Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: High School Quarterbacks from Nebraska Gaining National Attention

March 14, 2023

Bellevue West junior quarterback Danny Kaelin announced his college commitment on Monday. The 6-foot-2 T-Bird pledged to Missouri and became the first high-profile Nebraskan in the 2024 recruiting class to commit.

To answer the inevitable question: the Huskers recruited him. Kaelin is still the only quarterback other than Dylan Raiola in the class who holds a scholarship offer from Nebraska. Coaches met him and his teammates at Bellevue West earlier this winter. Bellevue West head coach Michael Huffman shared his optimism for the Nebraska coaching staff on Monday’s Hail Varsity Radio. This also happens to be the specific recruiting class Nebraska is among the final candidates for a 5-star quarterback and the Huskers were willing to send nine assistants to see him in Arizona.

Raiola paradox aside, the Huskers’ recent relationship with in-state quarterbacks is interesting. Grand Island native Ryker Fyfe is the last native Nebraskan to start at quarterback for the Huskers. Hastings High graduate and walk-on Jarrett Synek played against Michigan last year, ahead of Kearney Catholic graduate Heinrich Haarberg, on scholarship. Synek is no longer with the football program while Haarberg garnered praise from the new coaching staff. Norris graduate Cooper Hausmann is still in the mix.

Meanwhile, big-time Nebraskans have chosen to play elsewhere. Of course, Nebraska wasn’t entirely interested in Gretna’s Zane Flores until after he committed to Oklahoma State. Flores is an early enrollee with a chance to win snaps right away. In the 2024 class, Kaelin is bound for the SEC. Omaha Westside quarterback Anthony Rezac and Elkhorn South quarterback Carson Rauner are garnering collegiate attention. Talent deepens in the upcoming recruiting classes as Omaha North sophomore quarterback Sebastian Circo is being recruited by Miami, Penn State and Ole Miss. Former Bellevue East quarterback Mikey Gow, now in Allen, Texas, is also gaining major attention in the 2025 recruiting class.

Matt Rhule’s Nebraska staff hasn’t offered Circo yet. The only 2025 quarterback the Huskers are actively recruiting, and they are heavily invested in, is Stone Saunders out of Pennsylvania. Saunders was a second-team All-American by MaxPreps as a freshman and then became MaxPreps Pennsylvania Player of the Year last season. He’s due to visit Nebraska later this month.

Raiola would be the highest-rated recruit to ever commit to Nebraska. He’d change national perception of the program and potentially open the door to other 5-star recruits. Meanwhile, Nebraska’s high schools are now producing FBS-caliber quarterbacks at a consistent rate. Programs across the country have taken notice.

Recruit Watch

A couple Texas standouts with Nebraska offers increased their profiles at the recent Under Armour Camp in Dallas. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, an independent outlet that’s collaborated with Hail Varsity previously, highlighted a few individuals. Four-star receiver Bryant Wesco was named overall MVP and 3-star running back Kewan Lacy stood out as one of the top two at his position. Both of them have offers from Nebraska.

The Husker coaching staff offered William Nettles, a 2024 cornerback out of Dallas Christian. Nettles is unranked in the composite with just one site evaluating him as a 3-star recruit. He holds offers from SMU, Baylor and Kansas ahead of a visit to USC this spring.

Nebraska re-offered 2025 linebacker Kelvion Riggins out of Dallas, Texas. He’s a 4-star recruit and is heavily linked to Texas A&M. Riggins held an offer from the previous Nebraska staff.


>> The Nebraska women’s basketball team will host Missouri State on Wednesday night in the first round of the Women’s NIT. The Huskers received an automatic bid to the tournament as a the highest-finishing Big Ten team to not make the NCAA Tournament.

>> Hail Varsity’s new softball podcast, Behind The Plate, is available now. Hail Varsity contributor Maren Angus-Coombs and Nebraska athletics voice Nate Rohr co-host the show that hit the catcher’s mitt just after the 2023 season began. Subscribe on your podcast app or watch the first episode here, with guest Nebraska softball coach Rhonda Revelle.

>> Months before the special Volleyball Day In Nebraska, the Husker volleyball team is returning to rural Nebraska. The Huskers are playing a spring match in Central City next month.

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