Travis Fisher

Nebraska defensive backs coach Travis Fisher watches a practice at the Hawks Practice Facility in August.

Nebraska secondary coach Travis Fisher, who recently drew strong words of praise from his boss, also has drawn a hefty salary increase.

Fisher received a $125,000 raise, effective Jan. 1, to push his annual salary to $450,000, Lee Newspapers has learned. The third-year Husker assistant has his fingerprints all over the program’s 2020 recruiting class while also leading a position group that is regarded as a strength of the defense.

But those aren’t the only reasons for his raise.

In the days preceding college football’s early signing date on Dec. 18, new Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin offered Fisher a position on the staff of the Southeastern Conference program. It’s unclear whether other schools approached Fisher. But coaches who are targeted by other programs often benefit financially — especially ones who recruit at the level of Fisher.

In addition to Fisher, Nebraska running backs coach Ryan Held received a sizable salary bump, going from $300,000 last year to $400,000 in 2020, also effective Jan. 1. Like Fisher, Held has proved to be one of the staff’s most productive recruiters. In the current cycle, he landed running backs Marvin Scott (Port Orange, Florida), Sevion Morrison (Tulsa, Oklahoma) and receiver Will Nixon (Waco, Texas).

Held also played a lead role in landing four-star wide receiver Omar Manning from Kilgore (Texas) Junior College, regarded as perhaps the most important piece of a class that’s ranked 18th by Rivals and 20th by 247Sports.

Nebraska head coach Scott Frost recently signed a two-year contract extension, pushing his deal through Dec. 31, 2026. His base salary remained at $5 million.

On Dec. 18, when Frost announced members of Nebraska’s class of 2020, he heaped praise on Fisher, who’s done most of his recruiting work in his native Florida. He was key in recruiting the four defensive backs from the state who just signed with the Huskers: Ronald Delancy, Jaiden Francois, Henry Gray and Tamon Lynum.

Fisher also played a leading role in securing two other Floridians: inside linebacker Keyshawn Greene and receiver Marcus Fleming.

“I have to tell you, every year there’s a superstar on our staff in recruiting,” Frost said last month. “This year, (Fisher is) one of the top guys. He has a lot of relationships down in Florida from his time there, both in north Florida where he grew up and down south where he’s recruited for a long time.

“He knocked it out of the park this year and that’s really valuable for our football team to have a coach that can go out of state like that and bring in the type of talent that he brought in.”

Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander echoed those sentiments.

“The staff did a really great job, but I think Travis Fisher deserves a little special credit for the job he did, not only with the defensive backs but with other guys in the class, too,” Chinander said during Nebraska’s signing day show. “He just did an unbelievable job this year and you can’t praise him enough for what he did.”

Fisher leads a secondary that in 2020 will have experienced players such as Marquel Dismuke, Cam Taylor-Britt, Deontai Williams, Dicaprio Bootle and Braxton Clark.

Held’s running back group in 2019 was led by junior college transfer Dedrick Mills, who made steady progress and finished with 745 rushing yards (5.2 per carry). Rahmir Johnson, who appeared in four games last season as a true freshman, is also prominent in the picture.

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