Recruiting, the Portal, and a little bit on Mickey

When it comes to recruiting, I have been beating the drum for a while now to not worry about it until we had a head coach in place and December 2nd came our way. I still remember when Malachi Coleman committed in October, and I tried to let people know that the recruiting class and commits were inconsequential until we had a HC in place. Mickey wasn’t even being looked at for the job unless he got us to a bowl game, and it was 50/50 on if he would be retained anyway. I sent this tweet:

I got a ton of backlash for it from a couple people telling me recruiting absolutely mattered and it was dumb to even think that. The point of what I was saying is, it would unprecedented to have a head coaching change and not have decommits and people bolt. It was going to work both ways… recruits weren’t going to still come here if Frost, Mickey, or others weren’t coaching still. Conversely, Rhule may not want some of the guys that are committed like the QB or RB. I just didn’t understand the backlash. But I got backlash for tweeting after Coleman committed to just hang tight, and he has since decommitted, that couldn’t have played out any more like I said it would.

I’ll again go into the message board I was on where I got in an argument with the main moderator who told me “you can’t fire Riley because the recruiting class would blow up.” IT DOES NOT MATTER. This recruiting class starting now begins to matter, but even so, Nebraska football is bigger than one recruit or recruiting class. We are going to have even more decommits, I promise you. But with the transfer portal nowadays, it does not matter. Just relax and enjoy the drama, because Rhule and his staff are the ones getting to deal with it. I promise in the end we will still have a nice core of in-state kids as well as some recruits or two to be very excited about that weren’t even on the previous regimes radar. And to make something clear, i’m not mad or think that Mickey shouldn’t have recruited players while he was interim, he did everything he should have. The inevitable was just going to happen.

The transfer portal

So Malachi Coleman decommits and people lose their mind, then we get this tweet:

I told everyone to relax. It’s funny, you go on social media and people all relate this to the kids not liking the new hire, or anything else they can do to dump gasoline on the fire. I told people this on twitter, and i’ll post it on here:

So let’s take Hausmann for example since he’s the only one I care about keeping. He signs here and he probably got 20k as a non-starter. If he doesn’t put his name in the portal, no team can talk to him, which means he can’t get offers. All of a sudden he puts his name in and Arizona State offers him 75k to come sign with them, he can now go back to Nebraska and ask for at least that much. As I said, it’s almost dumb to NOT do it.

And let me calm the waters even more, look at this tweet:

That is a 7-5 school that is going to a bowl game that is not in a head coaching change having their collective actively get donations just to keep players from going into the portal December 5th (Nebraska players could enter sooner due to a head coaching change). This isn’t a Nebraska issue, a coaching change issue, or anything like that. It’s literally the era of college football we are in now. As I said before when Frost was looking at the portal as a negative, you better figure out a way to make it be a positive for your school, because it isn’t going anywhere. To say it again and drive the point home, that is a school that had a much better season than Nebraska that is going through the exact same thing.


Unfortunate situation here, as Rhule and him were supposed to finalize something on Wednesday (whether that was fully staying or leaving) so that they could hit the ground running and recruiting today.

Hopefully things work out for him and his family and he’s able to get past this and on with their lives.

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23 thoughts on “Recruiting, the Portal, and a little bit on Mickey

  1. Yeah I mean there are definitely guys that if they leave it will hurt, but I think you have to just mentally prepare yourself that with transfer portal, this is going to happen every year, and then in a year with a coaching change, it will just amplify it, regardless of who the new coach is. I think that’s just the up-front fee you pay for changing a coach. Now, if we see it where like under Frost we see some starters (ala Wandale Robinson) start leaving frequently, then I might start to question what’s going on more.

    I’m just going to buckle up, hope for the best this next year or 2, and hope the new regime is really successful starting next recruiting class to build where we want to be by year 2-3. If earlier, great.

    1. Yep, just have to buckle up anymore. Now, do I think it may be extrapolated with the coaching change? Sure. But what i’m more getting at is this is just how things go anymore, and not necessarily because we hired Rhule.

  2. I wish the NCAA can put some guard rails in place for NIL and the transfer portal. It is a mess right now and if it gets worse college football will not be enjoyable anymore. Nobody has an answer right now and its just the wild west out there. Maybe they need to put these kids on a contract to hold the kid accountable. What does a company like SOS do now after they paid a kid and he just bolts?

    I am really curious what these kids are actually making, like what is in there bank account? Just because they say a kid is worth 1M dollars did he actually get that money? They have to pay taxes right, the IRS will get involved at some point.

    1. I’m right here with you. Basically the way it is now is the equivalent of if NFL only signed guys to 1 year deals and every year could just get a new bid for their contract. There’s no salary cap. Definitely not what NIL was intended for.

    2. Yeah, they would have to pay taxes in any extra money. I’m still old school and don’t think they should get paid. I in theory am OK with NIL for what it should be, but hard to regulate it when it isn’t an actual NFL system with contracts.

      A lot of people don’t see eye to eye with me on this, and that’s fine. I’m a person who graduated from a 4 year university and got a Master’s degree. I know the cost of that. Currently, scholarships are not taxable as income. Some people don’t value the scholarships, saying the school part is just a sham stepping stone until they can turn pro. For the elite, yes. But for a vast majority of NCAA athletes, they never make it to pro and walking away with a degree for no cost is real.

