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Nebraska Recruiting: The Storylines Surrounding 2024 In-State Prospects

February 07, 2023

With National Signing Day in the rearview, this Nebraska coaching staff turned its collective attention fully towards future signing classes. Let’s do the same.

Nebraska’s already offered seven different in-state 2024 recruits. That includes the Bellevue West trio of Dae’vonn Hall, Isaiah McMorris and Danny Kaelin, Omaha Westside athlete Caleb Benning, Elkhorn South lineman Ashton Murphy, Omaha Central lineman Caleb Pyfrom and top in-state product Carter Nelson, the tight end from Ainsworth. None of them have committed and all of them received offers from other schools.

Considering this coaching staff’s focus on maintaining the state’s best talent, consider all seven of those recruits priorities. Especially since the vast majority are either large bodies on the line or athletic, speedy playmakers on the outside. They fit the template Rhule likes to recruit.

In-state recruits will gain more attention during track season. Recruiting will ramp up this summer for various camps. Here are some storylines to follow for in-state recruiting this year, including players to watch.

Donald DeFrand Jr., Lincoln High: This track season might be more important than others for the junior Link. DeFrand’s not only an athletic cornerback. He’s a track All-American, the brother of Dajaz, competing at Florida State, and son (and namesake) of a former Husker. The last Nebraska coaching staff invited him to games last year, months after the last Colorado coaching staff extended his only Power 5 offer. Could be a big spring and summer for him.

Eric Ingwerson, Papillion-La Vista: He’s a tight end and big athlete for the Monarchs who received his first Division I offer last month from Northern Illinois. He’s garnered attention from North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Kansas State, and just received an offer from former Husker Joe Ganz (now receivers coach) at Northern Iowa earlier Tuesday. The junior a 6-foot-7 multi-sport athlete with a frame supportive of a collegiate weight program.

Sebastian Boyle, Scottsbluff: The possible next beneficiary in the Scottsbluff-to-Lincoln pipeline is a hard-running, explosive back. Boyle is a 6-foot back who ran a 4.5 40 and squatted 420 pounds before his junior season. The previous Nebraska staff contacted him and invited him to games, as has Iowa State. He’s just waiting for an offer at this point. He ran a personal record 11.32 100 as a sophomore last year. If he can improve upon that this spring, he might earn a scholarship offer.

Various linemen: The aforementioned recruits certain deserve the accolades they’ve received. No conversation about the next-offers-up could be held without mentioning a handful of promising linemen who will play as seniors in 2023. Cooper Johnson (Lincoln Southeast), Sam Thomas (Elkhorn North), JT Brands (Oakland-Craig) and William Kon (Lincoln North Star) are all promising big bodies who could add developmental depth to Nebraska’s trenches.

The quarterback situation: Nebraska didn’t sign a quarterback in its 2023 class and, spoiler, it’s looking to land a big fish in No. 1 overall recruit Dylan Raiola (not in Nebraska). This complicates the situation. The previous staff did not make former Gretna quarterback Zane Flores a priority and he left for Oklahoma State. Nebraska’s become a more attractive destination to Kaelin since the coaching change. Of course, there’s also Anthony Rezac at Omaha Westside and Carson Rauner at Elkhorn South, who are exciting quarterback prospects.

Recruit Watch

Nebraska just extended a scholarship offer to Danny Okoye, a composite 4-star edge rusher out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He accrued 43 tackles as a junior last year, a step down from the 78 tackles he made on the outside as a sophomore the year before. Okoye already has offers from Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma State, Michigan and many more.

Two Nebraska signings of the 2023 recruiting class made the 2022 Whataburger Super Team, a best-of-the-best list of Texas high school football players compiled by the experts at Dave Campbell’s Texas Football that included over 900,000 fan votes. Riley Van Poppel of Argyle was one of three defensive linemen named to the super team. Princewill Umanmielen was also named to the defensive super team in a utility spot. They both gained their accolades from the expert panel and not via fan vote.


>> As part of a conscious focus on gymnastics, Hail Varsity attended the Nebraska women’s duel meet against No. 17 Iowa on Monday. You can view our photo gallery here. You can also view our video recap here.

>> Our own Jacob Padilla studied Keisei Tominaga’s 30-point scoring effort against Penn State over the weekend. Take a deeper look at his offensive night here.

>> Nebraska held off a late Northwestern charge to secure a vital conference victory, 78-66. The Huskers led 20-3 at one point but coughed the ball away in the final frame to allow the Wildcats to make a charge.

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