If any of you followed me on the other site before, you probably read that I was trying to calm the masses about just how much NIL would help us. Many people thought “we are Nebraska and have a great backing in the community” and other things along those lines. I tried giving a warning that while those things were true, we were never going to outspend some SEC trust fund baby blowing the nest egg to get a recruit to sign with their team. Fast-forward to the first signing day where NIL mattered, and according to Rivals Nebraska had its worst finish in conference overall (9th) and second worst finish in conference for average star ranking (7th, 2014) since joining the league.
Not exactly how we thought it would go, is it? I tried to warn people, but it was the offseason and we always win that here at Nebraska.
But I can’t put a ton of blame on Frost or his staff. They were doing things how the NCAA intended. Nick Saban went on a great rant about it a month or so ago, and this whole NIL thing was designed so kids could make money off their successes at a school, it was not designed to pay massive sums of money to recruits just to sign the dotted line. Nebraska was playing the game how it was supposed to be, telling kids when they get here we have opendorse, Runza, FNB, car dealerships, and all these other businesses you can partner with to make loads of money. If you are a generic fan and even a recruit, it sounds great. Until you take your trip to Texas A&M who spent close to 35 million dollars on recruits just to sign their name on the letter of intent. So when you look at it from a recruits perspective, I can go to Nebraska and maybe get a lot of money, or I can sign with A&M and for sure get a lot of money. We had to switch up our game a bit…
So let me backtrack a tad. If you also remember from the other site, I mentioned that when Terry Joseph got here the one reason he had such a short stint was because he made mention to Pelini that when you add up the hour drive to Eppley to get on a commerical plane, get there an hour early to board the flight, it was time wasted. “By the time I was taking off on Southwest for Nebraska, I actually was already in front of the recruit at Tennessee flying charter planes. That doesn’t even take into account flight time and if the recruit is a couple hours from the airport.” He was right, imagine having an 8AM flight for Nebraska where you leave Lincoln at 6AM, but if you are in Knoxville and leave at 6AM, you are already at the recruits school by 8AM. Terry Joseph changed our game a bit, Bo initially went to Eichorst saying he needed more money for 1 or 2 recruiting staffers in an effort to lighten Ross Els’ load (who was special teams coordinator, recruiting coordinator, and linebackers coach at the time, think about that for a minute). He got told no, so his other option was to do a presentation with Jeff Jamrog to boosters about how far we travel to get to recruits and what SEC schools are doing, and that if we want to keep up we need access to private planes. Inevitably Bo was told no by Eichorst and didn’t get as much as he could if he would have had help from the AD, but Mike Riley was given those things. Joseph changed the game for us, but it was too late for Bo (probably shouldn’t F-bomb your boss either but that’s for another article).
Let’s now get back to present day Nebraska, Mickey Joseph shows up and nearly right away says “your plan to get these kids here with money tomorrow instead of today isn’t going to work. We have to show them value to sign.” You all of a sudden are giving six figures to Trey Palmer and Casey Thompson. You are able to get guys like Tommi Hill, Stephon Wynn, Mathis, Drew, Washington, and Williams. In year 5, it was so important to get guys in that had some D1 experience, because this staff does not have the time to sit and wait for the recruits to develop, let alone when they aren’t the caliber we were used to getting.
And i’ve long said this that was somewhat sobering… but for everyone that thinks Nebraska needs to recruit like Ohio State and Alabama to compete with them, we aren’t going to get there overnight and that’s a losing battle for high school kids. We can’t compete with their NIL and we aren’t winning right now. However, we have the ability to up our talent level by taking the guys that make their way out of those schools. We landed former five star Tyreke Johnson from Ohio State, we landed former four star Markese Stepp from USC, we landed former four star Oliver Martin, Ezra Miller, and Darrion Daniels. That is going to boost our recruiting rankings and our overall composite team talent.
I used those names in the previous paragraphs for a reason, because I feel it’s what everyone is excited about now. We grabbed two guys from Alabama, a guy from LSU, 2 guys from Texas, all highly rated. But it really hasn’t been the highly rated guys that have been helping us. Toure from FCS was a stud, Tre Neal from Go5 started all the games for us. So instant transfers from high level places that didn’t make it really haven’t been our best option.
But let me bring it back to a positive here, Casey Thompson is going to start for us. Trey Palmer is going to start for us, those guys are great additions. It’s almost a certainty that Drew or Wynn will start for us. We needed immediate help in a lot of places, and our staff went out and achieved that. That was what they had to do, and Mickey Joseph executed it flawlessly.
Is that the best long term plan?
So again, we are getting highly rated guys, but it’s the guys not playing elsewhere. While Thompson started for Texas, read in their blogs how they upgraded the QB position with him leaving. You read about how we upgraded the QB position in Lincoln even though where the kid left is saying they upgraded. I get it, every school wins the offseason like we do in Lincoln, everyone is 0-0 right now. My question is, is it better to build from recruits that know your system or try to get instant impact? Nebraska can get these once highly recruited guys after they don’t make the field at Bama or Ohio State, but is that better than getting guys like Garrett Nelson, Ben Stille, Adrian Martinez, Austin Allen, or Ty Robinson out oh high school and developing them?
Look, we had to get short term fixes so i’m quite pleased with what our staff did there. The problem becomes if you rely on transfers the whole time, you can pretty quickly fall into the situation Fred Hoiberg is in where the roster is different every year and you don’t have a culture (I realize it’s basketball just was going with an analogy people could relate to). Again, we needed to do this, I just am hoping we get back to some good foundation recruits for the 2023 class. Because crossing our fingers that guys who didn’t work out elsewhere will work out here is a dicey game. Our staff knows that. It’s really tough to be mad at the incoming talent though. With that said, I would have took keeping Casey Rogers over hoping a transfer is better. I would have loved having a 5 year starter back at QB with Whipple leading him rather than hoping Thompson works out. There’s pros and cons, just depends which side of the fence you are on for what you promote.
