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Photo Credit: John Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Matt Rhule Confident in Evaluations, Relationships When Recruiting

August 10, 2023

The Nebraska football recruiting machine could exist in a vacuum. Regardless of the consistent headline churn around college football, head coach Matt Rhule is adamant about this staff’s internal focus. They are a collective unit and they are not influenced by outside forces.

At Big Ten Football Media Days, Rhule explained how he likes to recruit and he likes to evaluate. Sometimes he’ll receive backlash from fans on new commitments. Like in June when the Huskers sealed commitments from unevaluated 2024 recruits. He doesn’t let that influence the staff.

“Why should what someone else is doing, their opinion of a player, affect my opinion,” Rhule asked. “That means I’m weak.”

Rhule, a member of the Texas High School Coaches Association and supporter of Nebraska Football Coaches Association, wants Nebraska to be a place for coaches. He wants to welcome them for the annual coaches’ clinic and periodic visits. He also wants coaches to feel comfortable enough to recommend Nebraska football camps to their players. Rhule estimated nearly 3,000 kids came through Memorial Stadium for camps this summer. The head coach said he enjoyed taking pictures with them, working with them and imagining their talent three years in the future.

Aside from evaluation and film study, Rhule likes talking to recruits and families. He likes welcoming them for visits. Then, while speaking inside Lucas Oil Stadium back in Indianapolis, Rhule laid bare the staff’s intentions. You’d think it was an epiphany if it wasn’t the same message they told recruits back at Baylor.

“I’m really not recruiting anyone to come to Nebraska,” he said. “I’m telling each person who we are, what we do, why we do it. And then for each guy we say ‘Here’s our vision for you and here’s how we get you there.’ If it works for them, great, if it doesn’t, we wish them the best.”

The head coach thought of his 18-year-old son and how he wants him to be at the right place. That’s what he wants for other people’s kids as well. Then there’s another fun part of camps—the hidden gems. The kids that run 4.38 and 4.42 40s, broad jump 10-foot-5 and clocked pro-level agility numbers. Rhule said he can’t develop them, he doesn’t deserve to coach. That’s what sticks out to him more than star evaluations and player rankings.

Recruit Watch

Gretna High junior lineman Kalvin Janssen didn’t leave Lincoln with an offer following his visit last weekend. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound multi-sport athlete could work his way up the Huskers’ recruiting radar for the 2025 class with a strong fall.

Logan-Magnolia High School in Logan, Iowa, started practice on Monday. That means 4-star offensive lineman Grant Brix was back on the field as an uncommitted college prospect. However, there’s some indication he may be close to a decision with the Huskers among the top schools on his mind.

The Huskers are still surging for 4-star edge rusher Jayshawn Ross of Liberty North High in greater Kansas City. Just as with Brix, Ross is currently uncommitted but some recent buzz out of fall camp indicate the Huskers are in a good position to land a commitment. Nebraska also has the inside track for 3-star cornerback Amare Sanders out of Miami, Florida, and 3-star defensive back Caleb Benning of Omaha Westside. Time will tell when either of them announce commitments.


>> Two second-half goals within 5 minutes of each other helped the Nebraska soccer team rally to beat South Dakota State in Tuesday night’s exhibition. Check out the Hail Varsity photo gallery of the young squad getting minutes together.

>> The Nebraska volleyball program began season preparations this week with a two-a-day session on Tuesday. Hail Varsity staff writer Jacob Padilla was there and shared a few of his takeaways.

>> A perfect storm of injuries, departures and additional reps puts Nebraska’s young receiving group into the spotlight. Coaches believe they can contribute this season and, if the last week is an indication, the Huskers might need them in 2023.

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