Lincoln, NE - It has only been two months since Nebraska linebackers coach Ross Els added recruiting coordinator to his title, but the second-year assistant is getting settled into the position.
Usually one of the biggest challenges of being a recruiting coordinator is staying on position coaches to write letters, make calls, and scout high school prospects. Els makes it sound like it's one of his least worries.
"These guys when it comes to a recruiting standpoint are eager," said Els, who now has to worry about special teams as the Special Teams Coordinator. "They understand the importance of it. We don't have a bad recruiter on the staff and they work extremely hard."
The word "picky" is often used to describe the current Nebraska coaching staff's selection process when offering potential recruits. The Huskers are known to not just offer a player because another position coach or team has put a scholarship on the table.
It usually means Nebraska by mid-April doesn't have as many offers extended to players as other teams in the conference. But, if a player does hold an offer, he's usually sold on how special it is.
"We go through sort of a four step process," Els explained. "The area coach will probably be the first one to notice a guy. Then the position coach, the coordinator, and Bo all have to sign off on him.
"We cover such a big geographical area. So if we not all sold on a guy, I think we are able to say 'he's probably just not quite right, so let's go find another one at that position.'
"You won't hear 'this guy is my recruit. He's my guy' with this staff...Kids are going to be hit up a lot different people."
After winning three National Championships in the 1990s, two more back in the 70s, and 43 conference titles, Nebraska football will always be regarded as one of the best programs in America. But the Huskers have not won a conference title since 1999 – meaning many recruits have not seen Nebraska be at the top of their game since they were four to five years old.
"What we need to do right now is get our wins at a little higher level," said Els. "We need to get into a BCS bowl game, so we can sell championship football on a more consistent basis. But it's really good to walk into a school and have that "N" on your chest.
"It sells because of the tradition here. It sells because of the impression that we do things the right way here, both on the field and in the classroom. We have that sort of reputation. I think it also sells because of fan support. If we are able to get them to a game or to a spring game, with a packed house, that sells."