“Most talented team i’ve been a part of” – Adrian Martinez 2022 Kansas State
Everyone was quite up in arms about this statement. But let’s be real, what is the dude supposed to say? I don’t believe Martinez with this comment here any more than I believe Thompson trying to say our OL is better than what he had at Texas with our best guy leaving and our next best 2 players our for the entirety of spring.
While I don’t believe they are more talented, I do think that Kansas State is better coached than we have been the last 4 years. Pretty tough to argue that, their head coach has a winning record and has gone to 2 bowl games in 3 seasons at the helm. So either they are better coached, or they are more talented. I still believe it’s the former not the latter.
What I was really excited to see was Martinez with a good offensive QB coach like Whipple. I was never a fan of Verduzco, and I think Whipple could have calmed Martinez down a bit. But at the end of the day, we were asking Martinez to do too much, and a separation was best for both parties most likely.
What’s to come
It’s been awhile so i’ll put another one out on our 2023 in-state class of recruits that is getting deep in a hurry, as there are 9 kids with P5 offers. While Nebraska did not fair well in 2022, they will be able to reverse course this year with a renewed energy. More to come in the next few days.
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12 thoughts on “Thank you Joseph’s, the transfer haul, and Kansas State more talented?”
Thank you!! As always, good stuff. Don’t sleep on the JUCO running back either.
I think he’s going to be a really good one. I was more talking about D1 transfers and left out some JUCO guys but he may insert himself as a starter by the end of the year.
Thanks for the great insight as usual! On paper, it sure seems like we are getting quite a few good players in here…just hope they can gel and come together as a team and hit the road running – That first game in Ireland, to me, is one of the biggest games we have had in awhile…its almost a must win game IMO to set the tone and tenor of the year…lets hope these new additions prove to be the real deal(s).
I’d agree. On paper this is our best offseason transfer haul. I think the question I have is, is it a good thing we are grabbing more people from the portal than other schools? The bottom line is we needed more talent and we needed to do it, so it doesn’t really matter. With that said, we look pretty good. Hopefully the DL transfers will be ready to roll.
I am really curious to see how the one free transfer + portal blows up some of these NIL deals for HS kids. A&M paid $35M to get this big HS class and in a year or 2 some kids will transfer due to their position on the depth chart while the ones who worked will enter the portal to see if they can get a raise. I hope we stay far away from that path. We absolutely need to be all over the portal annually. Recruit local/regional HS kids who want to be in Lincoln then go to town in the portal.
Also, guessing its the next post but its crazy what hiring a competent staff has done for recruiting. Its infuriating it took this long for us to get this staff.
I think Frost and company were trying to do it right, and the waters are going to settle, we just lose some ground while that happens (as I referenced with our recruiting ranking and looking at our 3-9 record). I’m hoping we don’t see this as the norm, but more the wild west that gets tempered down the next year or two.
I think Nebraska is getting lucky that top recruits are in some different areas that have a much favorable opinion of this staff, but you still look at a guy like Flores who didn’t even get an offer. I have a hard time with the fact we have a local QB recruit with multiple P5 offers and he doesn’t get one from Nebraska. Those types of players just don’t grow on trees. But with that said, we are doing so much better in-state this year. Mickey Joseph was a godsend.
Totally agree on Flores. I get this is a unique scenario with the coaching change and years recruiting Watson but its hard to let OSU take that kid without any fight.
I love the in state movement but man getting Busch and Joseph into MO is a game changer. We could legit pull 3 4* grade kids from there after 0 signings since 2017. And they just got here. Id like us to do more in CO and Chicago and then we have a real good plan for HS kids plus portal that we can execute annually. Instate kids + regional recruits + 3-5 big market, out of region kids (CA, TX, GA, FL, etc) should net us 15-18 annually.
Love the Blog SSO, Great job! A thought on Martinez leaving. Hear me out, but It seems somewhat similar to the Bo Pelini leaving situation, minus the personalities and tape recordings of course. But, both were good and not everyone wanted to see them go. However neither could get over the hump in the games that mattered a little more. To me, It just seems like it was time for AM to move on. HCSF needs to get a full season with another QB. Maybe it won’t work out, but then at least we’ll know it was Coach and not AM. A buddy of mine swears AM was a “choker” and the root cause of our inability to finish games. We’ll see, I guess.
So, I think that Pelini analogy is a really good one. But you’ve probably heard me say this, one of the reasons that frustrated me about Pelini leaving is he asked for things from his AD and was told no, but the guy they brought in got the things he asked for. I always wonder if he could have got over the hump if they would have given him what he asked for which is the job of the AD, especially if they give it to someone else.
When it comes to Martinez, I think we were asking him to do too much which caused way too much on his plate and eventually he was going to turn the ball over in my opinion. But I also think he would have benefited from a different QB coach. Now, i’m skewed because i’ve disliked Verduzco from year 1, it was just tough to say it because people would just reference Milton. I also think there’s many more weapons around the Nebraska program now than ever before. I think you’ll see Martinez look a lot different this year in Manhattan with good coaching (if he can stay healthy). If our line is good enough I think you’ll also see Thompson do really well here.
I have a question. Why did Tony Tuioti leave. Was there issues there? Our DL was getting better depth every year and he leaves and it jut snowballed from there. I think Dawson will do fine and he was the reason our DL started to turn around but now we have to start over?
I honestly didn’t strike up a great relationship with him, so I probably can’t answer that all that well. But it definitely hurt. You lose all of your seasoned depth with Rogers, Riley, Thomas, and Daniels once he left.