Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Making Sense of Frantic Commitments and Return to the Trail

December 13, 2022

What a week it’s already been. Matt Rhule’s coaching staff secured four commitments following the first official visits of the staff’s reign. There’s the possibility for more as the staff will return from their various recruiting locations during the week to host another round of official visits this weekend. And all this just about a week away from the early signing period.

So much happening can create some confusion. Let’s make sense of the latest recruiting developments and what they mean.

First, the commits. Syncere Safeeullah of IMG Academy is the only ranked new commit as a 3-star defensive back. At nearly 6-foot-2, 170 pounds, he’s able to play physical at the line and jam receivers with makeup speed in case they get behind him. He’s also a ballhawk, which fits in well with defensive coordinator Tony White’s aggressive gameplan. Kai Wallin, a 6-foot-6 edge from American River CC also committed, brings his immense frame and quickness to the new system with three years of eligibility. New Jersey product Kwinten Ives, who will likely be a running back at Nebraska, possesses the blistering speed that Rhule and his coaching staff looks for. Nebraska also secured the commitment of Florida transfer long snapper Marco Ortiz. He would step into the gap left by the departure of former long snapper Brady Weas.

On the flip side of arrivals are departures. Offensive lineman Kevin Williams Jr. announced earlier Tuesday that he’ll once again enter the transfer portal for his final year of eligibility. The Omaha North graduate attended Northern Colorado for his first three seasons before transferring to Nebraska ahead of the 2022 season. He played the first four games, including a start against Oklahoma, before suffering a season-ending injury in that game. Yesterday, kicker Charlie Weinrich announced he’s entered the portal. His name was one of those reported last week.

Former Husker Jaden Gould announced on Tuesday he’ll transfer to Syracuse. Gould is the first Husker to announce their destination after entering the portal this cycle. Former Nebraska commit William “Pop” Watson III flipped his commitment to Virginia Tech on Sunday. That didn’t come as a surprise since Watson’s relationship to Nebraska was through former offensive coordinator Mark Whipple. His strengths don’t fit new offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield’s system.

Coaches also hit the recruiting trail this week ahead of upcoming visits. Rhule spent his Monday in Texas visiting recruits before revisiting Philadelphia on Tuesday. Manor, Texas, 4-star edge Princewill Umanmielen hosted Rhule. While in Texas he also visited Nebraska commit Dylan Rogers. Nebraska’s new head coach revisited his Temple days to recruit Pennsylvania 3-star safety Rahmir Stewart. Both Umanmielen and Stewart are scheduled for official visits this upcoming weekend.

Recruit Watch

Nebraska issued some scholarships as well. Kenny Woseley, a 4-star safety from Philadelphia, received an offer from Nebraska in Rhule’s old stomping grounds. He’s a junior with heavy interest in the area from Penn State, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. Grant Tucker, a 3-star athlete from Charlotte Christian in North Carolina, received a scholarship offer. He’s an explosive senior corner/receiver with interest from North Carolina, Penn State and Georgia Tech.

IMG Academy freshman Zech Fort, an unranked but promising safety, received a scholarship offer from Nebraska. He’s been heavily recruited by Florida State this year with recent offers from Tennessee and Colorado. Sophomore receiver Tarrion Grant from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, also received an offer. He’s already receiving Big Ten and SEC attention. Tampa sophomore DJ Pickett, a composite 5-star safety, also gained a scholarship offer from Nebraska on Monday. Michigan and Ohio State are heavily recruiting Pickett, who’s already been offered by dozens of programs across the country, including Alabama and USC.

ICYMI

>> Amy Williams has already called on a few Huskers to step up off the bench in the second week of December. In a time of need, three young Huskers are already raising their games.

>> Relieve Nebraska’s near-upset of new No. 1 Purdue on Saturday through Hail Varsity’s photo gallery.

>> Former Nebraska edge Ochaun Mathis will forgo a final season of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft this spring.

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