Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Big Red Recon: Huskers Hoping to Lay Foundation During Important Spring

March 04, 2022

Spring football is underway for the Huskers. The next six weeks are an important building block for the program as the team needs to break in a lot of new players and coaches in short order. The Huskers are also hosting their first Junior Day of the spring on Saturday, March 5. That will be a huge event with close to 50 prospects on hand. Hail Varsity has a full visit preview to get you ready.

Let’s get to the Recon.

2023 Commits

Dwight Bootle, Defensive Back, Miami, Florida

Benjamin Brahmer, Tight End, Pierce, Nebraska

Gunnar Gottula, Offensive Lineman, Lincoln, Nebraska

Sam Sledge, Offensive Lineman, Omaha, Nebraska

William Watson, Quarterback, Springfield, Massachusetts

2023 Needs

QB 0 DL 3
RB 0 MLB 1
WR 2 OLB 2
TE 0 DB 2
OL 2 K/P 0

The Recon:

>> The Huskers are recruiting the offered players in-state very hard right now. One of the uncommitted players in Nebraska is Lincoln East wide receiver Malachi Coleman. The playmaker will be back in Lincoln this weekend for Junior Day. Coleman told Hail Varsity ahead of that visit that he is eying an early signing day announcement. We’ll see if that holds up or if Nebraska can convince him to bump that timeline up.

The other uncommitted player in the state with an offer is EDGE defender Maverick Noonan. The Elkhorn South star would like to have a college choice in June. He plans to early enroll so that will be a factor in him joining a class early. The Huskers getting both players on campus this weekend is helpful.

>> It should be noted that this weekend’s Junior Day event does not feature a lot of offered skill position players. There are only a handful making their way to campus. The majority of the offered prospects heading to Lincoln this weekend are on the offensive line or the front seven of the defense. Finding the right defensive linemen to restock the room with young players will be a priority. The Huskers likely only need one more offensive lineman in the class but want to keep all options open. It makes sense to take a player projected to play tackle.

>> This will be an important spring for the development of tight end Thomas Fidone. He was able to get late season reps after missing most of last season with an injury. Now he enters the spring with a golden opportunity to get starter level reps with Travis Vokolek being limited. He seemed to have a good first day according to tight ends coach Sean Beckton.

“Last year I thought he played like a robot,” Beckton said. “Unsure of himself, unsure of what to do. (On Monday), he actually moved around, understood what was going on, played a lot faster. Was able to adjust on some things that, when he first got here, he never would have been able to do.”

Fidone could end up as an X-factor for the Huskers offense in 2021. If he flashes the ability that made him the No. 1 tight end recruit in the country in high school it raises the ceiling of the unit.

>> Lincoln High athlete Beni Ngoyi was offered by Minnesota on Thursday evening. That’s a solid Big Ten offer for the defensive back/wide receiver. He doesn’t have an offer from the Huskers but is on the radar. Which position the Huskers see him at could determine if he gets an offer. This one will be interesting to follow. Ngoyi has visited Nebraska multiple times and has had good communication with the staff.

>> The quarterback situation will draw a lot of attention this spring. Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple noted that he’s not lasered in on finding the No. 1 guy. He wants to develop the entire quarterback room. The way that he saw things running on the first day of practice should help that.

“The one thing here, we’re getting two huddles. We’re getting 48 snaps of skelly (skeleton work) and we never could do that at Pitt,” Whipple said. “We got two team periods. It’s awesome. We got 48 plays a team and we got things to coach in that way. Your development, I think can be amped up obviously with the more reps.”

Whipple is known as a good developer of offensive players. What he can do with additional practice reps to evaluate should help the Huskers.

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