Going into Wednesday morning, there are 19 announced commitments to Nebraska’s 2024 recruiting class. The class started in February with Roger Gradney’s announcement and grew with four April commitments in the runoff from the spring football season and added a legacy recruit a few weeks later.
Then came the shift. The nation’s No. 1 quarterback, Dylan Raiola, never did take an official visit to Nebraska and committed to Georgia in May. The Huskers missed out on the legacy quarterback twice. In response, Nebraska secondary coach Evan Cooper posted a seemingly cryptic tweet. It was a reference to the Taoist Farmer parable. In summary, good things and bad things happen to the farmer who gains both sympathy and congratulations from neighbors. Each time he responds, “maybe.” The story is meant to invoke thought it’s not the action or circumstance, it’s the response to those circumstances that is important.
— Evan Cooper (@evancooper2) May 15, 2023
Nebraska coaches immediately reached out to Bellevue West quarterback Daniel Kaelin. He flipped his commitment from Missouri by the end of the week. Kaelin was recruit No. 7 when he committed on May 20. Nebraska is now at 20 commitments. That number could grow Wednesday afternoon with a potential commitment from Ainsworth’s Carter Nelson, the top in-state recruit in the 2024 class. The Huskers rank No. 16 in the composite recruiting rankings as of this afternoon and a commitment from Nelson could bump them even higher.
This is a recruiting hot streak shows a turnaround within the program. Stated plainly, Nebraska hasn’t recruited to this extent in several years. Matt Rhule said earlier in the summer they wanted to put an emphasis on camps and be a place coaches wanted to send their kids. Not only did high school football players get direct coaching from Big Ten coaches at those camps, Nebraska’s coaches saw skillsets and traits first-hand. They saw those traits that don’t translate over from film. And they trusted internal evaluations to recruit kids with under-the-radar offer lists. Rhule also intentionally made last weekend the priority recruiting weekend so they could bring in camp standouts and any uncommitted targets in together. So far the vast majority of those 2024 invitees committed to Nebraska. That indicates the energy on the visit among the recruits themselves and their excitement to be together at Nebraska.
As the month closes, so does the Huskers’ considerable response in the face of a big recruiting loss.
Nebraska’s top quarterback target in the 2025 recruiting class already trimmed his offer list down to five schools, including the Huskers. Stone Saunders, the two-year gunslinger at Bishop McDevitt in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is the reigning Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year. As he prepares to follow a ridiculous sophomore season (3,583 yards and 54 touchdowns), Saunders has already whittled his list to Nebraska, Georgia, Kentucky, Miami and Michigan. Saunders has already visited Nebraska and Kentucky three times since the year began.
— Stone Saunders (@Stone_Saunders8) June 27, 2023
The Huskers are still waiting on word from 4-star receiver Gatlin Bair. The Burley, Idaho, speedster wants to visit his top five schools before committing. Nebraska is among those top five and Bair has taken official visits to three so far. Michigan has emerged a leader for Bair’s commitment after hosting him on an official visit this past weekend. Michigan is already home to Colson Loveland, a former standout from Gooding, Idaho. Bair’s current head coach, Cameron Anderson, coached Loveland at Gooding before moving to Burley.
>> Rienk Mast found success in four seasons at Bradley. Now he’s transferred to Nebraska and is already finding his voice and fitting in as a Cornhusker.
>> Former Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong won a championship earlier this month. The four-year starting quarterback led the Omaha Beef to a second indoor football championship in three seasons.
>> Cross County senior-to-be Izaac Dickey announced his intentions to walk on at Nebraska following his final year of high school. Dickey really jumped out to Nebraska football coaches during the fullback camp, something that means a lot to him.