The Bluejay athletic programs added to their 2021-22 lineups Wednesday following National Signing Day.
While the approach to recruiting is different since the pandemic, Creighton coaching staffs found ways to get to know, appeal and reach the class’ athletes virtually with film evaluation and advice from others in the sport.
“You have to trust your eye, and obviously we have a lot of relationships with people in the business their opinion is an opinion is an opinion that we really trust,” men’s basketball coach Greg McDermott said. “In these times more than ever you have to rely on some of those people in terms of making sure that what you think you’re seeing on film is what you think you’re seeing on film and that you aren’t getting tricked by something.”
Other than that, coaches agreed it comes down to phone calls and other communication methods to build relationships with the young athletes when in-person doesn’t happen.
Despite the added challenges to recruiting, coaches remain excited for the additions and their seasons to come at Creighton.
Volleyball’s newcomers of outside hitter Eve Magill, middle blocker Abbey Milner, outside hitter Norah Sis and setter Kendra Wait assemble the year’s No. 5 recruiting class according to PrepVolleyball.com.
A few of the players committed earlier verbally and volleyball coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth kept in contact with the recruits as much as she could in that time frame.
Without much contact in-person Booth said the character of these players mattered a lot in forming the recruiting class.
“I think they’re Creighton kids and we know what that means when we talk about that as a staff when a kid,” Booth said. “They all epitomize what we consider the important tenants within our program: Team before self, strong academics, kids that are going to care about culture more than their own personal accolades they want the team to be successful.”
Guard Lexi Unruh of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, joins the women’s program as a 5-foot-11 guard. She started for her high school’s varsity team as an eighth grader.
“We’re really excited about her, she’s a really long versatile guard,” women’s basketball coach Jim Flanery said.
As a freshman and sophomore Unruh was a first team All-Dak 12 selection and first team All-State selection in 2018-19.
Despite injury her junior season she returned to the court over the summer and rejoins her team for her senior season this winter.
McDermott and the men’s basketball program added two guards in John Christofilis and Ryan Nembhard.
“Both guys are gym rats, they really fit the culture that we have here: guys that want to be in the gym, guys that want to get better and these two certainly fit that mold,” McDermott said.
Christofilis, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard out of Washington state verbally committed in September. In his junior season he averaged 12 points, six rebounds and three assists per game.
Nembhard is a 6-foot-1 point guard considered to be a four-star recruit and the 16th best point guard prospect by 247Sports.
Men’s soccer added four newcomers on Wednesday.
Soccer additions include local faces in midfielders Ryan Brakke from Creighton Prep and Jack Redd from Papillion-La Vista South, goalkeeper Antonio Chavez Borrelli — a graduate transfer from Boston College — and midfielder Jackson Castro of Plano, Texas.