NCAA announces end to recruiting dead period, setting stage for busy summer for Huskers

Nebraska football coach Scott Frost talks with running back Sevion Morrison, who eventually committed to NU and is now a freshman, during the second Friday Night Lights camp of June at Memorial Stadium on June 21, 2019.

The recruiting trail is going to get seriously busy in June. 

On Thursday, the NCAA put an expected and long-awaited end date on its recruiting moratorium, announcing a return to the normal recruiting calendar as of June 1. 

“We are delighted to announce that as of June 1, all sports will return to their normal recruiting calendars,” said Division I Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, the athletic director at Pennsylvania, in a news release. “We want to thank all prospective student-athletes, their families, coaches and current student-athletes for their patience as we determined the best way to move forward safely with recruiting in Division I.”

The NCAA first put a dead period in place due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 13, 2021, and extended it several times. When the end of May arrives, it will have been 15½ months of high school athletes not being able to visit college campuses for official or unofficial visits while coaches could not travel to evaluate high school players or visit schools. No face-to-face recruiting was allowed in any way. 

In football, June is a camp-heavy month and those will return in high volume in addition to players in the class of 2022 beginning to take official visits. 

“It’s going to be big,” Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said of the impending change Wednesday. “There’s a big trust factor right now, obviously, with high school coaches trusting us and us trusting high school coaches. It’s important to see is a guy really 6-foot-5 or is he going to walk in here and be 6-1. But also, just trying to find out what that guy is all about. 

“Can you do it over the phone and Zoom? To some degree. But I don’t know if you’ll ever really figure out what somebody’s all about until you shake somebody’s hand and have a chance to get your eyes on him and meet him in person. I think it’s really important to get guys on campus.” 

Nine 2022 players have publicly announced their intentions to take official visits to NU in June, including seven on the first weekend of the month and one each on the weekends of June 11 and June 25. Nebraska also has a camp schedule that now can go on as slated, beginning with a Friday Night Lights camp on June 4 and highlighted by another FNL camp June 18, a national Adidas “Pipeline” lineman camp June 19 and a 7-on-7 camp June 13. 

The NCAA tweaked some of its recruiting rules in minor ways, including an allowance that prospects can be evaluated — for example, go through a workout — during an unofficial visit on campus this month and that all full-time staffers who pass the NCAA’s recruiting exam can call recruits between June 1 and Dec. 31 of this year. The number of allowed evaluation days — typically when coaches go out on the road and evaluate recruits in person — is also being expanded from 42 to 56 during the fall evaluation period. 

“The best thing that Nebraska has to offer is the University of Nebraska and the city of Lincoln,” Chinander said. “So in order for us to get guys here and show them what it’s all about, that’s only going to up the ante in recruiting.” 

Nebraska currently has two verbal commitments for its 2022 class in Columbus linebacker Ernest Hausmann and Orlando, Florida, wide receiver Victor Jones Jr. 

The players set to visit the first weekend of June: Four-star running back Justin Williams (Dallas, Georgia), Hays, Kansas, teammates Jaren Kanak and Gavin Meyers, defensive linemen Nico Davillier (Maumelle, Arkansas) and Jalen Marshall (Overland Park, Kansas), defensive back James Monds III (Fort Pierce, Florida) and outside linebacker Popeye Williams (Westfield, Indiana). NU is also slated to host defensive back Mumu Bin-Wahad (Grayson, Georgia) and wide receiver Grant Page (Boulder, Colorado) later in the month and will undoubtedly add more as the weeks go by. 

Schools are allowed up to 56 official visitors per recruiting cycle.