Bob Wager originally reached out to Matt Rhule about Jeremiah Charles and Ismael Smith Flores. They’re both standouts at Martin High School in Arlington and Wager knew they could be collegiate football players. Rhule decided to watch Smith Flores play basketball and revisit Wager. During that game, Charles showcased his athleticism. Once Rhule was told Charles didn’t have many offers, he sent film to secondary coach and player evaluator Evan Cooper. Cooper said he saw the same potential. They offered Charles and Rhule offered Wager a coaching job.
“It’s just kind of a cool story, but Bob certainly had a lot of influence on that,” Rhule said on National Signing Day, “but those guys also came here and fell in love with the university and the opportunities they have on this campus.”
Wager said those two are dynamic athletes with humble personalties who are willing to work hard to benefit the program.
Wager’s split his time between Nebraska and his home in Texas since taking the job. He’s visited former rival high schools to familiar faces now as a college coach. He called those recruiting visits a sort of homecoming. Texas high school football coaches stick together, typically. It’s a strange bond forged by countless hours of preparation poured into a dozen games a year. Wager was grateful for the reception he received from those coaches. Of course, standing next to Rhule in a Texas high school garnered a warm reception as well.
“Any time you come in and wear this brand and walk in with Coach Rhule,” Wager said gesturing to the block N on his jacket, “it’s a thrill for those kids and a thrill for those high school coaches that you visit then.”
Great seeing family today! #24Ours pic.twitter.com/uSJgwUwnDw
— Garret McGuire (@GarretMcGuire) January 26, 2023
Wide receivers coach Garret McGuire and Wager both hit their boots on the ground in Texas. McGuire roamed around Houston while Wager spent the majority of his time in Dallas-Fort Worth. It’s all part of Rhule’s focus on planting an “elite presence” in Texas.
“There’s a conscientious effort,” Wager said. “Can we bring Texas high school football players to the University of Nebraska? We’re banking on it.”
McGuire counted those recruiting trips as the most rewarding parts of the job so far. He met with coaches he admires like Claude Mathis (DeSoto), Scott Stewart (Temple) and Hank Carter (Lake Travis). Nebraska’s offered several players from DeSoto, including 2024 cornerback Mario Buford. So far, the Huskers have only offered Temple and Lake Travis standouts beyond the 2024 class.
Todd Monken, offensive coordinator at Georgia during the Bulldogs’ last two national championship seasons, accepted the offensive coordinator position for the Baltimore Ravens. Curious eyes turn to his replacement, Mike Bobo, and if he can build a strong enough relationship with Dylan Raiola to secure a commitment. Bobo was an analyst at Georgia last season following a coordinator stint at Auburn. This is his second stay as Georgia offensive coordinator (2007-14).
Nebraska extended a scholarship offer to speedy cornerback Jamari Howard on Tuesday. The 6-foot-2 athlete from Hialeah, Florida, is a composite 4-star recruit in the 2024 class. Howard competed at the USATF Youth Outdoor Track & Field Championships in 2019. He’s committed to Michigan State since September.
>> The Nebraska men’s basketball team carries momentum from a comeback win over the weekend to Piscataway, New Jersey. The Huskers face a tough defense in Rutgers tonight in a 7 p.m. tip.
>> Nebraska couldn’t close out No. 12 Michigan over the weekend for a second consecutive tough loss. The Huskers face Minnesota on Wednesday with a chance to righten the record.
>> Will Bolt’s Nebraska baseball team opens its season this upcoming weekend with a four-game series at San Diego. Husker fans participated in fan fest last weekend to share excitement for the season.