Lincoln, NE - New Nebraska recruiting coordinator Ross Els knows the Huskers Red-White spring game is an important weekend on the recruiting calendar. Last year, Nebraska picked up a commitment from a visitor three weeks after the glorified scrimmage. A couple months later, two more spring game visitors committed to the program.
"It's a good weekend to get kids in to see the fan support we have. It's good for them to see us in a game environment and intensity we have at this place," said Els. "We need to do a good job to get good numbers and more importantly get the right kids in here.
"We have better fan support than anyone else. When we say 300 straight sellouts that carries a lot of weight to kids. I think our spring game will be as much attended as anything else. It's big for everyone."
With the help of fan support, Els and the rest of the coaching staff are expecting a "good" April and May, with a number of kids right now "teetering." With only two commitments at the moment, the 2013 class list could be growing very soon.
"We haven't really said we need 'x' number by this date," said Els. "We would love to be at 25...things change so much. There are so many dynamics out there, it's hard to say you where you need to be at a certain time. Do we want them to keep coming, yeah we do. It will happen.
"I think we are going to do some things in June to try to get more kids on campus, that should be good. We are finding different ways to try to make it attractive to come out here than just the normal pitch come visit us. Everyone is saying that. The spring game is obviously a special date, but what else can we do to make it more attractive than going to other schools. Nothing has been set yet, but we are working on it."
As usual, Nebraska will continue their camp tradition, with the same amount of camps as last year.
"We are making more of a push with the 2014 class now. Most of the kids we have offered in the 2013 class aren't really going to camps because they already have those offers," said Els, who does admit 2013 players without an offer will come to the camp looking to be evaluated up close and personal.
With gas prices as high as they are, Nebraska has the challenge of convincing not only recruits, but their parents an unofficial visit to Lincoln is well worth the cost.
"We have to deal with it. I was looking at flights from Newark (New Jersey) to here and it's over $500," said Els, who recruits on the East Coast. "We are not going to make excuses. That's why we have to make different ways for kids to be attracted to come in here. That's part of the deal. We are in a different location than most people I think recruiting wise, but we have a special thing going here. I would rather have it the way we have it, than compared to other schools."