Nebraska HS Football Recruiting in Critical Condition
Hawkeyes and Huskers Don’t See Eye to Eye On In-State Recruiting
Vote below on Huskers’ recruiting strategy
By Will Cummings
It’s late in the football recruiting cycle for the high school class of 2010, and yet only three Nebraskans, Andrew Rodriguez, Aurora; Tyler Evans, Waverly, and Bryce Dietz, Lincoln North Star have received D-1A offers thus far. Even of more concern, Rodriguez and Evans remain the only players offered by the Huskers—the same total of Nebraska high school prospects that made up Bo Pelini’s first full recruiting class last year.
Back in March, I wrote an article titled “Bo Pelini’s Recruiting Strategy: Will It Work?” The article explained Pelini’s strategy of recruiting Nebraska high school football players–almost exclusively–as walk-ons, while he and his staff scoured the states of Texas and California for scholarship players. In the follow-up article “Is It Time to Panic: Class of 2010 Recruiting Numbers Way Off Last Year’s Dismal Pace” that appeared in April, I noted my concern, at the time, that only 1 Nebraska high school football prospect in the class of 2010 had received an offer. The article also went on to mention that D-1A offers to Nebraskans would continue to trend downwards. Unfortunately, a major factor contributing to the decline is Bo Pelini’s recruiting strategy of limiting the number of in-state offers to gain more out-of-state opportunities.
Many Husker fans may think Pelini’s strategy is all fine and dandy, thinking that they need to get as many top-end players as possible.” However, when a program in such a unique position—the only D-1 football college in the state—fails to tend its own backyard it will begin to lose its value. That’s something that programs like the neighboring No. 7 ranked University of Iowa Hawkeyes seem to be keenly aware of:
|Iowa Hawkeyes vs Nebraska Cornhuskers 2010 In-State Football Offers|
Yes, Iowa has a population of 3 million vs Nebraska’s 1.8 million, but they also have two D-1 football programs competing against each other for talent . Yet, the only comparison above is between the Hawkeyes and the Huskers. In other words, there is no accounting of other in-state prospects that may have received offers from the Cyclones. The University of Iowa truly demonstrates a strong commitment to its high school football program.
So goes Nebraska high school football—so goes the Husker program.
The less Nebraska high school players offered by the Huskers the less total D-1 offers. And the less out-of-state D-1 colleges will offer Nebraskans for fear that if the Huskers don’t want them they must not be that good. The less D-1 opportunity in the state will ultimately erode the level of high school play. Even filtering down to to the talent level of Nebraska’s would-be-walk-ons. So If Bo Pelini and his staff believe they can build a championship program, while only offering two scholarships a year to Nebraska high school football players—good luck!
Bo Pelini’s Recruiting Strategy: Will It Work
Is It Time to Panic: Class of 2010 Recruiting Numbers Way Off Last Year’s Dismal Pace”
October 24, 2009 @ 9:43 am
I agree that it doesn’t look very nice when our state univesity is only giving two in-state offers, but the fact of the matter is that we don’t have much talent here. If we did other d1 colleges would be making them to our kids.
October 25, 2009 @ 1:34 pm
For those of you who are NE fans this article is a thought to ponder and dwell upon. Do you feel our HS athletes are NOT as good as the out-of-state recruits? If so what are the reasons why? Is it talent or lack thereof? Coaches who are behind the times in technique? Coaches that don’t promote their athletes? Are our high school athletes truly less gifted or that bad? Why do Iowa colleges see it a so differently?
This is a eye opener and I hope NE gets back to offering at least 4-6 instate prospects every year like Tom and Frank did in the past, it will go a long way in helping team chemistry, which is sorely lacking at the present time! Should we regulate ourselves to making instate athletes to feel as thou they are only as good as a walk-on?
I’m not making the millions that Bo or the $100k+ his coaching staff is, but man will the author of this article perceptions and prediction become a reality (Maybe it already has.) Thus hurting young kids from truly believing they are worthy of playing at a higher level such as at NE. So they come to only believe and expect to only be worthy and accept the NE walk-on programs as their ability warrants it?. Either that or our kids go elsewhere and another D-1A program takes our very best from our glorious states football program.
Most will come back to play w/a hard chip on their shoulder. It seems every four year it most certainly happens. We get beat to teams we lost our very best too. Because NE believe’s (and maybe the fan’s do too) the best talent lives outside our Sate. But what about Iowa? What do they know or see differently than NE? Look at where Iowa University ranks and where a good percent of their talent comes from. IN STATE. See how far Iowa State has come and you will see the same……..Is their in state recruits! It’s time we take a second look at our beloved walk program. Nothing wrong with it but PLEASE we only have two of three instate recruits who have been offfered by NE.
October 25, 2009 @ 2:24 pm
From what i’ve heard the reason its rare for out of state d1 schools to offer the nebraska boys is because they figure that their offer will either get turned down because the nebraska kids just want to go to lincoln and that would be a slap in the face to any out of state school to have a scholi turned down for a walk on. Another reason is that the out of state schools think that the kids in nebraska must not be good if their own state school hasnt offered them. The husker staff knows that most of the talent in this state would die even for a chance to walk on there so they are not going to offer them because they can get out of state talent and get scholarship caliber players as walk ons. In my opinion if this continues to progress I think the in state kids will become less and less likely to keep walking on and many will go somewhere else that they are givin an offer. Also to some degree I think that the Evans offer is political because I could name about 5 kids that would be a better player for a spot on the team.
October 25, 2009 @ 2:26 pm
Iowa versus Nebraska is an apples and orange argument. Iowa/Iowa State don’t recruit the same type of players we recruit.
Nebraska has to compete in the Big XII with four Texas schools. I am not saying the Big XII is better than the Big Ten – Its just a different type of football with emphasis placed on different skill sets. Those kids in Texas have been playing competitive football since grade school. We have very few grade school football programs in Nebraska and those we do have aren’t competitive geographically. Therefore the kids we get in high school aren’t ready to run complex offensive and defensive schemes.
Ever wonder why Nebraska produces so many college and pro baseball talent? Look at the youth select/traveling programs we have in the population centers of Nebraska. They are cutting edge and advanced and do exceedingly well against national competition.
Why doesn’t Nebraska produce more D-1 basketball talent? Same reason we don’t produce the football talent. There isn’t the youth/AAU infrastructure to get the best and most physically gifted into the right programs.
Your simply not going to compete for national titles with kids from Nebraska at skill positions because they aren’t going to be developed to compete early in their college careers.
October 25, 2009 @ 8:52 pm
If you look at those Iowa teams of the past few years, you’ll notice that the bread and butter guys are in-state players. This year, Iowa’s bread and butter players are Tyler Sash, Pat Angerer and Brett Greenwood. Now they may not be the most athletic players out there but they are the most consistent ones.
I’ve seen Nebraska HS football and been apart of it long enough to know that we do have talent and that talent is capable of playing at a high level
October 26, 2009 @ 3:38 pm
Dan I agree with your point about Nebraka not doing enough to prop up its youth and high school football programs. It’s hard to believe that a state whose main idnintity to the nation is Husker Football does so little when it comes to developing youth and high school football in this state. Nebraska is falling further behind the competition because of this. Having Spring high school football would be a great start.