Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Recruiting: With New 2023 Commits, Huskers Host Prolific Scoring Pro-Style Quarterback

January 24, 2023

Nebraska’s 2023 recruiting class has a handful of new additions. Martin High School standouts Ismael Smith Flores and Jeremiah Charles, and McGavock High School athlete Demitrius Bell all committed to Nebraska the last two days. Former Georgia offensive lineman Jacob Hood, who grew up in Nashville with Bell, also committed to Nebraska. Two preferred walk-on additions added to the haul.

They all bolster Nebraska’s 2023 recruiting class to 37 scholarship members, including transfer portal arrivals. That doesn’t include the four preferred walk-ons signed from in-state. Former Lincolnite and current Franklin High (El Paso, Texas) senior Beau Sparks is visiting Nebraska on Wednesday for a preferred walk-on spot. He played at Lincoln Southwest before moving. Gage Wager, son of Nebraska tight ends coach Bob Wager, recently committed to Nebraska in a preferred walk-on role. Former University of Nebraska-Kearney linebacker and Seward native Trevor Ruth announced on Tuesday he’ll transfer to Nebraska. Ruth also played fullback for the Bluejays and graduated in 2022. He redshirted last season at UNK.

Nebraska could still gain the addition of defensive lineman Sua Lefotu from Bellflower, California, in its 2023 class. He visited Nebraska over the weekend and plans to announce his decision when he signs on National Signing Day, Wednesday, February 1. That’s the final uncommitted potential addition to the 2023 recruiting class. Although there’s certainly enough time to offer and invite a high school senior or portal player before spring camp.

Nebraska’s coaching staff has spread the country in the last week. They’ll rally back in Lincoln to host Pennsylvania high school sophomore quarterback Stone Saunders. Saunders is the starting pro-style quarterback at Bishop McDevitt in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with over 20 scholarship offers. He’s a two-time high school All-American and was named MaxPreps Pennsylvania High School Football Player of the Year. He set the state championship game record last season with five touchdown passes to win the program’s second ever title. He also set the program record with 54 touchdown passes. Saunders finished with with 3,583 yards and just five interceptions this last season as well. In two seasons of high school football, Saunders has thrown 110 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Recruit Watch

Nebraska coaches extended numerous scholarship offers in recent days spread across the country—most of them in the 2024 recruiting class.

Junior offensive tackle Gibson Pyle from Klein Cain High School in Houston, Texas, a 3-star prospect and former first-team all-district selection. Wide receiver Jelani Watkins, a composite 4-star recruit out of Houston, received an offer on Monday. The Huskers’ pipeline to Texas and Martin High School in Arlington could pay off next year as well if the program can land 3-star offensive lineman Makai Saina. Nebraska’s already gained three total Martin High School graduates, as well as former head coach Bob Wager at tight end coach.

The new coaching staff extended a new offer to Michael Boganowski of Junction City, Kansas, a 3-star linebacker in some recruiting databases. Boganowski already held an offer from the previous Nebraska coaching staff. As did Kaedin Massey, a 3-star offensive tackle in some recruiting databases, of Lyndon, Kansas, who got a new offer.

Paki Finau, a 4-star offensive lineman out of Oak Hills High School in Hesperia, California, received a scholarship offer from Nebraska as well. He’s a junior multi-sport athlete and received the offer on a visit with defensive coordinator Tony White.

Nebraska dealt a number of scholarship offers to Dillard High School recruits in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this week. Three-star receiver Xavier Lucas got an offer, he’s a standout 2024 recruit, as well as fellow junior receiver Edward Louis, who is unranked. They are teammates with 2025 defensive lineman Anthony Smith and 2025 linebacker Jace Williams. They both received scholarship offers as well.

The Husker coaching staff also extended a scholarship offer to Amarri Irvin, an eighth-grader at Westminster Christian School in Miami. It was the first college football offer for the young running back and linebacker.

ICYMI

>> Fred Hoiberg’s team is dramatically shorthanded going into Wednesday’s game with Northwestern. He looks for bench players to elevate their games the rest of the way.

>> We continue our review of the Nebraska volleyball season with a position-by-position breakdown. Most recently, we looked at how the team’s pin hitters performed.

>> Huskers’ guard Callin Hake is looking at an expanded role for Amy Williams’ team after a few promising showings.

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