Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule and his assistants started holding individual meetings with each Husker on the team earlier this week. Rhule explained each meeting as a dialog, a place for coaches and players to hold a conversation about plans. Players deliver their feedback and coaches convey to them, if the season started at that moment, where that player’s role would be within the team.
“So the younger players would talk about some long-term things in terms of development,” Rhule said, “and then we talk about their commitment level and off-the-field stuff, and then we ask them to speak their mind to give us their part.”
At the conclusion of the spring game, Nebraska’s scholarship count stood at 98. That number shrunk slightly on Tuesday with initial transfer portal departures. Nebraska needs to be down to 85 scholarships to meet NCAA limits. Rhule was asked specifically about building depth on the offensive line after the Red-White Game. The head coach downplayed the notion.
“I mean, we have the players we have and we have some guys coming in,” he said of the offensive line. “We’re going to coach them, so we’re not thinking about anybody other than the guys on our team.”
It’s worth noting, however, Nebraska’s coaches and official recruiting Twitter account started following various transfers when the portal opened last week. Nebraska reportedly reached out to Bear Alexander, the former Georgia defensive lineman who transferred to USC. So there is some possibility of inward transfers during this portal window. Here are some of the latest portal entries, as of Tuesday, who hold social media attention from Nebraska. The university’s official football recruiting account follows all listed, individual coaches are all noted.
Keith Brown, linebacker, Oregon: Brown has made 36 tackles in two seasons in the Oregon defense. He was an early enrollee and a 4-star recruit in Oregon’s 2021 recruiting class. He submitted his application to transfer on April 17 and already visited Louisville.
Troy Everett, offensive line, Appalachian State: The former 3-star recruit signed with Appalachian State as a member of the 2021 recruiting class. He started the first six games last season at center and played in 10 of the Mountaineers’ 12 games. The Athletic named him a second-team freshman All-American. Director of player personnel Omar Hales, player development coach Jared Folks, assistant director of player personnel Keith Williams, general manager Sean Padden, assistant offensive line coach Aaron Coeling and linebacker coach Rob Dvoracek all follow Everett on Twitter.
Derrick McLendon, edge rusher, Florida State: A native of Tucker, Georgia, McLendon signed with Florida State as a 3-star recruit in its 2019 class. He played in every game the last two seasons, including 12 starts last year. McLendon tallied a total of 37 tackles, five TFLs and 3.5 sacks last season, including a season-high eight tackles against Clemson. Associate director of player personnel Ryan Callaghan, running backs coach E.J. Barthel and current Huskers Anthony Grant, Quinton Newsome and Javier Morton follow him on Twitter.
Matthew Wykoff, offensive line, Texas A&M: He started nine of his 12 appearances at left guard for the Aggies as a redshirt freshman last season. The Magnolia, Texas, native made the SEC All-Freshman team for his efforts. Wykoff announced his entry into the portal earlier this month and maintains three seasons of eligibility. Hales, Callaghan, Dvoracek, Williams and director of football advancement Mike Wallace all follow Wykoff.
Emmanuel Pregnon, offensive lineman, Wyoming: The redshirt sophomore from Denver started at right guard for Wyoming last season. Pro Football Focus rated him a third-team all-conference selection. Since entering the portal he’s received offers from USC, LSU, Texas A&M, Auburn and Oregon among others. Hales, Williams, Wallace, Padden and Callaghan all follow him on Twitter.
The end of the spring season did not mean the end of visitors to Memorial Stadium. Melvin Laster, a 4-star linebacker from Liberty North High in Missouri, came to Memorial Stadium to meet the coaching staff on Monday. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound 2024 recruit did not receive an offer from Nebraska during his visit. Laster made 83 tackles, 14 TFL and 4.0 sacks last season.
— Melvin laster II 4⭐️ (@melvin_laster) April 24, 2023
Nebraska gave 2025 safety Javion Butts his first Division I scholarship offer earlier this week. Butts is an unevaluated recruit out of Jones County in Gray, Georgia. His Hudl page lists his 40 time at 4.58 seconds and his bench at 275 pounds.
Among the player exodus at Colorado came the de-commitment from 4-star athlete Ju’Juan Johnson. Nebraska gave Johnson, a top-300 recruit and track athlete, his first scholarship offer last summer.
>> The Big Ten Conference announced the conference regular-season pairings for the 2023-24 men’s basketball season on Tuesday afternoon. Nebraska will not travel to Iowa or Purdue next season.
>> Nebraska’s top-ranked recruiting class is already impacting the Husker volleyball team. The Huskers travel to Central City for their Spring Match against Wichita State on Saturday. Tickets for the Volleyball Day In Nebraska event went on sale for season-ticket holders this morning. They’ll go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
>> The Husker baseball team stumbled out of the gates of a crucial 10-game stretch by getting swept in Iowa City. Nebraska returns to the diamond tonight against Omaha before hosting South Dakota State on Wednesday.