Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Recruiting: Rhule’s Staff Not Shying Away From Top-Tier Recruits

January 01, 2023

New Nebraska secondary coach Evan Cooper, while working as Baylor’s director of player personnel under Matt Rhule, shared a motto with the head coach. If they’re going to miss on a recruit, miss fast.

They’ve carried that mentality to Lincoln. They’re also not letting a fear of missing on big-time recruits stop them from trying.

Rhule stirred the Nebraska fan base with a single December 17 tweet, sent out shortly after Chandler, Arizona, quarterback Dylan Raiola decommitted from Ohio State. Of course, Nebraska pursued Raiola before he committed to Ohio State in May and Raiola took an unofficial visit to Memorial Stadium in October.

Former Rimington Award winner and All-America Nebraska center Dominic Raiola said everything is back on the table regarding his son’s recruitment. Rhule has also retweeted recruits, who recently interacted with Nebraska coaches on social media, who tweeted at Raiola. Nebraska isn’t heavily pursuing a quarterback in its 2023 class from high school. They did sign former Georgia Tech quarterback Jeff Sims and are still in the running for former Arkansas quarterback Malik Hornsby. Current Husker quarterbacks with eligibility beyond next season are Chubba Purdy, Logan Smothers, Heinrich Haarberg, Jarrett Synek, Richard Torres, Mikey Pauley and Cooper Hausmann.

Nebraska recently offered David Stone Jr., a consensus 5-star defensive lineman out of IMG Academy. Stone, who played his freshman and sophomore seasons in Del City, Oklahoma, is considered the second-best defensive line prospect in the 2024 recruiting class and a top-10 overall recruit. The multi-sport athlete already received offers from the top programs in the country and is heavily linked with Oklahoma and Michigan State. Both of those schools made his top 10, which the 6-foot-4, 270 pounder announced earlier in December before Nebraska offered him.

The Huskers also offered consensus 5-star receiver Micah Hudson out of Lake Belton High School in Temple, Texas. Hudson is currently the second-ranked receiver recruit in the 2024 recruiting class and the composite sixth-ranked overall recruit. He’s coming off a junior season where he tallied 1,198 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. Hudson’s also a track standout, a prominent scorer on Lake Belton’s basketball team and he’s playing soccer this season.

Hudson received his offer from Nebraska at the same time as teammate Selmen Bridges. Lake Hudson head football coach Brian Cope said both were excited by their offers. Cope said both are students of the game and are well aware of Nebraska’s prestigious history.

“Micah is an outstanding athlete,” Cope said. “He’s the best athlete I’ve ever coached but he’s also in the top 10 of kids I’ve ever had the opportunity to coach and I’ve now been doing this for 17 years.”

Hudson also plays defensive end and played some snaps at quarterback this last season for the third-year program. But his college appeal comes mainly at receiver. Nebraska’s already attracted a multitude of receivers since Rhule took over, including 2023 signings Malachi Coleman, Jaidyn Doss, Jaylen Lloyd, Brice Turner, and Baylor transfer Joshua Fleeks (who has just one year of eligibility remaining).

Recruit Watch

The Under Armour All-America Game on Tuesday will feature a few potential Huskers. Former Nebraska commit Cameron Lenhardt, a 4-star edge rusher, and Ethan Nation, a 3-star cornerback, will announce their college decisions on that day, possibly during the game.

Nation, who holds offers from Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Miami and many more, is projected to pick Nebraska. He took his official visit to Lincoln in December, hours after his offer came in.

Lenhardt’s decision comes between Nebraska, Michigan State and Maryland. The Spartans were heavily involved in his recruitment during the season and Maryland’s come on as a viable option with an official visit after he came to Lincoln in December. Lenhardt is originally from New York and played in New Jersey before transferring to IMG Academy.

The All-America Game kicks off at 4 p.m. Tuesday and can be seen on ESPN.

ICYMI

>> The Huskers put a scare into No. 4 Indiana earlier today but were held scoreless in overtime and ultimately fell on the road to the Hoosiers.

>> Hail Varsity’s photo staff compiled some of their favorite pictures of 2022 for your enjoyment. You can scroll through the gallery here.

>> Nebraska’s defense held Iowa to a shambolic shooting performance last week and the Huskers cruised to a 16-point win in front of a soldout crowd.

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