Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Rhule’s First Weekend of Official Visits Yields Commitments

December 11, 2022

The downtown Lincoln sky lit red and potential Huskers basked in its glow. The lights at Memorial Stadium beamed and all of its screens showed a vibrant, deep scarlet. This scene welcomed recruits on their official visits. Some of them decided they’d seen enough and don’t want to play anywhere else.

Omar Hales and Terrance Knighton, two of new head coach Matt Rhule’s staff members, tweeted excitement on Sunday. Knighton, the new defensive line coach who tweeted during visits, sent a tweet on Sunday morning referencing the Blackshirts. Hales, whose capacity at Nebraska has not been announced, tweeted “3 for 3” after hosting official visits. That was followed by a tweet alluding to a fourth commit.

New Jersey athlete Kwinten Ives committed to Nebraska during his visit, becoming the 13th commitment of Nebraska’s 2023 recruiting class, as of Sunday morning. Transfer portal long snapper Marco Ortiz announced his commitment to Nebraska on Sunday as well. Ortiz comes from Florida after missing the majority of last season with a shoulder injury. That leaves two other commitments that Hales teased left to be announced.

Nebraska also hosted junior college edge Kai Wallin and transfer portal offensive tackle Ben Scott (Arizona State), offensive tackle Ajani Cornelius (Rhode Island), quarterback Jeff Sims (Georgia Tech) and edge Elijah Jeudy (Texas A&M). Those are in addition to uncommitted high school prospects Malachi Coleman, Cameron Lenhardt, Tristan Alvano and Jaylen Lloyd. Colorado tight end commit Andrew Metzger also visited on Saturday. Coaches hosted commits Dylan Rodgers, Gunnar Gottula, Brock Knutson, Jaidyn Doss, Maverick Noonan and Sam Sledge as well. More official visits are planned next weekend.

Lloyd, the Omaha Westside speedster, was a late addition to the mix. He was scheduled to announce his commitment earlier this month, which would have been for track alone, but Rhule’s coaching staff made a push for the senior receiver. He’s scheduled to announce his commitment on Saturday, December 17, at the Omaha Boys and Girls Club at 1 p.m. It’s between Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Texas Tech and Nebraska, although Nebraska is the only school to offer him a football scholarship.

Recruits who took part in official visits this week went to Pinnacle Bank Arena to watch the Huskers play No. 4 Purdue into overtime. Rhule gave a fiery speech at halftime in his first public comments since his introduction.

Recruit Watch

New Husker target Princewill Umanmieler is scheduled to take an official visit this upcoming weekend. He’s a senior edge rusher at Manor, Texas, who finished with 65 tackles, 22.0 for loss. The 4-star prospect also made 8.0 sacks and a caused fumble.

IMG Academy cornerback Syncere Safeeullah received an offer from Nebraska last week and will be in Lincoln on an official visit this upcoming weekend as well. He finished his senior season with seven interceptions, two returned for touchdowns, 43 tackles, 11 PBUs, a blocked punt, a forced fumble and a recovered fumble. Statistics show he allowed his three touchdowns in three seasons.

Gretna 3-star offensive lineman Mason Goldman is also planned for an upcoming official visit. He was recognized by the Omaha World-Herald on Sunday as a member of the All-Nebraska team.

ICYMI

>> Nebraska overcame a historic low-scoring first half to pull away from Samford on Saturday night.

>> A late Huskers charge forced overtime but fell a shot short of beating No. 4 Purdue on Saturday.

>> Take a look at Matt Rhule’s history for developing NFL draft picks and where they came from.

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