Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Recruiting: Husker Coaches Host Official Visits and Fly to Ainsworth

January 22, 2023

It’s a shame Matt Rhule and members of his coaching staff flew private recently. They’re missing out of valuable frequent flier rewards. Staff members scattered across the country in the first part of the week before coaches rallied in Lincoln for official visits on Friday and Saturday. More than a few coaches then jumped in a plane to catch an in-state basketball game to visit multiple Nebraska recruits in one trip.

Coaches visited schools in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Texas, Utah, California, Illinois before returning to Memorial Stadium on Friday. New Nebraska arrival Syncere Safeeullah, a spring enrollee, hosted visitors Jacob Hood and Demetrius Bell as they came to Lincoln for official visits. Hood is an offensive line portal transfer who spent last season at National Champion Georgia. Bell is a senior at McGavock High School in Tennessee and a 3-star receiver. Both Bell and Hood are from the greater Nashville area, where Safeeullah played before transferring to IMG Academy his final season. In fact, Safeeullah and Hood were teammates at Hillsboro High School.

Hood is the immediate offensive line addition Nebraska’s coaching staff mined the portal for. Nebraska already hosted former portal entries Ajani Cornelius, Walter Rouse and Micah Mazzccua. The 6-foot-8, 350-pound offensive tackle comes with a handful of eligible years having not played in his freshman year at Georgia. He would also be the third former Bulldog to join the Huskers after linebacker MJ Sherman and tight end Arik Gilbert.

Bell, meanwhile, would be a late high school additions for Nebraska’s 2023 recruiting class. The former Michigan State commit finished his senior season with 1,142 all-purpose yards (throwing, rushing and receiving) and 10 total touchdowns. He’d be the fifth addition to Nebraska’s 2023 recruiting class who could potentially be a receiver.

Another potential receiver, Jeremiah Charles, visited Lincoln on Saturday along with high school teammate Ismael Smith Flores. Both are from Martin High School in Arlington, Texas, where new tight end coach Bob Wager just coached. Smith Flores is a 3-star tight end with size (6-foot-5, 210) who would play directly under Wager. Those two played a basketball game on Friday and were in Lincoln on Saturday.

The Huskers also hosted Sua Lefotu from St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, California. He’s a 3-star defensive lineman who plans to announce his collegiate destination on National Signing Day on February 1. Speaking of lineman, South Dakota native Jason Maciejczak finally visited Lincoln this past weekend. He’s already signed with Nebraska but his previous attempt at an official visit was canceled because of weather. He settled for a Zoom version. Another bout of winter weather didn’t stop him this time around.

After hosting official visitors on Saturday, members of the staff went to the sandhills. Head coach Matt Rhule, offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield, special teams coordinator Ed Foley and assistant to the head coach Jarrett Wishon all attended Ainsworth’s basketball doubleheader against Ogallala. There, the coaching staff met with Ogallala athlete Harry Caskey, as well as 4-star Ainsworth tight end Carter Nelson. Both are high priority class of 2024 targets for this coaching staff, which hasn’t secured a commitment for that class yet. Of course, Nebraska wasn’t the only school there. Kansas State tight end coach Brian Lepak was also in Ainsworth for the game to meet with Nelson. He holds offers from dozens of schools including Penn State, Michigan and Notre Dame.

Recruit Watch

New Nebraska arrival Malachi Coleman played his final high school all-star game on Friday night in the Polynesian Bowl and left an impression. Coleman, like he did in San Antonio for the All-American Bowl, impressed scouts throughout the week in practice. His size, quickness and hands showed a high ceiling. Some national recruiting analysts comparing him to Seattle Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf. Coleman finished that game with five catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns.

ICYMI

>> The Nebraska men’s basketball team not only lost to Penn State this weekend, they might have lost starter Brandon Bandoumel for a long time.

>> This last weekend also brought the Nebraska Prep Classic in Omaha. Hail Varsity was there and provided a roundup from all the action.

>> Our review from the Nebraska volleyball season continues by taking a look at how the Huskers’ defensive specialists played.

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