Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Heinrich Haarberg rolls out and looks to pass the ball
Photo Credit: John Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Husker Newcomers Make Most of Opportunity in Spring

May 02, 2021

Recruiting never stops and it’s easy to miss the top stories day-to-day. Recruiting analyst Greg Smith recaps all things Nebraska recruiting news, analysis and more so you never miss a thing.


The Huskers had many newcomers enter the program in time for spring practices. Ten players came onto the team, took part in winter conditioning and then got work during the spring. Several of those newcomers made the most of their opportunities this spring.

When we think of mid-year enrollees, it’s often high school players only. Nebraska had a pair of exceptions to that rule this year. Linebacker Chris Kolarevic and wide receiver Samori Touré are players that made themselves fixtures with the Huskers immediately. Kolarevic made his way to Lincoln from Nothern Iowa and Touré from Montana. Kolarevic could be in a rotation at inside linebacker, He has the potential to start for the Huskers in the fall.

Touré is the surest bet of any receiver to start this fall. He’s working primarily in the slot with the coaching staff hoping he will provide a weapon the team has not had under coach Scott Frost.

“Really been impressed with Samori’s approach to coming in here,” Frost said. “You can tell he’s a veteran, he’s a grown-up, he’s really been a pro with his preparation and his work in the weight room and on the field conditioning. He’s going to make us better in the passing game. I expect him to make us a better team.”

Kolarevic was with the first-team defense during the Red-White Spring Game on Saturday. Inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud was impressed with his work earlier in the spring. Ruud noted that he’s fit in easily with the group.

“It shows me they did a good job with him at Northern Iowa because he’s a pretty developed guy,” Ruud said. “He was a great weight room guy, great workout guy this offseason and he really understands the game. He’s got to learn our concepts now, but he’s a guy who the game comes easily to him. We’re getting a pretty ready-made product with him.”

There were also traditional mid-year players who flashed early too. Before his injury, the coaching staff spoke highly of tight end Thomas Fidone. They felt he was really turning a corner in his first spring. That made his knee injury sting even more. Running back Gabe Ervin has placed himself in the conversation to be the starting running back this fall.

The Georgia native was steady during the spring. He showed glimpses of his talent on Saturday posting 57 yards on 12 carries. Now he will enter the summer trying to improve his game more to help the team in the fall. Quarterback Heinrich Haarberg was making a name for himself all camp. Then he tossed a late touchdown to lead the White Team to a comeback win. He’s still raw but it wouldn’t be shocking to see him win the backup quarterback job behind Adrian Martinez.

The Huskers took an unconventional way to add new talent to the roster this offseason. There is a nice blend of experienced players and freshman that are new to the team. They showed why the Huskers pursued them on the recruiting trail.

Recruit Watch

>> The Huskers made the top six for Florida defensive back James Monds III over the weekend.

>> Indiana pass rusher Popeye Williams committed to Louisville over the weekend in a blow to the Huskers’ efforts to add more pass rush to the program.

ICYMI

>> The spring game was ‘a step in the right direction’ for Nebraska football, writes Erin Sorensen.

>> The battle for QB2 is ongoing (premium) after the Huskers spring game according to coach Scott Frost.

>> Check out our photo gallery as the White Team stormed back to take down the Red Team.

>> Check out where former Huskers landed after the NFL Draft as undrafted free agents.

>> As Derek Peterson wrote, the spring game showed (Premium) that NU certainly has plenty of capable running backs.

>> Check out the reaction video from Erin Sorensen and Derek Peterson after the game this weekend.

>> Jacob Padilla has your plays of the game (Premium) that feature Nebraska running backs showing off.

>> Kansas City 3-star wide receiver Quinton Conley enjoyed (Premium) his return trip to Nebraska over the weekend.

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