Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Huskers Making Run at Emerging Offensive Lineman From Texas

April 27, 2023

Nebraska’s coaching staff, like most around the country, loves finding the hidden-gem recruits. Matt Rhule has occasionally pointed to Haason Reddick as a developmental success story within his coaching tenure. Reddick walked on at Temple as a running back and safety. He ultimately developed into a first-team all-conference defensive end and an NFL first-round pick.

Rhule’s staff at Nebraska isn’t shying from recruiting high-profile standouts. At the same time, they’re also recruiting under-the-radar prospects who can prosper like Reddick did. Rhule spoke highly of 2023 signee Eric Fields from Ardmore, Oklahoma, son of a professional boxer and a high-ceiling tackler. His staff also recently offered 2024 emerging recruit Coen Echols.

Echols is a promising offensive lineman who stands 6-foot-3, 285 pounds. His only evaluation by major recruiting services is a single 3-star rating. But earlier this month Echols moved into No. 90 in Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Rising 2024 Hot 100. That followed an Offensive Line MVP award at the Next Level Athlete Texas Top 100 Showcase in Houston. The Katy High School lineman also stood out at the UC Report Camp in Dallas back in January. His offer sheet now hovers at 18 with offers from Auburn and Texas A&M since Nebraska offered.

“He’s a big, physical kid and he won’t back down from a challenge,” Katy head coach Gary Joseph told Hail Varsity. “He’s a smart kid, he studies. You see the footwork and he’s not afraid to be physical.”

Joseph spoke highly of Rhule, noting how he treats players and his detail-oriented coaching style. Rhule signed Connor Galvin to Baylor from Katy High a few years ago and Galvin developed into a first-team all-conference left tackle. Joseph also noted the Texas presence on Rhule’s staff adds comfort for Texas recruits.

Echols first stepped into Katy’s offensive line rotation as a sophomore because of injuries. Five of his six games were playoff appearances. He’s played right tackle for nationally ranked Katy but some college coaches see him moving to the interior, even possibly center. Where playing Katy High is the Super Bowl for nearly every opponent, Joseph complimented Echols’ mentality of playing with a target on his back.

“The biggest thing is he ain’t afraid to step up against competition,” Joseph said. “He’s got no fear. And he’s a worker, getting better.”

The high school junior is also a prominent track athlete. Weeks before his offer from Nebraska, the dual-sport athlete tossed a 51-foot, 1-inch heave in the shot put.

Echols received his scholarship offer from Rhule when he visited Nebraska on April 18 and the Huskers are in serious contention as he goes through the recruiting process.

Recruit Watch

Nebraska extended a few new scholarship offers recently. One went to 4-star receiver Ashton Bethel-Roman from Missouri City, Texas. He’s a top-200 2024 recruit nationally after snagging 892 yards and eight touchdowns for Ridge Point High last season. Nebraska also offered 4-star receiver Quanell Farrakhan from The Woodlands, Texas. Farrakhan, a 2025 recruit, is a two-time all-district receiver with 18 all-purpose touchdowns in his first two high school seasons.

The Huskers also offered 4-star edge rusher Sharlandiin Strange from Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. The 2025 recruit is unevaluated but already moves on a 6-foot-4, 230-pound frame. Adam Kissayi, a 3-star edge rusher from Palm City, Florida, received an offer from Nebraska earlier Thursday. He’s a 6-foot-7 recruit in the 2024 class with offers from Utah and Michigan.

Kamar Mothudi, a 4-star linebacker from Valley Village, California, complimented his visit to Nebraska during last week’s Red-White Game. He’s a top-200 recruit the Huskers offered back in February and would add the kind of athleticism Tony White seeks in linebackers.

Four-star defensive lineman Jerod Smith from Cheshire, Connecticut, committed to Michigan earlier this week. He visited Nebraska back in March alongside twin brother Jacob Smith. Jacob plans to take an official visit to Nebraska this summer.


>> There’s a lot of energy around Husker volleyball. Nebraska hosts Wichita State this weekend in Central City and Husker fans can see some new faces. You can watch coach and player interviews on the Hail Varsity YouTube channel. Hail Varsity’s Jacob Padilla wrote his new Padding The Stats column about what the team needs in 2023. Oh, and that whole Volleyball Day In Nebraska thing at Memorial Stadium? It sold out the 82,900 ticket allotment by Thursday morning.

>> The Nebraska baseball team split a pair of mid-week Summit League clashes that felt dramatically different. First, the Huskers beat rival Omaha to avoid a sweep. Then the bats went cold and South Dakota State left Haymarket Park with a victory.

>> Big Ten softball continues this weekend. Don’t forget to catch the latest episode of Behind The Plate, now on Hail Varsity’s YouTube channel and wherever you get your podcasts.

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