Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Who Is Nebraska Competing With for the Country’s Best Recruits?

May 14, 2023

Omaha Westside 3-star athlete Teddy Rezac committed to Notre Dame last week. His announcement came less than two weeks after visiting South Bend, Indiana, and a day after announcing an offer from Nebraska.

A school doesn’t sign every high school recruit it offers a scholarship. That’s a fact of recruiting. Nebraska is no exception and some high-priority recruits go elsewhere, regardless of head coach. New Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule isn’t going to stop recruiting someone despite commitments elsewhere. Rhule wants to be patient when offering some recruits and knows that patience comes with the possibility of commitments. He explained his rationale last week when meeting with local reporters.

“And, I’ll be honest, I also want to wait through the season for some guys,” Rhule said. “Just because a kid committed somewhere else, we’re going to be respectful, but we hope we’re still viable for some guys especially if we look like a good football team in the fall.”

So who is Nebraska competing with for recruits? The short answer is everyone. Four former members of Nebraska’s 2023 recruiting class went elsewhere—Omarion Miller ultimately signed with Colorado, Pierce native Benjamin Brahmer is going to Iowa State, Barry Jackson signed with Cincinnati on signing day and Hayden Moore flipped to Michigan.

Michigan is a recurring recruiting rival. The Wolverines also secured commitments of Andrew Sprague (offensive line, Kansas City), Blake Frazier (offensive line, Austin, Texas) and Jerod Smith (defensive line, Cheshire, Connecticut) all gained major interest from Nebraska. Sprague and Smith visited Nebraska during its VIP Junior Day in March. Jacob Smith, Jerod’s twin who also visited that trip, is heavily linked to Michigan as well. Five-star receiver Ryan Wingo from St. Louis is focusing on Miami, Michigan, Georgia, Texas and Missouri after entertaining Nebraska. Gatlin Bair the speedy 4-star receiver from Idaho, included Michigan with Nebraska in his finalist list. Four-star defensive lineman Aydin Breland is considering Nebraska and Michigan among his final schools as well. The Wolverines are currently No. 1 in the national team recruiting rankings.

Recruit Watch

Nebraska extended a new round of scholarships late last week, including multiple from Texas. The Huskers offered 3-star 2025 tight end Ty Rupe from Spring Grand Oaks. He went off for 188 yards and three touchdowns last season on 13 catches. Jack VanDorselaer, a 2025 4-star tight end from Southlake Carroll received an offer. He ran a 23.37 in the 200 earlier this spring. Chad Woodfork, a 4-star 2025 edge rusher from Summer Creek in Humble received an offer. He’s a national top-40 recruit in that recruiting class. Jonathan Hatton Jr., a 2026 running back from Cibolo Steele, received an offer. He ran for 210 yards and two touchdowns last season.

David Davis, a 2026 athlete who plays defensive back and running back at Imani Christian in Pittsburgh, received an offer. DeZephen Walker, a 2026 running back from Raymore-Peculiar in greater Kansas City received an offer. He’s already earned offers from Georgia, Tennessee and Oregon. Geneva, Illinois, 4-star 2025 athlete Talyn Taylor announced an offer from Nebraska. He’s a top-70 national recruit with recent offers from Georgia, Tennessee, Miami and Michigan. The Huskers offered 2025 4-star quarterback Luke Nickel from Milton High in Alpharetta, Georgia. He’s already received multiple Power 5 offers. Zy’marion Lang, a 2024 3-star receiver from Palmetto, Florida, received an offer from Nebraska to go with his offers from Tennessee, Texas A&M and Ole Miss.

Nebraska extended Tyler Merrill his first Big Ten offer. Merrill is a 2026 defensive lineman from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, who played his freshman season at 6-foot-5, 300 pounds. Lex Cyrus, a 2025 receiver from Susquehanna Township in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, received an offer from Nebraska. Cyrus ran a 10.55 in the 100 earlier this weekend.

Lyndon, Kansas, offensive tackle Kaedin Massey included Nebraska in his top six schools. The 3-star offensive lineman puts Oklahoma, Kansas, Ole Miss, Kansas State and Michigan State against Nebraska. Nebraska also made the top 10 for composite 4-star defensive lineman Aydin Breland from Mater Dei High School. Breland visited Nebraska on spring game weekend last month.


>> Former Iowa Hawkeye backcourt contributor Ahron Ulis entered the transfer portal through the recent window and emerged a Husker on the other side. Hail Varsity staff writer Jacob Padilla guides us through a film study on what Ulis provides Nebraska.

>> The Big Ten Conference announced its softball honors list last week. Conspicuously absent was reigning Gold Glover winner, Nebraska pitcher Courtney Wallace. Maren Angus-Coombs explains why the decision to overlook Wallace was a mistake.

>> Charles Thompson, former Oklahoma quarterback and father to former Nebraska quarterback Casey Thompson, recently joined Chris Schmidt and Elijah Herbal on an episode of Hail Varsity Radio to discuss Casey’s decision. Casey is off to Florida Atlantic to rejoin Tom Herman, who recruited him to Texas.

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