Nash Hutmacher

Chamberlain (South Dakota) defensive tackle Nash Hutmacher — one of NU’s top recruiting targets for months — selected the Huskers over Wisconsin and Oregon

Nebraska received a commitment from Nash Hutmacher of Chamberlain, South Dakota. Three takes on the decision by the 6-foot-4, 305-pound nose tackle nicknamed “The Polar Bear.”

» The coaches made the difference. NU’s and Wisconsin’s overall pitches were equally strong, Hutmacher said after announcing his choice. It was the relationship he built with Nebraska coaches Scott Frost and Erik Chinander, specifically, that made the difference. Both small-town Midwestern guys, Frost and Chinander reminded Hutmacher of the adults in his own hometown. Down to earth. Hard-working. Honest. Their approach to recruiting Hutmacher helped the Huskers win one of their most prized targets. The Badgers and Huskers are similar in many ways, and Wisconsin has had the upper hand on the field. But don’t be surprised if NU wins its share of recruiting battles against UW because of Frost, who has a different aura about him from Wisconsin’s perfectly good head coach, Paul Chryst.

» The Man in the Middle. Nebraska spends a lot of time thinking about and recruiting for the nose tackle position. It’s arguably the most important part of a 3-4, and it’s often a thankless role absorbing double teams and knocking back nasty, strong interior linemen. Chinander has identified it as an important position, and, in Hutmacher, NU got the nose tackle it really wanted. Hutmacher is strong, agile and, befitting his wrestling background, good with leverage. He’s a slightly bigger version of a player who never should have gotten away from Nebraska, Millard West’s Harrison Phillips, who became an excellent nose tackle at Stanford and now plays in the NFL. Hutmacher has a good motor and he’s hard to push around. Just like Phillips. It’s a good get for Nebraska.

» Another 500-mile radius win, with another 500-mile battle on the horizon. Next up is outside linebacker Blaise Gunnerson of Carroll Kuemper in Iowa, who is just as coveted at his position as Hutmacher is at nose tackle. Gunnerson is down to two schools — Nebraska and Iowa State — and if the Huskers were always the front-runner for Hutmacher, it’s a 50-50 battle with Iowa State for Gunnerson. But NU has put in the work to win. If it does, it’d be fair to say that NU landed its top three 500-mile radius line targets — Hutmacher, Gunnerson and  offensive tackle Turner Corcoran of Lawrence, Kansas. NU already has the top receiver in the region, Bellevue West’s Zavier Betts. Nebraska isn’t going to win every 500-mile battle — there’s work still to do in St. Louis, for example — but wins in South Dakota, Kansas and perhaps Iowa would be a step toward re-establishing Nebraska as a regional recruiting power.

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Reporter - Nebraska athletics

Sam covers Nebraska football, recruiting, women's basketball and more for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @swmckewonOWH. Email:

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