There are already some well-known names around the state in the 2022 recruiting cycle. The list of talented players to watch is deep just like in the 2021 class. One name to keep an eye on is 2022 inside linebacker Jake Appleget from Lincoln Southeast. Appleget made the switch this season from outside to inside linebacker so that his coaches could get him closer to the line of scrimmage to make more plays.
He’s performed well there so far and colleges are taking notice. Appleget is in contact most right now with Wyoming, Northern Illinois and North Dakota State. He is hearing from Nebraska as well. He spoke with inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud recently. He also has a couple current Huskers on his side.
“I’d say it’s going pretty well in my talks with Nebraska,” Appleget said. “We had Isaac Gifford and Casey Rogers helping us the first few weeks before the Big Ten decided to play again. So, they were helping a lot and putting in a good word for me.
“I’ve been talking to Barrett Ruud quite a bit. I talked to him on the phone a few weekends ago for about 20 minutes. He’s a great guy. I think I think they got their eyes on me down there, so I’m just trying to communicate with them as much as I can and get them my film after every game.”
Appleget was also very appreciative of the time spent with Gifford and Rogers.
“That was super cool,” Appleget said. “Learning from a present collegiate athlete. It means something. Whatever they are teaching got to be right because they’re playing at the highest level. Whatever they’re teaching us on and off the field, meant a lot. We looked up to them a lot, too.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he wasn’t able to get out to the list of camps he planned to attend. And he was planning on going to a lot of camps this summer. It was unfortunate that wasn’t able happen.
Appleget was lucky enough to get to go to the Warren Academy Showcase Camp. He was among the standout performers so that helped him to get his name out there. Sending out film has been important for Appleget this fall.
“Coaches I was talking to before the season were just saying as soon as you get a few games in there, you get your film ready, send it to us right away,” Appleget said. “Schools I’ve been trying to get a hold of it’s obviously extremely important not having them see me in any camp to see me in person. So, it’s really important for me to just get that film to as many coaches as I can and have them see it.”
Having been to many Lincoln Southeast games over the years, I was curious how the defender felt about playing his games this fall in front of smaller crowds. It turns out that the feeling is not that much different for his team.
“When you’re warming up the energy is just a little different,” Appleget said. “There’s not as many people in the stands. Once the ball is kicked and the game starts we’re mentally locked in. There’s not a whole lot of difference.
“When you score or you get a big play it’s a little bit quieter. The energy you feel and mental toughness we have doesn’t change. It’s still all of us out there given 110% and loving the game.”
As Appleget gets to know colleges, he knows what he is looking for. He’s seeking a good winning environment and a place he can compete for playing time. He is looking for a tradition-rich program that he wants to spend lots of time around. You could be hearing a lot more about the latest defender to come out of Lincoln Southeast over the next couple years.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.