In Need Of Change, II

When I wrote, "In Need Of Change" I didn't think that a lot more needed to be said. But the more that I thought about it, the more that I talked about it I realized that I did. There are some other fundamental changes that Nebraska must do than just the timing of highly regarded recruits with official visits.

"In Need Of Change" really outlined a problem of bringing highly regarded recruits in for the first few weekends of the season. It showed a failure to really get any of the kids except one. One that hailed from Missouri, Mike McNeil, and came to Nebraska with Nebraska as the leader.

I didn't really put that two and two together until a little later. Out of the 20 official visitors through the first four weeks, McNeil had traveled the least and was the only one to commit.

So, what is actually being said here? Well it's simple and that is: success breeds success. The importance of bringing in the top players from California and Texas should move to the top players in a more immediate area.

There was a time that players in states like the Dakotas, Iowa, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, etc. really didn't think about going anywhere else than coming to Nebraska. These states aren't known for putting out a lot of talent, but usually what they have is pretty choice.

So, the emphasis on early year recruiting needs to shift from getting high rated players in to enjoy warm weekends in Nebraska to getting in players that might be considered "slam-dunks".

Those facts escaped me beyond just the ratings and timing. So beyond needing to bring in higher profile recruits later in the season to stay fresher on the minds it is also necessary to bring in the recruits that are closer to Lincoln to get them on board as soon as possible.

But then that brings up another solid idea for change. Nebraska's success recruiting east coast players has come up empty again and again. Most recently you had a newspaper article mentioning that J.B. Walton isn't considering Nebraska and A.J. Wallace not even mentioning Nebraska.

The fact of the matter is out of the known 108 offers from Louisiana to Florida up to New York, Nebraska received a commitment from one of them so far. Nebraska is really only still being considered by two of them by my count, Evan Royster and Greg Davis.

So, time is being invested in an area that hasn't been favorable in getting returns from Nebraska. The problem is, you can't stop recruiting it all together. The problem here might be two-fold.

The first problem could be spreading the Nebraska coaches too thin in an area of talent that hasn't been known recently for having a lot of players come to Nebraska. There are roots there though, like with Doug Coleman, Jason and Christian Peter, Barron Miles and most recently Jammal Lord to players from the upper-Northeast.

What might need to happen is beyond the evaluation needed to offer a player another evaluation could be needed to gauge players that might actually favor Nebraska. So, you still need to offer the 108 players, but you them need to get that number cut down to mutual interest prospects.

The second problem might be the need to get a coach out there that is a good closer. Cruz Barrett was recruited primarily by Randy Jordan, but there was some cross-over in his recruitment with Coach Dennis Wagner and even Bill Callahan to some extent.

The other areas belong to various coaches and Pennsylvania even belonged to a graduate assistant. There needs to be a closer on the east coast. A closer that after the mutual interest recruits have been identified is the primary recruiter for.

I would also look to spread the offers a little more liberally. Those 108 offers that yielded the one commit came from around eight states and constitutes about 40% of the known offers that were extended.

When you look at recruiting classes in general you have 20-25 players. So on average you need about 2-3 players per coach when it comes to commitments. Yet these states are primarily recruited by two or three coaches. That is spread too thin.

I would look for some changes to be made in next year's recruiting. One or more of the ideas that the coaching staff have to be thinking about has to be the need to recruit the east coast less because of their inability to land those players.

Call it spreading the coaches too thin, not having a closer or a different mindset by the east coast kids; recruiting kids east of the Mississippi River has simply not yielded results. Beyond that, there is a need to be successful early and bringing in players that are geographically closer to Lincoln in order to keep recruiting going and being successful early.

Big Red Report Top Stories