Hoping it pays dividends

Last year, recruiting the state of Texas was tough for Nebraska. There were seven recruits that visited Nebraska last year and Nebraska only lured one to commit. That one recruit tied the low of Nebraska recruiting classes over the past 22 years. Nebraska has increased its efforts with adding two coaches to an already impressive number of coaches on the recruiting trail in Texas.

Nebraska has a lot of things going it's way when it comes to recruiting in Texas this year. First of all, there is at least a noticeable desire to recruit Texas a bit more effectively than what Nebraska did last year. Nebraska was only able to pull in one recruit from Texas last year, Will Henry, but brought in seven as official visitors.

The number of visitors is a bit deceiving. It was obvious as the process went that Nebraska might have refined their search for commits and chose to go another direction. There seems to be three or more incidents of players from Texas that visited that Nebraska did seem to stop recruiting following their official visit.

Refining the search happens, but Nebraska not recruiting Texas just doesn't. The total that Nebraska took last year equals the lowest total that they have taken in the past 22 years. Arguably, in 1999 and 2001 it could be said that Nebraska didn't have a single player from those two classes that came from Texas.

In 1999, Nebraska received a commitment from a signal caller from Houston (Texas) Davis. His name was Carl Crawford and was perceived to be the second coming of Tommie Frazier. Crawford was a 6-foot-2 and 205 pound option quarterback who never stepped foot on campus in Lincoln opting to try his hand at Major League Baseball.

Danieal Manning first committed to Texas A&M in 2001, but chose to sign with Nebraska. The heralded cornerback brought ability that could have seen the field immediately. Manning failed to qualify, but came to Lincoln in an effort to get academically qualified. Manning opted to go junior college, never playing for Nebraska, and was recently a second round draft pick in the NFL draft.

Nebraska's recruiting successes in Texas are well documented, as are it's shortcomings. Over the past 22 years of recruiting in Texas there is a fairly long list of players that have come to Nebraska from Texas who have helped Coaches Tom Osborne , Frank Solich and Bill Callahan continue to be successful at Nebraska.

The biggest blast form the past is Broderick Thomas, a recruit in the 1985 class. There are also names that start in 1989 that led to Nebraska's success in the early to mid 90's that directly led to national championships. There has been Aaron Graham, Aaron Taylor, Kris Brown and Julius Jackson.

Last year Nebraska had four coaches in the state of Texas who were responsible for recruiting. They were Jay Norvell, John Blake, Ted Gilmore, and Randy Jordan. Nebraska has now added Phil Elmassian and Shawn Watson to help recruit Texas.

But why Texas? Well, it's a numbers thing. It's goes further and longer than just the past 22 years, that I know about, that Nebraska had a recruit. The number is 153.

Do you know what the number 153 means? You probably don't, but I am going to tell you. 153 refers to the amount of players that from the state of Texas that committed to a Big XII school. Nebraska had one of those 153.

More than that, is that last year and this year that Texas was done recruiting early. This year, they might be done recruiting, pending any decommits, by early June. People ask if this is a good thing for Nebraska. I am here to tell you that it is good for everyone.

If there were 153 kids that were to go to Big XII schools this year then Texas has 19 of the 20 that they will take. Once they have their 20 then 133 kids are left looking for somewhere else, if their first wish was to go to Texas. They know that they can't get in unless someone decommits.

It's here that Nebraska hopes to make their mark. The Nebraska coaches have been in Texas since the beginning of the evaluation period. The evaluation period might be a time to get to see the players that you have already offered, but it's more importantly a time that you get to take to see players that you haven't. To eyeball.

With six coaches out there on the road and Texas about full this could be a very successful year for Nebraska to recruit Texas. There have already been 30+ offers to players from Texas, or just slightly below a third of all offers being extended that we know about at this time. Think that there isn't an emphasis to get more players from Texas? Think again.

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