Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Head Coach Matt Rhule Believes Signee, Recruit, Visitor Attendance Good for All

April 11, 2023

Numerous 2023 signees visited Nebraska practices this spring. Argyle, Texas, defensive lineman Riley Van Poppel attended a recent practice and watched first-hand how defensive line coach Terrance Knighton coaches players. Omaha Westside speedster Jaylen Lloyd took a break from a senior track season to attend a practice. Lincoln East athlete Malachi Coleman is also often on the sidelines at Husker practices with eyes on the receivers. Preferred walk-ons Noah Bustard and Grant Seagren also made the trip another time before joining the team this summer.

Head coach Matt Rhule mentioned the importance of transitioning from recruits to players through those experiences. Some high school standouts enjoy visiting various campuses and being courted. Once they’re committed, it’s important to shift mentality into a playing approach and not continuing to approach the program like a recruit. Rhule referenced former Husker Garrett Nelson and how he’ll insist Nelson stay in shape for rookie mini camps. Going from someone whose dream of playing football at a higher level to someone who actually plays it at a higher level requires a mental shift.

“So coming in and seeing the way we practice, seeing the things that we do, I think it’s good for recruits, it’s good for parents,” Rhule said. “It’s good for our players, when they show up they show up eyes open. They’re not intimidated by what might happen tomorrow, they all know what practice should look like.”

Some visitors who saw practice decided to be part of it. Not just Bustard but Chicagoland linebacker Danny Pasko committed after visiting last month. Others, like in-state recruits Sebastian Circo (Omaha North), Tyson Terry (Omaha North), Christian Jones (Omaha Westside) and Pierre Allen Jr. (Lincoln Southeast) now have a better idea what the new era of Husker football might look like.

Recruit Watch

New Jersey No. 1 punter and kicker Nico Ottomanelli visited Tuesday’s practice in Lincoln. He’s a 2024 recruit who’s gaining traction after posting a video where he made three consecutive 52-yard kicks.

Nebraska extended offers to a handful of southern standouts earlier this week. Michael Turner, a 2024 athlete from River Ridge, Louisiana, was one of those who received an offer. He’s received one 3-star evaluation so far but holds a dozen scholarship offers, including Ole Miss and Texas Tech in addition to his new Husker offer. Turner tallied 818 total offensive yards, 29 tackles and eight total touchdowns (rushing, receiving and fumble recover) in his last two seasons at John Curtis Christian.

The Huskers also offered 2024 athlete Jaydon Smith out of Ingleside, Texas. He’s a three-sport athlete whose taken snaps at receiver and defensive back. The Gulf-area recruit tore his meniscus in last year’s season opener, sat the next game, then scored 21 touchdowns while playing sparingly over the remaining 11 games. Tyler, Texas, 2027 recruit Cadarius McMiller received an offer from the Huskers on Monday. He’s a speedster athlete who runs a 10.4 in the 100 before entering high school.


>> Surprise, the Nebraska volleyball exhibition match in Central City sold out in under an hour. OK, well, maybe not a huge surprise. Head coach John Cook and a few Huskers spoke about that and general excitement around the program on Monday.

>> A big game-three victory on Sunday gave Nebraska a series victory over Michigan this weekend. That gave the Huskers some confidence and momentum before squaring off with a powerful Indiana squad.

>> The deep ball powered Nebraska to a Sunday win against Michigan. Bolt called the 11-3 victory the Huskers’ best game all season and comes a head of a rematch with rival Omaha tonight.

  • Never miss the latest news from Hail Varsity!

    Join our free email list by signing up below.

Pinnacle Bank

Hail Varsity May 2023 Cover

Never Miss Another Issue