Nebraska finished the 2018 recruiting class on a strong note thanks to the efforts of Scott Frost and his staff, but expect the Cornhuskers to take the next step with a successful 2019 class. Land of 10’s Chris Bumbaca will answer a recruiting question of the day every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Ask him a question on Twitter (@BOOMbaca or @Landof10Huskers) or on Facebook. Find our previous questions and answers here.
What's the hardest position for Frost and co to recruit to Nebraska? Which position is hardest to evaluate at the high school level?
— Frenkenstein (@fadam33) May 13, 2018
Speaking in absolutes can be a finicky task when discussing recruiting. It’s tough to point at one specific position group and say “This is the hardest position for Nebraska coach Scott Frost and his staff to recruit.” Recruiting is difficult; some coaches are better at it than others. Others let their work on the field do the talking.
Now, if you’re wondering which position the Huskers maybe don’t have as many targets compared to other units on the board, that can be answered in a more precise fashion.
Last week, I wrote about how the Huskers had 45 offers out to tackles in the 2019 recruiting class. That number has since grown to 46. That’s a lot of offers at one position. But it’s an important one for the Huskers in this cycle, as offensive line coach Greg Austin has been tasked with rebuilding depth at the tackle spot — an undertaking that will start with the 2019 class.
A lineman who has been linked closely to Nebraska is McKade Mettauer, but he’s listed as a guard. At this point, there’s not a ton of traction between the Huskers and any prospect listed as a tackle. Given the number of offers extended at the position, that has to be disappointing.
For those reasons, it may seem as if Nebraska is having a tougher time recruiting tackles this cycle. But that’s not to say things aren’t going according to plan.
Perhaps it was Austin’s goal to cast a wide net for 2019, knowing it would be a key class in which he could afford to bring in numbers — the Huskers likely will sign three tackles and perhaps five offensive linemen — and also find guys who might take time to develop. That requires a thorough evaluation process, which is something that has kept him busier than normal over the last month and will continue for the rest of May.
There’s also the geographic component to recruiting linemen. The Huskers would love to make their bread and butter recruiting the trenches close to home. Sometimes, though, that’s not feasible, as evidenced by the signing of Willie Canty from Florida in the 2018 class. In order to come through on that goal, Austin and the rest of the staff have prioritized regional talent in 2019 and 2020, particularly on the lines, meaning that they’re dedicating time to those relationships.
Nebraska has to hope that strategy will result in commitments from their top tackle targets — and at every position.
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