Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Rhule Emphasizes Transparency With Players as Portal Opens Saturday

April 13, 2023

The portal is about to reopen.

NCAA officials voted to move the spring transfer portal window up two weeks in order to allow student-athletes more time between a potential transfer decision and summer workouts at their new school. Thus, the portal opens Saturday, April 15, and closes at the end of the month. Nebraska’s spring season effectively ends on April 22 with the Red-White Game. The following week could be a blur.

Matt Rhule and his coaching staff are aware of the looming portal window but haven’t put much thought into it. They intend on meeting with every player individually after spring ball to discuss developmental plans and potential futures. He wishes Nebraska’s spring season coincided better with the portal so players didn’t feel they needed to rush a decision. But, overall, he wants his coaching staff to be transparent about the process.

“I care deeply about our guys and I want them to go where they’re going to be happy,” Rhule said on Tuesday. “I haven’t had anybody express to me they want to do that but that’ll come. Some kids, at some point, will make that decision.”

The new portal window affords certain student-athletes an opportunity to transfer with immediate eligibility. Graduate transfers are free to declare and transfer outside the window. The portal currently includes over 100 graduate transfers as of today. Because Nebraska is currently over the scholarship limit by over a dozen, it’s likely a handful of Huskers will enter the portal this spring. They may wait until after the Spring Game, potentially even after meeting with coaches that following week, to enter before the window closes. Portal closure deadlines apply only to entries. Players can commit and transfer after the portal window closes as long as they enter during the window.

Rhule spoke highly of several Huskers already this spring. He’s mentioned walk-ons who perform like they should be on scholarship. He wants Nebraska football to feel like a family where players can feel appreciated, comfortable with each other. That family could lose several members by the end of the month. Rhule’s aware of that and wants to meet with each player in the week after the Spring Game so both parties know where each other is coming from.

“We’ll try to have really good conversations,” Rhule said. “I don’t want them to feel rushed.”

Recruit Watch

Nebraska legacy recruits Case and Bastian Vanden Bosch both visited Memorial Stadium earlier in the week. Those two standouts from Arizona received scholarship offers from the previous coaching staff last season. They’re, of course, sons of former Husker great Kyle Vanden Bosch.

Just hours after Elkhorn South defensive lineman Ashton Murphy committed to Nebraska, the Huskers tapped into the in-state pipeline once more. Nebraska offered Papillion-La Vista junior tight end Eric Ingwerson earlier this week. Ingwerson, who committed to Pittsburgh last month, visited Lincoln last season and is another potential big body athlete for the Huskers.

The Huskers offered 3-star defensive lineman Carlon Jones out of Bay City, Texas. He’s a 2024 recruit and teammate of 2023 signee Brice Turner. Jones was District 12-4A D1 co-defensive MVP last season. Nebraska also offered 2026 defensive end and tight end Jesse Ford out of Martin High School in Arlington, Texas. Tight ends coach Bob Wager, longtime coach at Martin, called his former player to give Ford his first Division I offer.

Kindred, North Dakota, standout lineman Riley Sunram committed to Minnesota earlier this week. Sunram, a 3-star defensive lineman, visited Nebraska last month as part of the star-studded Junior Day.


>> It’s never too early to look at Nebraska softball’s postseason picture. See where the Huskers stand in the latest projections and check out the latest episode of Behind The Plate, Hail Varsity’s college softball podcast, out now.

>> Fred Hoiberg’s Nebraska men’s basketball team gained two new transfer arrivals earlier this week. Keep track of all the movements among the Huskers’ roster right here on our tracker.

>> Omaha polished off a clean sweep of Nebraska earlier this week with another midweek win. You can look at Hail Varsity’s photo gallery from the Haymarket Park clash here.

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