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Nebraska Recruiting: Big Visitor List Expected for Huskers’ 2023 Home Opener

September 14, 2023

Nebraska hosts Northern Illinois Saturday at 6 p.m. CT. It’s the Huskers’ first home game of the Matt Rhule era and the excitement won’t just be on the field. 

The 2024 class for Nebraska seems pretty full and you can expect to see a handful of the committed players in Lincoln for the home opener. Among them are in-state quarterback Daniel Kaelin (Bellevue West), offensive lineman Jake Peters (Cedar Falls, Iowa), tight end Keelan Smith (North Liberty, Missouri), offensive lineman Gibson Pyle (Klein, Texas) and athlete Roger Gradney (Altair, Texas). 

Some of the state of Nebraska’s top uncommitted prospects and 5-star offensive lineman Brandon Baker (Mater Dei, California) will be patrolling the sidelines prior to kickoff. 

Baker is ranked as the nation’s top offensive line prospect in the 2024 class and No. 24 overall in the 247Sports Composite rankings. Baker is scheduled to announce his commitment Sept. 24 from his top five of Nebraska, Florida State, Ohio State, Oregon and Texas. 

Caleb Benning, the two-way Omaha Westside senior and Husker legacy, will be in Lincoln on Saturday. Benning has taken multiple trips to Lincoln and it seems as though a decision is looming between Nebraska, Kansas State, Wisconsin and Iowa. 

Westside senior quarterback Anthony Rezac is also planning on being in Lincoln Saturday. The dual-threat senior is off to a hot start for the 3-0 Warriors. He has a quarterback rating of 153.7 and has passed for 530 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions. Nebraska has a quarterback already committed in the class in Kaelin. 

There seems to be a few options here with Rezac after missing out on his twin brother, Teddy, who committed to Notre Dame. Can they take two quarterbacks in a cycle? Would they offer Rezac as a quarterback and let them compete or do they offer as an athlete and ask him to change positions, similar to former Millard South quarterback and current Nebraska redshirt freshman Gage Stenger? Regardless of what happens moving forward, Nebraska seems to be doing its due diligence with the starting quarterback of the state’s top team. 

Creighton Prep senior Zac McLeay has had one of the best starts to the season of any in-state player. McLeay, a safety, has been all over the field for the Junior Jays (1-3) averaging 19.3 total tackles per game, 77 total and 39 solo. 

A contingent of Millard South players will also be in attendance Saturday. Senior defensive lineman Aidan Miller has a handful of Division II offers and moved back to the metro from Texas for his senior season after playing for the Patriots his freshman year. Four 2026 Patriots are headed to Lincoln with Miller as well — quarterback Jett Thomalla, pass-catchers Amarion Jackson and Isaac Jensen and offensive lineman Carter Glab.

Four in-state 2025 players of note that are planning on being on the sidelines are Omaha Westside receiver Keynan Cotton (5-foot-10, 185 pounds). Cotton holds an Iowa State offer and has six catches for 132 yards and a team-leading four receiving touchdowns in the three Warrior wins.

Gretna junior offensive lineman Kalvin Janssen (6-foot-3, 280 pounds) is a rising prospect that took a game-day visit to Minnesota on Saturday. Janssen was in Lincoln on July 30 for the Big Red BBQ. Along with interest from Nebraska and Minnesota, Wyoming, Coastal Carolina and North Dakota State have been in contact.  

Bellevue West sophomore strong safety Kaprice Keith (6-foot-2, 175 pounds) also holds an Iowa State offer and visited Ames on Sept. 2 for the Cyclones’ 30-9 win over Northern Iowa.

Kearney linebacker Sawyer Schilke (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) is a bit of an in-state unknown in recruiting circles. Schlike will be in Lincoln Saturday and will visit Minnesota on Sept. 30, and he has interest from Kansas State and Wyoming as well.

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