Lincoln East prospect Malachi Coleman, a priority target for Nebraska this cycle, continues to garner additional recruiting buzz. The wide receiver/edge rusher—yes, really—has already seen his recruit rating from 247 Sports Composite rise twice, from .9094 in November to .9096 in December to .9098 in the most recent update this February.
Rivals also recently bumped Coleman up to a 4-star.
— Nebraska Elite 7v7 (@NELITE7v7_) February 17, 2022
Coleman’s rating at 247 Sports already puts him in elite company among Nebraska prospects in the Huskers’ Big Ten era. His current mark ranks eighth among in-state prospects since the class of 2011. At this point, Coleman trails (in order of rating) Zavier Betts, Avante Dickerson, Devon Jackson, Nick Henrich, Cameron Jurgens, Deshawn Woods and Teddy Prochazka. Coleman rates just ahead of Josh Banderas and Christian LaCouture, the other two Nebraska prospects to receive a .9000 rating or above from 247 Composite since 2011.
Of that group of nine .9000-or-above prospects—removing Coleman for the moment—Nebraska landed five of them. Dickerson (2021) and Jackson (2022) went to Oregon, Woods (2022) went to Wyoming after initially committing to Missouri and LaCouture (2013), originally committed to the Huskers, went on to be a three-year starter at LSU.
Among the players Nebraska has landed from the top tier, Banderas was a four-year contributor and captain, Jurgens is off early to pursue the NFL, Henrich broke out with 99 tackles in his first season as a starter and Betts and Prochazka have plenty of upside with promising flashes in limited time so far at Nebraska. Players of this caliber don’t come along often in Nebraska, but the track record of college success is encouraging.
That’s why Coleman is one of Nebraska’s top targets for 2023.
“It’s kind of weird to me,” Coleman told recruiting analyst Greg Smith in January. “I never really saw myself being a priority to any school, so I am still getting used to it. I got coaches showing up to school asking me to come up to visit. They are calling me and that type of stuff. We’ve learned to manage it as we’ve gone. We pick and choose schools that I am interested in. We keep list of what I do and don’t like about schools.”
Coleman took a handful of unofficial visits to Big Ten and Big 12 schools last fall, and he holds offers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maryland, Kansas and Kansas State among others.
That’s in addition to Nebraska, of course. The Huskers were the first FBS team to offer, and since the end of the season Nebraska has put new wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph on the case.
“He was straight to the point of nobody is going to have a better relationship with me and nobody is going to be as open and honest as him,” Coleman said of his early conversations with Joseph. “I loved that.”
If you were paying close attention above, it may have clicked that eight of the 10 Nebraska prospects with .9000-plus ratings have been in the last six recruiting cycles.
Coleman’s recent ratings bumps speaks well not just to his ability, but the level of football rising in the state as a whole.
>>Here’s some good news: Nebraska made the top five for transfer edge rusher Ochuan Mathis. He tied for the team lead at TCU last season with four sacks and had nine in 10 games in 2020
— Ochaun Mathis (@OchaunDevon) February 17, 2022
>>More on Mathis, The Athletic rates him as the top available player in the portal at this point.
TCU transfer DE Ochaun Mathis puts out his top 5: USC, Texas, Ole Miss, Penn State, Nebraska.
— Max Olson (@max_olson) February 17, 2022
>>Meanwhile, Jacob Padilla previews Nebraska basketball’s Friday matchup with Maryland, and he has a new Nebraska Shootaround podcast for you. Steve shows up to talk about the Husker women’s big win over Indiana. It’s all interconnected.
.@The_Bigelow and I welcomed @Steve_Marik back on Nebraska Shootaround this week to discuss Amy Williams' squad's big win over No. 5 Indiana before touching on the men's team's loss at Iowa. #Nebrasketball https://t.co/soL6hTBHll
— Jacob Padilla (@JacobPadilla_) February 17, 2022
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.