Rumors are swirling around Nebraska football circles that if an in-state player chooses another school, he won’t be welcomed back in the portal later.
A couple of questions arise when it comes to the reported approach by the Nebraska football coaches. If Damon Benning is right and Matt Rhule and others are telling players they can go, but they can’t come back, it certainly seems like something that has a finality you wouldn’t expect.
Benning made his comments about the situation on the Hurrdat podcast, Benning Bites and it’s certainly an interesting one. It seems the report was born in the wake of rumors that Ainsworth’s Carter Nelson might be all but gone to Georgia after visiting the Bulldogs this weekend. There’s also the loss of Teddy Rezac to Notre Dame.
According to Benning, Rhule and company are going to go all out to try and land in-state talent. However, should that talent decide to leave Nebraska football in the lurch, it’s the equivalent of slamming the door shut. Specifically, he believes this staff might tell players they will not be welcomed back to Nebraska later should they realize they made a mistake and want to use the portal to return.
Nebraska football shutting the door on comebacks?
At first glance, that approach seems pointlessly close-minded. If Carter Nelson was wooed to Athens, Georgia, to play for the two-time National Championship, should he expect never to have a chance to come to Lincoln?
What would be the point of that, exactly? Are the Nebraska football coaches really planning on turning down talented players because those players said no to them a few years before?
In Benning’s scenario, this isn’t a situation where Nelson wouldn’t be a fit later in life. In his scenario, the coaches would say no simply because Nelson said no to them first.
It’s worth pointing out that no Nebraska football coaches have gone on record claiming this is the policy. To be honest, it sounds an awful lot like the kind of chest-pounding “we didn’t want you anyway” junk you see on message boards (Benning is no stranger to those boards).
It’s also worth pointing out that even if the former Husker running back turned broadcaster is right, we’re not going to know for a while. There’s yet to be an in-state recruit that Rhule and company pursued but lost, that’s asked to come back.
It’s something to keep an eye on, but not worry about until and unless it looks like pride or hurt feelings are driving a recruiting approach for Nebraska football.