Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Big Red Recon: Intrigue is High as Huskers Begin Spring Practice

February 25, 2022

We’ve made it to spring football. It has felt like a quick turnaround since the end of the season because spring ball is starting earlier than usual. It was a very busy December through February for the program as well, with so many new coaches and players coming into the program. The intrigue will be high this spring as coach Scott Frost tries to guide the program to a bowl game for the first time in his tenure.

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:

>> It felt like the William “Pop” Watson commitment came out of nowhere for a lot of Husker fans. That wasn’t the case for the staff. Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple has had a deep relationship with Watson and his family for some time now. The more you hear about Watson’s skill set and intangibles the more you’ll like him as a prospect. Whipple has been sold on him for a long time and showed that by offering Watson at three different schools.

It was always a long shot for the Huskers to land Avery Johnson from Kansas. The team did not start recruiting him soon enough. Iowa native JJ Kohl was not a natural fit for the offense even as it evolves.

>> I know a lot of questions will pop up about Gretna quarterback Zane Flores. Contact has been very limited with Nebraska and Flores. The previous offensive staff had no contact with him and the current version has reached out minimally. The Huskers are done with 2023 quarterback recruiting and Flores will head out of state.

>> Spring football is starting on Monday. It is one of the most intriguing springs I’ve been part of during my time covering Nebraska football. I did not see that coming given where the program was after the loss to Iowa at the end of last season. The combination of new coaches and players provides a lot of new storylines. There will be competition at many positions this spring. There is also the looming impact of Frost taking on more of CEO role and if he is best suited for that. This spring is pivotal for the program.

>> Finding a pass rush has been elusive for the Huskers the last few seasons. There isn’t a clear-cut answer heading into spring on who will provide it this year. The Huskers will look to the portal for help. One player to watch already on the roster is Jamari Butler. He turned heads in winter conditioning.

>> Nebraska has offers out to five in-state players for the 2023 cycle. Three are in the class already. The uncommitted two—Malachi Coleman and Maverick Noonan—are being recruited hard by the team. Could there be a sixth offer in-state on the horizon? Keep an eye out west on offensive lineman Brock Knutson. The Huskers have him on the radar as an offer worthy prospect.

Nebraska could continue to bring in many 2023 offensive lineman for visits during spring football. The team can afford to cast a wide net now that two linemen are already in the class. The team will likely load up on young offensive linemen this class.

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