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Nebraska Recruiting: Daniel Kaelin Will Represent Nebraska at Elite 11 Finals Next Month

May 25, 2023

Daniel Kaelin threw for Nebraska football coaches last Wednesday to validate what they all felt to be true. The Bellevue West quarterback is up to the challenge. Kaelin decommitted from Missouri two days later. “Danny Dimes” committed to Nebraska last Saturday, a move he dreamed of since eighth grade.

Kaelin received national validation late Wednesday when he received an invitation to the Elite 11 Finals. It’s the ultimate move in a series of football camps to determine the 11 best quarterback recruits in the country. Kaelin now earned the right to compete in the event, which pits him against quarterbacks like Dylan Raiola.

It’s been nearly a decade since the last time a Nebraska-bound quarterback made the finals. Former Husker Patrick O’Brien made the 2015 Elite 11 Finals. He redshirted and transferred to Colorado State, then to Washington. Johnny Stanton was named to the 2012 Finals before redshirting and ultimately transferring from Nebraska and switching to fullback.

Transferring from the Elite 11 isn’t odd. Of the 12 finalists from both 2021 and 2020, five have already transferred in college. Keep in mind, players involved in the Elite 11 don’t even play their first college season until the following year. In total, eight of the 12 finalists from the 2019 Elite 11 class have transferred since arriving on campus. That includes current Nebraska quarterback Jeff Sims, who stood alongside Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud in the 2019 class as a promising slinger from Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville, Florida.

Gretna native and Oklahoma State Cowboy Zane Flores competed at the Elite 11 Finals last season but was not chosen among the Elite 11.

The 2023 Elite 11 Finals will be held in Los Angeles next month, running from June 14-16. Quarterbacks receive one-on-one training with on-field drills, routes-on-air, classroom work and off-field development. Twelve of the last 13 Heisman Trophy winners attended an Elite 11 regional or final. There are still six open spots in this year’s finals.

Recruit Watch

Four-star 2024 offensive lineman Isaiah Garcia included Nebraska in his list of top 10 schools. He’s an Under Armour All-American lineman from Draper, Utah, with college suitors all over the country. Garcia announced his finalist list late Tuesday. On that same day, fellow 4-star 2024 offensive lineman Preston Taumua from Aiea, Hawaii, included Nebraska in his top five schools. Taumua is a top-250 recruit who is also considering Oregon, Arizona, Auburn and Alabama.

Ainsworth standout Carter Nelson officially accepted his invitation to play in the All-American Bowl on Saturday, January 6, 2024. The game features 100 of the country’s top recruits.

Nebraska extended a few new scholarship offers in recent hours. Hunter Andrews, a 2024 running back from Magnolia, Texas, received an offer. He ran for 921 yards and 10 touchdowns last season with recent offers from California and Utah. The Huskers also offered 3-star 2025 receiver Phillip Wright III from Destrehan, Louisiana, and his teammate, 2026 athlete Jabari Mack. Mack is a potential future receiver while Wright’s already gained offers from Mississippi State, Arkansas and Miami. Nebraska also offered national standout Dreshaun Ross. The 2026 athlete from Fort Dodge, Iowa, won the 16U men’s freestyle national championship while wrestling in the 195-pound weight class. He made 46 tackles last season.

A pair from Duncanville, Texas, also received offers from Nebraska. Zachery Turner, a 2026 tight end, made 13 catches and five touchdowns last season and Ayson Theus, a 2026 athlete, has moved all over the field and just posted a 4.46 40. Nebraska also offered 2024 4-star linebacker Gabriel Williams from St. Vincent Pallotti in Laurel, Maryland. He’s one of the top 20 linebacker recruits in the country and plans to visit Virginia Tech, Duke and Pitt this summer.


>> The Nebraska baseball team continues it charge into the Big Ten Tournament tonight. The Huskers survived a scare from Rutgers on Wednesday, who were eliminated from the conference tournament earlier Thursday. Check out our photo gallery from Nebraska’s tourney opener against the Scarlet Knights here.

>> Hail Varsity staff writer Jacob Padilla returned earlier this week with his latest edition of Padding The Stats. In this week’s column he takes a deeper look at positional battles within the Nebraska volleyball team.

>> Nebraska Athletic Director Trev Alberts likes where the school sits at a time of uncertainty in college athletics. He also provided updates on projects, events and spring sports during his monthly radio stop earlier this week.

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