Nebraska football mailbag: With National Signing Day over, what’s next for Huskers?
Have Nebraska football questions? We’ve got answers. Join us every Wednesday for the Land of 10 Nebraska mailbag to talk all things Huskers. This week, we discuss the 2019 recruiting class, Nebraska’s 2018 walk-on class and more.
Nebraska currently has two players committed in the 2019 recruiting class. Those two are 3-star outside linebacker Garrett Nelson from Scottsbluff, Neb., and 3-star athlete Garrett Snodgrass from York, Neb. As you noted, both are in-state prospects.
While both committed players are from Nebraska, the Huskers have 151 offers out to recruits in the 2019 class. Those recruits come from all over, including Texas, Florida and California. As for getting those out-of-state prospects to commit, coach Scott Frost said it best on Signing Day: visits to Lincoln and the campus are key.
“You know what we have to talk about: kids in Florida, Texas and other places on what their perception of Lincoln, Neb., is,” Frost said. “I think the perception out there is this is a football stadium in the middle of a cornfield and it’s always cold. I can’t tell you how many kids when I met with them on Sunday after their official visits told me this is nothing like they thought it was going to be like. So it’s going to be important for us to get kids to campus.”
Once recruits start visiting Lincoln, Frost and his staff will be able to show them what Nebraska is all about. Add in the sold-out spring game, and the Huskers are in a perfect position to gain some momentum with the 2019 recruiting class in the next couple of months.
Yes, I can. Thank you for asking.
Nebraska added an impressive group of walk-on commits to its 2018 recruiting class. You can see the full list here. The class is large one, and probably a little larger than most walk-on classes typically would be. Frost addressed that on Wednesday, saying a larger walk-on class was important in the short term.
“I think we wanted to introduce more this year to get the ball rolling,” Frost said. “We want to make sure we have the right guys in the program, the right walk-ons in the program and guys that we feel like can eventually be on the field and help this football team. That’s what has happened at Nebraska in the past, and I want that to happen again.”
Looking through the list, you have players such as linebacker Anthony Banderas of Southwest High School in Lincoln. He is the younger brother of former Nebraska linebacker Josh Banderas. You also have quarterback Matt Masker of Kearney (Neb.) Catholic, who decided to walk-on at Nebraska over offers from South Dakota State and some FCS programs. Ryan Schommer, an outside linebacker from Norfolk (Neb.) High School, was also a big get for Nebraska. He had always dreamed of playing for the Huskers. And those are obviously only a few of many on the list.
My big takeaway from this 2018 walk-on class after speaking with many of them is that they sincerely believe in what Frost wants to build at Nebraska. Many decided to stay in-state, pay their own way and work for a scholarship over other potential offers elsewhere. That says something. I think you’ll find quite a few of these walk-on commits on scholarship down the road and contributing in key positions for Nebraska.
Frost saw some glaring holes in the roster when he arrived in December, and those were primarily at defensive back and receiver. And on Signing Day, he made it clear that he was going to recruit the best players he could whether they were at skill positions or not.
“When you’re taking over a 4-8 team, there’s a lot of needs,” Frost said. “We didn’t want to focus on one position with the short amount of time we had. We just wanted to take the best players. So there might be one or two positions when we took more than we wanted and a couple positions where we would have liked another guy to fill out a roster spot, but in general we feel good about every player we got. There were some glaring needs. We needed a young quarterback. Our depth and the numbers at receivers and defensive back were nowhere near the number that we’d like to carry. So we definitely needed to get some guys in the defensive backfield and out wide on offense.
“We got the guys we wanted for the most part at those positions and feel great about what we got. Going forward, we’ll be able to balance the roster and fix the positions we’d like to have, but this year with the short amount of time, it was about getting the best players we could get.”
With that said, Nebraska added 4 wide receivers in the 2018 recruiting class. You could even add a fifth in athlete Miles Jones, as he’s expected to be utilized at both running back and wide receiver. The Huskers also have two running backs (and a third, again dependent on Jones) and a slew of other skill athletes.
I’m sure Frost doesn’t feel the roster is perfect yet. There’s work that has yet to be done, but this was a step in the right direction for stocking a roster with skill players to fit Frost’s system.
If the Huskers keep winning, there’s a chance of being selected for the NCAA Tournament. It also doesn’t hurt that when teams Nebraska has played (win or lose) improve their own RPI. For example, despite Nebraska losing to St. John’s, the Red Storm have jumped up 30 spots in the RPI and is now considered a “Tier 1” game for the Huskers. Those changes help a lot.
It’s not a done deal either way for Nebraska, but the Huskers only can control their own fate at this point. For now, keep winning and the odds of landing a tournament bid will continue to increase.
Have a question about Nebraska football? Tweet us @Landof10Huskers, and we’ll try to answer your question in a future mailbag. Check to see if your question already was answered by reading previous Nebraska football mailbags here.