Nebraska Football: New staffer believes Texas recruiting dropoff tied to Huskers decline

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

New Nebraska football CEO Susan Elza thinks there is a direct correlation between the Huskers’ decline and the dropoff in Texas recruiting.

There are all kinds of theories about just why the Nebraska football program is where it is. Count new Huskers CEO and former UIL Athletic Director Susan Elza among those who think that a major part of the problem was the Cornhuskers basically ignoring the state of Texas once they left the Big 12.

During a recent interview with David Smoak of 365 Sports, Elza spoke about many different subjects, including the importance of the Lone Star state for the Nebraska football program’s success.

Smoak started the segment by saying that it felt like the Huskers under Matt Rhule had a kind of recommitment to recruiting in Texas. He asked if it was valid to say that Rhule and company realized that just because NU doesn’t play in the Big 12 anymore, that doesn’t mean they can’t recruit Texas. He underlined the point by mentioning that the first class under Rhule had “five or six” players from Elza’s old stomping grounds.

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"“Yeah they are and you know it’s funny because I think we all remember and everyone here remembers it in a different way just the glory days of Nebraska and how many Texas players were on that roster.”"

She then went directly into the Nebraska football decline and how steady it was.

"“You all know how it goes; when you change head coaches, they’re going to identify their talent pool where they identify it and for some reason Texas fell out of that equation. I don’t understand it and I know y’all probably don’t because you know how talented our state is and you’ve got to think that had something to do with the decline.”"

The Huskers actually reeled in seven commits from the state of Texas, counting the transfer of Josh Fleeks from Baylor.

Princewill Umanmielen, Riley Van Poppel, Ismael Smith Flores, Dylan Rogers, Brice Turner, and Jeremiah Charles join Fleeks as the biggest influx of Texas talent for a Nebraska football recruiting class since the Huskers landed eight players from the Lone Star State in 2009. They brought in nine the year before that.

Since that high water mark, NU hasn’t had more than four Texas natives in a single recruiting class in the last 14 years. Knowing that and seeing where the Nebraska football program has been for the last decade and a half, it’s hard to argue with Dr. Elza.