Nebraska Football Players on Unity Walk into Memorial Stadium
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Big Red Recon: Huskers Emptying the Tank Before First Bye Week of 2021

October 15, 2021

It was a busy week for the Huskers off the field. The news that Quinton Newsome earned his Blackshirt was a nice story earlier this week. The coaching staff challenged him and he responded well. We also got the first commitment for the 2022 recruiting class since the summer when Millard South athlete Gage Stenger joined the class. Now the team has to turn its attention to Minnesota before the bye week. It’s a critical game to the Huskers’ bowl chances.

Let’s get to the Recon.

2022 Commits

Chase Androff, Tight End, Lakeville, Minnesota

Jake Appleget, Outside Linebacker, Lincoln, Nebraska

Ernest Hausmann, Outside Linebacker, Columbus, Nebraska

Ashton Hayes, Running Back, Reno, Nevada

Victor Jones Jr., Wide Receiver, Orlando, Florida

Grant Page, Wide Receiver, Boulder, Colorado

Hayden Schwartz, Defensive End, Jacksonville, Florida

Gage Stenger, athlete, Omaha, Nebraska

Richard Torres, Quarterback, San Antonio, Texas

2022 Needs

QB 0 DL 0
RB 0 MLB 0
WR 0 OLB 1
TE 0 DB 2
OL 2 K/P 0

The Recon:

>> I wouldn’t be overly concerned about not seeing freshman quarterback Heinrich Haarberg in action this year. He’s also not been going on road trips lately for the team. Quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco was complimentary of his young signal-caller this week. Verduzco noted his ability to make throws that others can’t but also said that he coaches the Kearney Catholic graduate hard.

“So I tell them, ‘Don’t wait, man. Get going. Don’t wait until next spring. Don’t wait until you’re a junior. Get going now.’ And he appreciates that,” Verduzco said. “I guess I’m hard on him a little bit. But to get the mental part, at least with regards to the playbook, lined up with the strength of his arm and his athleticism – yeah, I think he’s taking that to heart.”

>> When I put out the call for the recruiting video of the week questions one that I got was great for this space. The question was who are the other flip targets out there after the Gage Stenger news. I do believe there are players out there who Nebraska is working to flip. That stuff gets kept pretty close to the vest. Missouri commit Jalen Marshall is someone I’m watching since his position coach was fired. The x-factor here is that Nebraska will have a better chance late in season if progress is being made on the field.

>> I previously reported that the Huskers will have an official visitor for the Purdue game. Jalil Martin, a defensive back from Illinois, will be in town. There is another weekend to keep an eye on. The potential for the Iowa game to be a big visit weekend is there. That rivalry game could have postseason implications for both teams. It also makes sense that the Huskers could host JUCO targets or even potential transfers that weekend. It’s definitely something to watch.

>> It’s a rare occurrence these days but the flip of Millard South athlete Gage Stenger was kept under wraps. He was offered by Nebraska on Oct. 1. He visited campus on Oct. 7 in a very quiet unofficial visit. Stenger wanted to be respectful to Kansas State and not make a huge deal out checking out the Huskers. It worked out for him and Nebraska and that shows something about Stenger.

>> The Huskers are playing their fourth road game of the season already this week. The team is 0-3 on the road so far this year.

“Yeah, we got to try to win one on the road,” Frost said. “We’ve had a lot of away games. Haven’t been here much. Look forward to being here more with the fans that we have and the environment we have right now. The guys are used to being on the road and we’ve played some good teams on the road. It’s another one, another big challenge.”

Nebraska will need to win a road game to make a bowl game this season. The bye week that hits after this game will be big for the team to recharge. They’ll need it to gear up for a big stretch run of the season.

>> How honest everyone was in talking about Quinton Newsome’s challenges to get a Blackshirt was one thing I found interesting this week. Erik Chinander, Travis Fisher, Scott Frost and Newsome himself all mentioned tackling as something Newsome needed to improve. It’s not often that we get such honestly about a player’s previous shortcomings. Newsome’s willingness to take coaching and work hard to improve that aspect of his game was good to see. That example won’t go unnoticed by teammates in the future.

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