HuskerOnline - Three & Out: Harvell Q&A, recruiting should pick up, and B1G players in NFL
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Three & Out: Harvell Q&A, recruiting should pick up, and B1G players in NFL

This is HuskerOnline.com's feature in which recruiting analysts Mike Matya and Bryan Munson give their weekly takes on topical issues concerning Nebraska football, baseball and recruiting.

Today in our next installment of "Three and Out" we hit on baseball assistant Lance Harvell Q&A, when Husker recruiting should pick up, and B1G players on NFL rosters.

Husker head baseball coach Will Bolt
Husker head baseball coach Will Bolt

Q&A with Lance Harvell

Fresh off of their Big Ten championship last season, and their impressive showing at the Arkansas regional, the Nebraska Cornhusker baseball team began fall practice last week.

So we felt it was time to check back in with NU assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, Lance Harvell, to get his thoughts on some pertinent issues concerning the program as it looks to build off of last season's success.

What's going to be the routine with the team this fall?

"We had the first team practice [last] Tuesday, and we had an intra-squad [scrimmage] Thursday, and also the day before. We're just going at it. Prior to [practice starting], we had them in skill instruction, and we could have them for 4 hours per week. So, that's maybe 45 minutes Monday through Friday.

"Pitchers were throwing bullpens, trying to get their arms built up and back in shape. The hitters were also meeting every day, and it's probably what you could compare to a fall camp in football, or a summer camp, with a lot of installation, getting the cage routine, and maybe going through some of the signs.

"Implementing a lot of the offense, slowly but surely, and showing them how to do everything. Now, we're finally back out on the field and getting after it, so it's good."

Have there been any notable roster additions or subtractions recently?

"Nope, nope, not so far."

So, will you be standing pat with this roster or could there be another possible addition or two before next season?

"There could be, but we don't have any irons in the fire for a semester transfer or anything. Right now, it's going to be what you see is what you get, and we're going to roll with the guys we have."

What are your goals for fall ball, and how will you utilize the upcoming fall games with Creighton and Wichita State to get your team prepared for next season?

"For the fall, we're going to have quite a few new faces. We return some key guys offensively and on the mound, but we're going to have to fill some spots. We feel like we are losing some pretty high-profile guys. You know, (Cade) Povich, (Spencer) Schwellenbach, Jaxon Hallmark and Cam Wynne. Also, Luke Roskam and Joe Acker. Those guys were all key pieces to what we did last year.

"We feel like we can kind of replace them with the aggregate. Like, two or three guys combined can replace the production those guys brought. It's going to be much more of a team game and team aspect is what we're preaching this fall. We've got to bring some of these new guys up to speed in a hurry, and teach them our system and our game and our style. Just continuing those next steps of building our culture here.

"With those two games we're playing, I think what we're going to do is, on the pitching side of it, split the roster and let one half the team play one game, and the other half play the other. That's from the pitching side, maybe not necessarily from the position players' side. It will be a good dress rehearsal, so to speak, for some of these new guys. It will be good for us as coaches to sit back and to see where we need to improve. And then, we finish things up with our Red-White scrimmages on October 11-13."

Did anyone on your team have a really good and productive summer for baseball?

"Yeah, Max Anderson was up in the Cape and he was an All-Star. Brice Matthews had a really good summer in the North Woods. Leighton Banjoff was an All-Star and he had a really good summer. Garrett Anglim went out and had a real good summer. He was an All-Star as well.

"Griffin Everitt had a good summer, Tyler Palmer had a good summer. On the mound, Emmett Olson had a really good summer in taking the next step. Braxton Bragg and Ethan Bradford both went out and worked through some things, and they went out and put up some really good numbers. We also got some of these incoming freshmen into these collegiate leagues: Jadon Arakaki and Core Jackson and Josh Caron all went out and held their own against guys that are two, three or four years older than them.

"It was all good to see. Usually, in the summer you just want to avoid major injuries, and we did. We have some guys with bumps and bruises, but nothing that's keeping them out of the fall. We were also able to dodge some things with the draft, especially with Drew Christo, Chase Mason and CJ Hood. So we came out in a good spot heading into the fall."

Will either Kyle Perry or Colby Gomes be participating in fall ball?

"Gomes is still not going to pitch this fall. He's on a throwing program and he is throwing bullpens right now. With Perry, we're just kind of being overly cautious with him. Obviously, we had him back at the end of the year and he pitched in the regional last year. He didn't throw this summer and he's also been on a throwing program. Whether or not we put him in a game this fall is undecided. We really don't need to. The risk is not worth the reward right now. We want them 100 percent ready to go for the spring."

What did you do to relax this summer?

"[Laughing] 'Relax' and the 'summer' don't necessarily go together regarding baseball coaches. I was laughing because the summer is kind of the busiest time of the year for us. We're on the road recruiting all the time, and about the only time we're usually in town is Monday through Wednesday, and then we're headed back out to watch games and see players.

"I did get to go to the Garth Brooks concert. The whole staff went. We were all there together, and it was awesome! I had seen him before a few years ago down in Houston at the Toyota Center. It was inside and there were probably 20,000 people there; but 90,000 at an outdoor concert... it was unbelievable! We all enjoyed that one and we had a really good time. If there was any relaxing going on in the summer for us, that was probably it. The kids all stayed home and it was only the coaches and the wives. It was a good time for staff bonding."

