Munson: Underestimating the effect

It's true that the national ACT test date doesn't just affect Nebraska, but all of the other schools that have spring games on the same date. So, recruits that can't visit Nebraska that weekend subsequently can't visit any other schools. Around the nation the spring game is not as big of a recruiting tool as it is in Nebraska.

Nearly three weeks after Nebraska's annual red-white spring game last year, the Husker coaching staff received a commitment from a visitor that weekend. About three months later, Nebraska picked up commitments from two other recruits that had visited the spring game.

When breaking it down, it can be argued the three commitments were three of the biggest in the 2012 class: 4-star wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp, 4-star offensive tackle Paul Thurston, and 3-star defensive end Greg McMullen.

Looking back at updates from Westerkamp, Thurston and McMullen following the spring game, all of them came away impressed with the amount of fans Nebraska had in attendance. It's a spectacle few programs in the nation can match.

While Nebraska tries to re-establish themselves as a national power and a perennial top 10 team, there is one thing the Huskers have over most of the nation's elite -the game day experience. It's even a bigger when talking about the spring game. Not many programs around the nation come close to selling out their stadium for some glorified scrimmage. Nebraska will fill 70,000+ seats in just a couple weeks.

It's a great time to show recruits and prospects how much Husker football means to the state of Nebraska. While many 2013 players will be in attendance, a few would have liked to come, but have an ACT test that weekend - Scott Quessenberry, Zach Hannon, and Keith Towbridge.

Hannon, a teammate of 2012 signee Michael Rose at Rockhurst high school (Kansas City), already made his way up to Lincoln a couple of weeks ago. Towbridge told that he is actually planning on making it up to Lincoln the week of the spring game. Quessenberry says that he will likely get to town this summer.

While Nebraska fans should be excited they are in fact visiting down the road, visiting during a non-game day experience just isn't the same. The ACT test must be taken, but does the spring game have to be scheduled on an ACT weekend? Is it preventable? More than likely it is.

There are dates on the national ACT website going out for another two years. On the surface it appears that there are roughly three things that Nebraska has to consider when it comes to spring practices and ultimately determining when the spring game will be held.

1.) When does spring break fall on the calendar?

2.) When does Easter weekend fall on the calendar?

3.) When does ACT testing weekend fall on the calendar?

Nebraska looks like they have rolled with the punches the best that they possibly can so far. Why this hurts though is that Nebraska had a solid junior day group of visitors and if a similar group of visitors could have made it to Lincoln for the spring game, then who knows how successful it might have been.

But what does it mean? Will Nebraska and more importantly the recruit who can't make to the spring game benefit from more personal time on an unofficial visit in Lincoln? It's possible.Will it have the same appeal as if there was a spring game that weekend?

We know the three names from last year's test sample. We'll see how this year's test sample ends up.

Bryan Munson has worked with Big Red Report for nine years covering recruiting and football and has covered Nebraska recruiting for 11 years. His work can also be seen in's SuperPrep Magazine.
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