Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Big Red Recon: Huskers Recharging After First Weeks of Spring Football

March 18, 2022

March Madness is here in college basketball and things have slowed down for Nebraska football. Spring football is paused since Nebraska is currently on spring break. The team held its first padded scrimmage of the spring to get some good evaluation heading into the break.

We return to business as usual next week. Then it’ll be a sprint to the spring game where I am expecting a big visit list for the scrimmage.

Lets 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:

>> Someone we will likely hear more about the rest of spring football is nickel Isaac Gifford. We haven’t talked much about him so far in spring ball with a lot of focus on Chris Kolarevic who is new to the position. Don’t forget that the coaches are high on his potential. He just needs to put it all together as he gains more experience. Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander had a thought on that last week.

“For him it’s probably going to be to just make that play a little quicker,” Chinander said. “I mean, everybody makes a mental error, but that’s not his game. He just needs to see those plays happen and just be able to jump on them a little quicker and that’s how I think he ups his game.”

This is a big spring for Gifford to take a jump in his development.

>> The Huskers spent a chunk of time during the contact period in St. Louis high schools. Christian Brothers College standout Tyler Gant is one of the top defensive linemen in the area. The 2023 lineman (6-3, 280) recently took a trip to Michigan and was offered by Northwestern. I was able to reach him for a quick comment about a visit to Nebraska. Gant said that he wants to visit Lincoln but hasn’t set it up yet.

>> Coach Scott Frost made waves last week when he spoke about the offensive line’s progress this spring. Frost is pleased with how the line has looked, coming off the ball with more aggression. There are a lot of question marks with the line this spring though. Part of that is due to missing Teddy Prochazka and Turner Corcoran. Another part is the new pieces the team brought in. One player that has been a pleasant surprise is transfer Kevin Williams Jr. The Omaha native has gotten in better shape and is one of the best athletes on the line. He’s put himself in the mix to start this fall.

>> Have you have ever wondered what it’s like for a college coach when one of his players goes into the transfer portal? Chinander pulled the curtain back last week.

“Your phone starts [ringing],” Chinander said. “When we have a guy go into the portal, as soon as you [reporters] tweet it out, my guys from everywhere from junior college to SEC schools are calling. And it doesn’t matter if they played really well here or didn’t play really well here. Everybody wants to know about everybody.”

Chinander gave a unique glimpse into what it’s like to be on the other side of the portal. The Huskers have of course benefitted from it too. There no doubt that Chinander has placed those phone calls to coaching contacts to check up on a player.

>> Lincoln East 2023 4-star athlete Malachi Coleman continues to see his profile rise. He received an invitation to the prestigious All-American Bowl on Wednesday. Coleman is coming off a great performance at the Atlanta Pylon seven-on-seven event put on by 247Sports. He’s planning to visit Georgia and Texas but neither have offered yet. Coleman (6-4, 180) did pick up an offer from Iowa recently. The Huskers are still recruiting him very hard. Coleman is the No. 1 target this cycle for the program. Nebraska hopes to have him on campus again for the spring game on April 9.

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