- Mike Matya

[Note: There will be some additional nuggets about the incoming freshmen class and baseball recruiting in Friday's TT.]

Will North Platte prospect Vince Genatone receive a Husker offer?
Will North Platte prospect Vince Genatone receive a Husker offer?

When will recruiting pick up? 

These are interesting times we are living in. Nebraska has had two home games this season and hosted just one official visitor and a committed official visitor at that. And even with a rare 2:30 start against Buffalo Nebraska did not have an official visitor on campus.

It seems reasonable to me Nebraska understood that things were not looking good with Quantaves Gaskins who ended up committing to Vanderbilt. And I think that Nebraska knew Valen Erickson was visiting Missouri a week ago and felt like he could end up decommitting, if not flipping, to the Tigers outright.

And while both of those negative things came out, it first needs to be mentioned that this class will only be 13 recruits or so and Nebraska is just five commitments away from reaching that total. The Huskers already hosted 20 official visitors before the season even started during the month of June as well.

The Huskers were betting on red before the start of the season. The hope was that Nebraska could get off to a 3-0 start and start lining up guys Nebraska couldn't get to visit in June -- after starting out better than some suggested they might.

And then Nebraska loses their season opener and sees reductions on both their commitment board and recruit board.

So when can fans expect things to pick up again? I think that you can expect to see some movement over those weekends when Nebraska is home against Northwestern and Michigan.

The high school seasons are in full swing and we are just about three games in for most recruits this fall. That is what the schools traditionally want to go back and reevaluate when it comes to possibly extending new offers.

Keep a close eye on the Huskers making an in-state offer to defensive back Vince Genatone over the coming weeks, which I think brings Genatone back to Lincoln for an official visit shortly after the offer.

The one observation I can pass along is this: While Nebraska's strategy did fall apart somewhat, they have not panicked. I have seen panic when it comes to offers and bringing in questionable recruits for visits. The Huskers have not done that yet.

Things were never going to get so unreasonable for Nebraska simply because the size of the class was so small this year. They could have added guys by now for the sake of just adding guys.

But instead, they have stuck to the framework of this class and I think that will also mean a trickle out of 2022 offers to both linemen and some defensive backs with official visitors returning to Lincoln in October.

- Bryan Munson

B1G players on NFL rosters

The NFL started their 2021 season this past weekend, which meant they mostly set their rosters for the year. Once again, the SEC led the way with the most active players on NFL rosters, followed by the Big Ten.

Four Big Ten football programs are among the tops in the country for producing NFL players. Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State are understandably there from the stronger East Division, and with additional proof that they do more with less highly rated recruits, Iowa is also on the list at No. 7 nationally.

Nebraska has "out-recruited" on paper the Hawkeyes every single year they have been in the B1G conference, some years by a wide margin, and yet Iowa more than makes up for that gap with their superior talent evaluation, retention and development.

B1G players on 2021 NFL rosters
TEAM Players on NFL active rosters

Ohio State

47

Iowa

33

Michigan

32

Penn State

31

Wisconsin

21

NEBRASKA

17

Rutgers

12

Illinois

11

Maryland

11

Purdue

11

Michigan State

10

Minnesota

10

Indiana

8

Northwestern

8

It's not surprising that Ohio State leads the way in the conference for most active NFL players, but it is somewhat sobering that Iowa has the second-most, which comes in at No. 7 nationally.

Nebraska [No. 28] has approximately half of the NFL players as Iowa does with allegedly significantly higher ranked recruiting classes throughout the past decade. If you want to put your finger on the reason the Huskers have struggled over that time, it's a lack of consistent development of that talent.

These are the 17 Cornhuskers currently active on an NFL roster:

Burkhead, Rex RB Houston Texans

Carter, Cethan TE Miami Dolphins

Collins, Maliek DL Houston Texans

David, Lavonte LB Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Davis, Carlos DL Pittsburgh Steelers

Davis, Khalil DL Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Farniok, Matt OL Dallas Cowboys

Gates, Nick OL New York Giants

Gifford, Luke LB Dallas Cowboys

Gregory, Randy DE Dallas Cowboys

Incognito, Richie OL Las Vegas Raiders

Jaimes, Brenden OL Los Angeles Chargers

Janovich, Andy FB Cleveland Browns

Koch, Sam P Baltimore Ravens

Morgan Jr., Stanley WR Cincinnati Bengals

Stoll, Jack TE Philadelphia Eagles

Suh, Ndamukong DT Tampa Bay Buccaneers

These are the Huskers that are currently on practice squads:

Abdullah, Ameer RB Minnesota Vikings (PS)

Bootle, Dicaprio DB Kansas City Chiefs (PS)

Daniels, Darrion DL San Francisco 49ers (PS)

Jackson, Lamar CB New York Jets (PS)

Ozigbo, Devine RB Jacksonville Jaguars (PS)

And these are the others who are inactive for other reasons:

Kalu, Joshua CB New York Giants (IR)

Lewis, Alex OL New York Jets (E)

[(PS)-practice squad, (IR)-injury reserve, (E)- exempt list]

If Nebraska wants to close the gap with the top teams in the conference, and if they want to be nationally relevant again, the Husker coaches need to do a much better job of talent evaluation, retention and development. What we've seen over the past decade is just not satisfactory for a program of Nebraska's resources.

- Mike Matya