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Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Recruiting: Is Nebraska Gaining Ground on Rival Programs in Building the Class of 2024?

June 06, 2023

It took Matt Rhule 10 days to secure his first commitment to Nebraska’s 2023 class. The university announced him as the new head football coach on November 26. Bay City, Texas, multi-sport star Brice Turner committed on December 6. Turner’s decision was the first addition after a handful of decommitments and flips.

The new Nebraska coaching staff scrambled to sign 28 players in the 2023 class by the February signing day. They they turned their attention to future classes, hosting standouts throughout the spring season. Three weeks after traditional signing day, 4-star receiver Roger Gradney committed to give the Huskers their first in the 2024 class. Six more recruits committed since. That’s less than dozens of top programs.

In the latest team composite rankings, Nebraska is midway in the Big Ten. The Huskers rank far ahead of Michigan State and Illinois, both of which have just three commits thus far, and puts them on par with Northwestern and Purdue, who also have seven commits. Six of Northwestern’s pledges have come since May and the massive coaching overhaul within Pat Fitzgerald’s staff. Purdue, undergoing a wholesale change under new head coach Ryan Walters, secured six commitments since March 4. For context, Michigan and Penn State both have 17, Minnesota’s class stands at 15 commits and Ohio State has 13 (including two 5-star recruits).

Coaching turnover likely plays at least a part in Nebraska’s current recruiting standings. Lack of success under previous head coach Scott Frost put him on the hot seat and, frankly, recruiting to a team with six consecutive losing seasons isn’t appealing. For all the cries of payouts related to Name, Image and Likeness, recruiting rankings still show it’s the most successful, winning programs who get the top-rated recruits. Consistency also matters. While the portal allows players an opportunity to move elsewhere, recruits can more easily trust a coach when they’ve been at a program longterm. The top five teams in the Big Ten recruiting rankings now are Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Minnesota and Iowa. Ryan Day is the shortest-termed coach among that bunch after taking active head coaching duties in 2018.

Nebraska ranks No. 32 in the current composite rankings. They rank behind schools like Rutgers (11 commits) and Wake Forest (17 commits) in large part due to numbers. Schools like Florida, Alabama and USC all rank ahead of Nebraska with eight commitments. Florida and Alabama combine for seven 5-star commits while six of USC’s pledges are 4-stars. The Huskers would jump at least one spot with a pledge from 4-star cornerback Mario Buford, who is scheduled to announce his commitment on Thursday. His could build momentum into the summer as the Huskers host more campers and official visitors.

Numerous factors play into the Huskers’ current recruiting position. Rhule and his staff built energy and tried to spread it throughout the program this spring. They hope momentum extends to recruiting. Fielding a tough, successful team in the fall, would be the biggest momentum surge forward.

Recruit Watch

Creighton Prep standout Michael Burt had a big Monday. The soon-to-be junior tight end received four Big Ten offers, including those from Nebraska and Iowa. That followed a strong performance at the Lindenwood Mega Camp in St. Louis days earlier. Burnt’s summer will likely pick up steam with more camps this summer. He visited both Iowa and Minnesota over the weekend and has yet to take an unofficial visit to Memorial Stadium.

The Huskers offered Christian Tutson, a class of 2025 receiver in Temple, Texas, as a result of the satellite camp at Mary Hardin-Baylor. Tutson is an explosive receiver and returner who scored an estimated 30 touchdowns on Temple’s freshman team. He scored three all-purpose touchdowns in one game last season—a 31-yard blocked punt, a 94-yard kickoff return and an 18-yard catch late in the fourth quarter.

Nebraska also offered 3-star 2025 athlete Ja’Kyrian Turner from South Sumter High in Bushnell, Florida. He’s another speedy athlete who took snaps at receiver and defensive back last season. Gavin Hoffman, a 3-star 2024 tight end from Blue Valley Northwestern in Overland Park, Kansas, also received an offer. He’s now picked up recent offers from Iowa, Arizona State and Missouri.


>> Nebraska volleyball’s success transcends continents. The Huskers found massive success in Brazil, building momentum and position battles going into the summer.

>> Two dynamic, charismatic basketball players will return to Lincoln this winter. Both Keisei Tominaga and Jaz Shelley provide a lift for their teams and easy favorites for fans in their respective upcoming seasons.

>> During their recent appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Malachi Coleman and his parents were informed his nonprofit—Fly Like Chi—would receive a $15,000 donation from a new corporate partner.

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