      My ideas, however half-baked they are, would propose any of these:
      1. any athlete that is getting NIL money, the value of their scholarship should then be taxable. If you’re reaping financial gain from playing the sport now, then the value of your education is tied to your “profession” now and you should lose your tax-exempt status because I don’t think you’re an amateur anymore.
      2. Or create a system where you choose either a scholarship or you can get NIL money. I understand then are they really a “student athlete” if not going to class? etc. As I said, these are half-baked.
      3. As others mentioned, must give back $ if leave the school
      4. If you receive NIL money, you have to stay at the school for more than 1 year, like sign a 2-4 year contract. If someone could prove legally that most NIL deals are just disguised contracts, maybe you could do this, probably would be tough to do.
      5. Re-institute the sitting out 1 year when transfer rule. I think that’s a simple one that gets overlooked, and would make kids think a little harder about their college choices.

      1. All good ideas that might slow down the process a little. I like the fact if you a getting paid then you need to start paying for your schooling.

        Its tough for sure, you cant tell Aaron Rodgers how much money he can make doing State Farm commercials. So just because a kid is in college you cant tell him how much money he can make doing a job. Problem is some of these kids are doing nothing and getting paid.

      2. Yep, just signing on a dotted line and getting money. Which adds another layer when the booster that paid them calls Rhule and says “why did you ask for 150k for this kid but he’s not even on the field!?”

      3. I don’t mind this, and I am actually closer to what you say than what’s going on now. My problem with the whole “they deserve money” is they don’t count the 50k in scholarship, 10k in clothes, free tutoring, trips due to being on the team, free training table, the list goes on. Part of me thinks if we just gave those kids 100k each but they didn’t get any of that free and they had to pay for it each time it may make a little more sense to them.

        The worst argument ever is “look at these facilites being built, you can’t tell me they don’t have the money to pay them more!” Well, we actually don’t even have all of the money yet to pay for the facility so I can tell you we don’t have the money. It’s just a crazy world for NCAA football rightnow.

  3. What a sensation this is to actually get insight for once. I finally asked about you SSO, and a willing poster told me about your site. I jumped at the chance. “That other place” is a dumpster fire with no insight whatsoever. Thank you for making your own site

  4. I appreciate you Bro! No backlash here as what you say makes sense. I would go a step further and say recruiting as we expect it with certain numbers of players on a certain date is irrelevant because of the transfer portal. Then there is the extra layer that is the NIL which changes everything, and ruins much in my opinion.

  5. As always I love your stuff. You lay it out and I can understand it. Please don’t let the comments become a forum where posters can converse with each other. We know where that leads. Posts to the blogger and his/her response is the way to go.

  6. Thank you SSO for bringing some clarity to the whole Transfer Portal thing! I never really thought of it that way. It’s really not too different than a HC’s agent “leaking” the coaches name to other job openings. In some cases, I suppose, it drives up their value to “market”. Can’t blame a kid for doing that.

  7. I am all for the kids getting paid, but this one year free agency type thing we have going on now cant last imo. Like already noted, what happens when a kid gets the 150k and then doesnt see the field because others beat him out? Booster isnt happy….and the kids getting paid and then bouncing to another school a year later cant continue indefinitely. Definitely need to get some guardrails out there…I think everyone is just trying to figure things out right now…fascinating times in NCAA football these days

  8. Yeah I didn’t even follow recruiting once Frost was canned. Coaching changes are always messy. One thing I will say is that it looked like Mickey was recruiting hard all the way through and there was definitely a lot of noise that it looked like he would stay whatever happened. Obviously that came apart in a way no one saw coming but it is what it is now.

    On the NIL front I don’t have a problem with kids getting paid but the NCAA has to come up with some guardrails on this. Right now as you say every kid should just put his name in the portal so he can get paid more. It’s turning into absolute chaos now and it’s only going to get worse if they don’t implement some realistic guidelines. Need to find some sort of balance.

  9. Did Deion commit a violation by mentioning his new, starting quarterback in his introductory press conference? Bit of a gray area since it is his own son however, if he is not enrolled, is that a violation similar to Mickey commenting on Malachi

  10. Based on how the season ended I thought the defense looked in better shape heading into 2023 than the offense. However, after looking at things more closely, I have major concerns for the defense heading into 2023. If Nelson bolts for the Portal there is no experience at the Edge position. Also, Tackle is razor thin once again. Meanwhile I have serious concerns at the LB position. With Hausmann gone and Henrich injury prone, that only leaves Reimer. I think the only group that seems okay at this time is the DB group. IMHO they need to hit the Portal or JUCO hard to shore up the Edge, Tackle and LB positions. I’m curious what SSO’s opinion is on this.

    1. Robb, I feel your pain. But look at it this way. From a snap shot view of how it stands …. With the current roster, we only lose one starter from the 2022 team ….. since Jamari Butler left …. That indicates that maybe Mathis is staying put …. Maybe … maybe not …. Of course all this could change in a heartbeat. You mentioned Garrett Nelson ya go in the portal. ….. but I would say we are solid in the starters (with solid coaching). The key here is the selection of the DC. Of course we need some depth on the DL, Edge, and LB (especially since we have NO CLUE about Kpai, Gbayor, Stenger, Snodgrass, and Malcom.
      Offense: At this point (again a snapshot) we are solid at RB, TE, QB (if Thompson stays). We need a lot of WR’s (it would be ideal if Malachi recommits)
      The OLINE: okay here’s the thing ….. we have 6 offensive linemen with a lot of snaps and experienced. Of course the coaching ….we will see. Then we have the two (now senior) transfers.
      So there is maturity both physically and mentally (three seniors, five juniors, one soph and one redshirt freshmen, plus three commits). So if we can get the S & C and the coaching I think we will be okay.

    2. Completely agree. Defense is in trouble, our two starting ILBs are injury-prone with Reimer and Henrich. Tannor is gone. I think we are going to keep Mathis and Nelson. But our DBs need more depth and our DL has to get much better. On the offensive side, I don’t think Thompson does what they want, we lost our best weapon in Palmer, and our OL was awful. We need immediate portal guys on both lines for sure.

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