This week’s Drake’s Takes touches on Nebraska’s search for a potential transfer quarterback, first impressions from new assistants and Husker volleyball’s impressive run.
Still looking for a portal QB
A big part of Nebraska football’s possible improvement next season will be what happens with the quarterback position.
Logan Smothers showed flashes in his one start this year, but the team is looking for another signal-caller to join from the transfer portal. The problem is, that pool is getting thinner by the day.
Myles Brennan, who reportedly was targeted by Nebraska, announced his decision to remain at LSU yesterday. Dillon Gabriel was an option many thought was possible due to the UCF ties, but he committed to UCLA yesterday.
There are still a few bigger-name quarterbacks available, such as Kedon Slovis and Bo Nix. Incarnate Word’s Cameron Ward is ranked by 247Sports as the best quarterback remaining in the transfer portal, and he’s reportedly been reached out to by the Huskers.
It’s increasingly possible that Nebraska doesn’t land any of the biggest targets, which leaves the program in a tough spot. As flawed as Adrian Martinez was this past season, he still put up a lot of great numbers. The Huskers surely don’t want to regress at that spot.
I think a lot of people feel somewhat shaky about Logan Smothers and Heinrich Haarberg being possible starters next year. This is a bit of an unfair situation for them. Neither are experienced, but Nebraska doesn’t have the luxury of time under Scott Frost. It’ll be fascinating to see where this goes.
In other quarterback news, Adrian Martinez officially transferred to Kansas State yesterday, which is cool. Once again, I wish him success and it’ll be fun watching him suit up for the Wildcats next year.
Of course, Nebraska’s successes or failures next year will have to do with far more than the quarterback position.
The Huskers’ new assistants will need to make an impact on short notice as well. That won’t be easy.
Wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator Mickey Joseph is coming into a room that just lost its leading receiver and doesn’t have that much returning production. Donovan Raiola needs to improve a struggling offensive line that also recently lost its best player, Cameron Jurgens, to the draft.
Both assistants will help offensive coordinator Mark Whipple in trying to shape Nebraska’s offense into something consistent.
I spent most of my time listening to Joseph during Wednesday’s availability with the assistants, and he had a lot of great things to say. Number one, there is talent currently in the room with players like Zavier Betts, Omar Manning and Oliver Martin. All three have had success at times, but not consistently. Injuries were a part of that.
Second, Joseph has a strong track record as a recruiter, and seems passionate about selling Nebraska as the best possible destination to recruits.
With all due respect to Whipple and Raiola, Joseph looks closest to a sure thing at Nebraska. I’m excited to see how the wide receiver room develops next year, with the Huskers having multiple wideouts capable of breaking out.
Volleyball looking strong
Finally, I have to shout out the Nebraska volleyball team as it heads into the national championship.
It’s not surprising for the Huskers, but going into the tournament as the No. 10 seed and reaching the national championship is an impressive feat. It hasn’t been all that difficult for them either, with Texas posing the biggest challenges.
You don’t need to hear it from me, but the championship match against Wisconsin won’t be easy. The Badgers have won seven straight against Nebraska, only dropping one set in the last five meetings.
It goes without saying, but I still won’t count out this team. If there’s a time to get that win, it’s now. I’m looking forward to watching.