin. On Thursday evening, Nebraska’s coaches were at a camp at Florida International University.
The staff will have the day off on Friday, then will be at the Lindenwood Camp in St. Louis on Saturday, then finally the Redlands Camp just outside of Los Angeles on Sunday.