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Nebraska Recruiting: Looking at the Recruiting History of Each Husker Assistant Coach

July 30, 2023

The Nebraska coaching staff has already made the entire country its recruiting territory. The Huskers have commitments or signees from New Jersey, Florida, California and between since the new staff took over last November. As defensive coordinator Tony White said earlier this year—if you can’t recruit, you can’t be here.

Because the head coach has repeatedly said recruiting is the lifeblood of college football, let’s take a look at the staff’s recruiting prowess.

Secondary coach Evan Cooper is perhaps the most prominent recruiter. Not only is he the staff’s go-to evaluator, he’s at least partially responsible for bringing multiple 4-star recruits to Nebraska already. He also played a big role in recruiting at Baylor when the Bears signed three consecutive top-35 recruiting classes. Cooper’s Florida roots, enthusiasm and detailed knowledge of NFL skillsets are already benefiting Nebraska’s recruiting fortunes. Garret McGuire is showing he can recruit among top-tier programs before his first season as a college coach. Speedy, skilled receivers are a foundational component of the Huskers’ classes and McGuire is a major part of those commitments.

Offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield gained multiple 4-star commitments among quarterbacks while at South Carolina. At Nebraska he’s already helped land Daniel Kaelin, Carter Nelson and Demetrius Bell. Offensive line coach Donovan Raiola is one of the staff’s most beloved by his players. That connection leads him to land big-time recruits like Preston Taumua. The Huskers are in good position to land another 4-star offensive lineman, Grant Brix. Defensive coordinator Tony White earned Mountain West Recruiter of the Year twice while at San Diego State. He helped Arizona State land 4-star Jordan Clark when White was cornerbacks coach there. White helped flip 3-star edge Denis Jaquez Jr. from Northwestern to Syracuse.

This is the first big-time recruiting challenge for defensive line coach Terrance Knighton and linebacker coach Rob Dvoracek. Former NFL standout Knighton isn’t struggling with the challenge, as he helped the Huskers gain commitments across the country. Dvoracek doesn’t have the big-time recruits to his name so far but his coaching at practice appeals to numerous recruits. EJ Barthel helped unsung recruits at UConn turn a one-win season into six in a season. He’s now at Lincoln, a much bigger recruiting platform, and already landed high-potential back Kewan Lacy.

Josh Martin has been elevated to full-time tight ends coach as a result of Bob Wager’s resignation. Martin spent time as tight ends coach and both line coaches while at SMU and Arizona State. It’s worth noting he worked at SMU under head coach Sonny Dykes and offensive coordinator Garret Riley. He’s directly coached multiple NFL Draft picks at tight end. To date, his biggest recruiting get is 3-star offensive lineman Marcus Bryant to SMU. The native Texan, son of a Hall of Fame Texas high school football coach, now has the biggest recruiting stage of his career.

Recruit Watch

Nebraska hosted multiple recruits earlier today for “The Cookout,” an event preceding Fan Day. A few want-to-get recruits in the 2024 class and over a dozen standouts in the 2025 class made it to Lincoln for the gathering. Five of those 2025 recruits are top-200 national prospects and all have 4-star evaluations. At the top of rankings among that group is Katy Jordan (Texas) receiver Andrew Marsh. Marsh is, by industry consensus rankings, the No. 16 recruit in the country. Nebraska offered him back in January and this is the first time he’s visited Lincoln.

The Huskers are still a top-20 recruiting class in the 2024 rankings so far. Nebraska is the No. 20 class in the composite rankings as of Sunday. Of those 24 commitments, six are 4-star recruits and 18 are 3-star prospects.

ICYMI

>> Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule laid out his philosophies and football plans during a 35-minute Q&A with Hail Varsity back earlier this summer. That abbreviated Q&A is now live and available to read online in addition to the annual football yearbook.

>> The Big Ten chose Wisconsin to top its preseason volleyball poll last week. Only Lexi Rodriguez, a unanimous all-conference selection, made the Big Ten individual list as coaches picked Nebraska to finish second.

>> The Nebraska football team begins practice tomorrow. Relieve some of the excitement from Rhule and players who represented the Huskers at Big Ten Football Media Days with our coverage. Hail Varsity Radio’s Chris Schmidt made it to Indianapolis and spoke with numerous people about the Huskers’ outlook.

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