The Nebraska football team suffered the first big loss of the 2021 recruiting cycle on Friday. The Huskers had been going after a 4-star linebacker prospect Deontae Lawson.

The Cornhuskers were named among the linebacker's Top 10 not all that long ago. It was pretty obvious that the Huskers had some serious competition on that list.

Lawson had included Nebraska and Alabama in that group. Scott Frost and company were also going to be going up against Auburn, Georgia, Clemson, Oklahoma, LSU, Texas A&M, and Mississippi State.

Other than Mississippi State, the teams that were in Lawson's Top 10 went to a bowl game this season.

Clemson and LSU are going to be attempting to win a National Championship. Alabama is a perennial title contender. There were more than a few recruiting analysts who were talking about how the Huskers being in the mix shows how well the staff has been recruiting lately.

10 days later, Nebraska football was on the outside looking in, while Alabama scooped up another top linebacker.

Lawson's impact at linebacker

The Nebraska football team has been working hard to shore up its linebacker corps the last few seasons. They didn't have a ton of success doing that in the 2019 class. That despite the fact the Huskers went after several JUCO linebackers.

The 2020 recruiting class saw more success at that position, but the coaching staff has made comments about how badly they want to make that position a strength.

Lawson, who played inside linebacker in high school has said he doesn't know where he might play for Alabama.

“I think it’s going to be wherever I feel more comfortable and wherever they feel more comfortable putting me,” Lawson told “If I grow more, I will probably stay inside. If I stay the same height, I could play outside.

I’m fine wherever.”

Playing on the inside, the 4-star prospect racked up 134 tackles, including four tackles for loss and a sack. Those numbers, as well as his skill and measurables, has him rated as the eighth-best player in the state of Alabama.

Nebraska football having success in the South

Despite the loss of Deontae Lawson, the Huskers have been cashing in on their connections in the south.

They made the Top 10 for one of the best defenders in the state of Alabama last week. This week, they made the Top 10 for one of the best all-purpose backs in the country.

Brashard Smith named the Huskers among his favorites and that means the Cornhuskers will be doing battle with Alabama once again. The Cornhuskers, in general, have had a great deal of success in the Miami area very recently. They stole several prospects out from under the nose of the Miami Hurricanes on the most recent early signing day. Now they'll work to try and steal a commit away from Alabama.