Photo Credit: Nebraska Athletics

Wisconsin 2023 Offensive Lineman Feels a Different Energy at Husker Scrimmage

March 27, 2022

Recruiting never stops and it’s easy to miss the top stories day-to-day. Recruiting analyst Greg Smith recaps all things Nebraska recruiting news, analysis and more so you never miss a thing.


Wisconsin native Brandt Rice (6-5, 280) is plenty familiar with the Huskers as a player in the Big Ten footprint. That was part of what fueled his desire to check out Nebraska for an unofficial visit on Saturday. The culture of Big Ten schools and Midwest kids fits how he plays. Getting to see Nebraska up close lived up to the expectations for Rice.

“When I was there yesterday they had a scrimmage,” Rice said. “They ran a ton of plays. I was watching their game-like energy. The energy there was just crazy. I was on the sideline and even on the field for some points of the scrimmage. You could feel they were ready to play. It’s definitely the energy that I play with right now. I feel like I could definitely match that. It was just a crazy atmosphere to be around.”

Being on the field for a college scrimmage was a new feeling for Rice. Seeing the Huskers play at the speed and size of college athletes was impressive. Being in the action was fun for him too. From the moment that Rice walked in the door, he had someone from Nebraska’s staff with him answering questions and showing him around. He spent most of practice with a member of the recruiting staff.

Rice was brought to midfield after the scrimmage was done along with the other two recruits on hand for the day. He was introduced to the whole team which was a nice moment.

“I wasn’t really nervous about that because all the players there really treated us like family,” Rice said. “They treated us like we belonged there. Stepping out in front of them and introducing ourselves, it wasn’t that big of a deal because they all felt really cool. They were so accepting of all of us while we were there.”

Offensive line coach Donovan Raiola came over to talk to Rice between running drills. Rice was impressed with Raiola and could see himself playing for the new coach.

“I really like Coach Raiola, especially him being a Wisconsin guy and playing for Wisconsin,” Rice said. “He really gets the culture at Nebraska. It’s kind of a mix with the culture of the Wisconsin area and the culture of Nebraska. He’s a really good mix of it. I was talking to the guys and they said from when he got there to now it’s night and day. He’s coached them up so good.

“One of the guys said to me what you’ll learn in a year of high school you will learn in two days with him. He’s that good of a coach. I really felt that. They were really invested in his time there.”

Rice doesn’t have an offer yet from the Huskers but he feels the team is interested in him. He gained 30 pounds in the last four months since his junior season of football ended. The lineman felt like the team needed to see him in person to get a feel for him. Nebraska and Iowa State are showing a lot of interest in him right now. He has offers from San Jose State, South Dakota and South Dakota State to name a few.

As Rice explores his options he mentioned that facilities are selling point but that it’s all about the people. He knows he will spend more time with the people at the school he commits to than his friends and family back home. The ability to have a lot of trust with those people is huge. Rice wants to find a school that fit with his personality. He could see himself at Nebraska if the opportunity presents itself.

Recruit Watch

>>Huskers priority defensive back target Braeden Marshall was offered by North Carolina.

>> The Huskers were the latest team to offer California 2023 linebacker Blake Nichelson.

>> Texas 4-star defensive back target Jaylon Braxton helped his team set a record in the 4×2 relays.

ICYMI

>> The Husker Pro Day showed the people are what makes Nebraska special.

>> Nebraska’s tight end room appears thin after once being a position of strength.

>> Alante Brown is hoping to show what he can do in 2022 as Jacob Padilla writes.

>> The Husker bats went cold in a loss to Michigan on Sunday.

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