Each month, Land of 10 will take a look at the Cornhuskers’ recruiting to-do list for the upcoming month. This outlook focuses on three priorities for the program in the weeks ahead. We now move on to December.
1. New coaching staff must hit road quickly
This is at the top of the list for a reason. Presuming the new coach his hired and announced sometime this weekend, that will give him slightly less than two weeks to recruit in advance of the early signing period, which runs Dec. 20-22. The catch here is that an NCAA-mandated quiet period for recruiting begins on Dec. 17, which means coaches can’t visit with recruits and prospects may not visit schools during that time.
So in reality, the new coach will have to assemble a staff and dole out recruiting assignments in an especially short period of time. They cannot afford to waste any time, since the current class includes only nine commits, and that number is subject to decrease. Interim coach Trent Bray and some remaining recruiting staffers are preparing for a smooth transition, which certainly helps.
Still, moving quickly will be the key here.
2. Keep commits on board, grow class
This sounds obvious, but with only nine commits losing more than three or four would be difficult to swallow for the new staff. At that point, the coaches will be forced to essentially build the 2018 class in an extremely tight window. The new staff can make its life much easier by immediately building connections with current commits and keeping them on board with the program.
Part of hitting the road for the new staff is the importance of relationship-building. It’s also somewhat of a double-edged sword. Yes, they want to ensure most, if not all, of the class remains pledged to the Huskers, but they cannot spend all of their time on that aspect of recruiting, especially if they feel it will ultimately be a losing battle. Sometimes, it’s best to cut ties and move on — for all parties involved.
Recruits such as Joshua Moore, Cameron Brown, Mario Goodrich, Cameron Jurgens, Tate Wildeman and David Alston will likely be the primary prospects the coaching staff tries to keep committed to Nebraska.
Growing the class is also a priority. It may seem obvious, but holding only nine commitments is a tough deal at this point in the recruiting cycle. Obviously, apprehensions regarding the former coaching staff’s future discouraged recruits from committing, but the new staff will have a clean slate — one they must capitalize on quickly.
Adding commits also serves as a fail-safe if a handful of current commits do indeed decide to de-commit. Former coach Mike Riley wanted the 2018 class to grow to around 18 members, but with transfers and other roster maneuverings, it’s likely this staff will have to shoot higher than that mark.
3. Convince commits to sign during early signing period
Whatever progress the new staff does make, it will have to translate into results. That means commitments signing pen to paper between Dec. 20-22. By locking up commitments during the early signing period, the staff can concentrate its efforts on other prospects in January.
A desirable number here would be around 10 commits signing early. That would give the staff a solid foundation for the remainder of the recruiting cycle. Convincing recruits who don’t know the new coaches will be a challenge, as will swaying commits at their former places of work to follow them to Nebraska. Either way, they’ll need at least some recruits to sign on the dotted line in December.
You can find the recruiting to-do list for November here.
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