Recruits have visited Nebraska practices every day so far this spring. It’s a testament to head coach Matt Rhule’s willingness to show recruits an honest representation of what it will be like to play at Nebraska.
One of those practices was bigger than others. Over 30 recruits visited Lincoln last weekend and, as part of their visit, attended Nebraska’s practice last Saturday. That was one of the biggest, if not biggest, recruiting weekends in Nebraska football history. Two of their visitors were 5-star athletes, including the No. 1 athlete overall, and over a dozen of the others were 4-star recruits. Even a few days removed from the weekend, Rhule thought it went well.
“I think a big part of it was we had a lot of former Cornhusker football players here this past weekend, so it was great to host them,” Rhule said. “Any time you have two Heisman Trophy winners at practice it’s pretty cool. So I thought it was just a great vibe all around.”
I’m very grateful for all the love that @HuskerFBNation shown me this past weekend. Thank you!! 🌽❌@CoachMattRhule @Coach_Knighton @Rob_Dvoracek @CoachPotenzaNU pic.twitter.com/HdLlGLnokj
— Elijah Newby (@ElijahNewby5) March 26, 2023
In addition to former Huskers, Rhule invited coaches and family members to be part of the weekend. He wants the football team, and Nebraska as a whole, to feel like a family. Recruits left feeling a sense of that familial atmosphere. Gage Ginther, a 3-star offensive lineman out of Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins, Colorado, discussed the visit on Monday’s episode of Hail Varsity Radio.
“They treated everyone there like family,” Ginther said. “They talked to me the whole time, they talked to my parents the whole time. We got to hang out and it was a lot of fun. They’re really great people so it was a lot like a family.”
Had a great time in Lincoln this weekend! GBR 🌽‼️ @Omeezi_ @mikewaaalllace @s_kwilli32 @SixZeroAcademy pic.twitter.com/IOvQcX8RcJ
— Gage Ginther (@gage_ginther) March 26, 2023
That familial extension reached both coasts. Recruits from California, like 4-star offensive lineman Brandon Baker and 4-star running back Nathaniel Frazier, loved their weekends and could see themselves returning. Brothers Jacob and Jared Smith from Cheshire, Connecticut, also enjoyed their visits. Recruits talked among each other before, during and after the baseball and softball games about their visits. Nebraska’s coaching staff filled the weekend with excitement. And recruits responded to that, at least among each other.
“My favorite part of the weekend was the new facilities, for sure, and how friendly the staff was with me and my family,” Ginther said. “I also love being around the other recruits. It showed me how good Nebraska’s 2024 recruiting class could be. And I think they’re going to get some of those kids because we were all super happy about our visits.”
GBR what y’all think? I’m liking this one! pic.twitter.com/6vGgQ3RO5t
— Brandon Baker (@BrandonBaker73) March 26, 2023
Nebraska signees Malachi Coleman and Riley Van Poppel both attended Nebraska’s practice on Tuesday. They’ll both join the Huskers in the summer before training camp and fall camp ahead of the 2023 season.
That Omaha eighth grader Nebraska offered earlier this winter is still making plays. Tory Pittman III made a leaping catch amid traffic during a 7-on-7 event over the weekend in Chicago.
2027 Tory Pittman III@Tory_0_22
Already has a @HuskerFBNation offer. He’s a bull dawg with an uncanny instinct for the football. Similar play style to @blaqbadger14.. Tough as they come.
Check out what this young man was up to in Chicago #BOOM 💣💥😎 pic.twitter.com/INohoI0nSV
— Nebraska Elite 7v7 (@NELITE7v7_) March 28, 2023
Omaha North junior DeAndre Harper visited Memorial Stadium recently. He’s a 6-foot-6 offensive lineman weighing near 300 pounds that hasn’t yet received an offer but is on Nebraska’s radar.
Great visit with @HuskerFBNation thanks for the hospitality @DonovanRaiola pic.twitter.com/IxZNwmmpzK
— DeAndre (@DeAndre714) March 28, 2023
>> The Nebraska softball team polished a sweep of Purdue this last weekend and started a midweek series with Iowa today. You can look Hail Varsity’s latest Big Ten power rankings and check out the latest episode of Behind the Plate with Maren and Nate for a softball fix.
>> Hail Varsity’s roster review of the Nebraska men’s basketball season continues with ball handlers. Just like Fred Hoiberg’s squad still did in his fourth year, this group took a huge step forward in 2022-23.
>> Following Nebraska’s exit from the WNIT, the Huskers move into the offseason. That includes roster shuffling. Isabelle Bourne already announced she’ll forgo a final year of eligibility and instead return home to Australia.