“This is Nebraska. This is a team that I grew up not just watching but this is a team I grew up revering.”
Those were Matt Rhule’s first words when he joined ESPN’s College GameDay on Saturday morning, not long after the announcement was made that he had been hired as the Huskers’ next head coach.
“This is a team that I grew up not just watching, this is a team that I grew up revering.”
—Matt Rhule on becoming Nebraska’s next head coach pic.twitter.com/zuiiSVXlXE
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) November 26, 2022
Rhule spent about five minutes speaking with the GameDay crew, sharing brief thoughts on why he took the job at Nebraska.
“It fits me,” he said. “I’m a guy that likes to go places and develop players. That’s my passion in life.”
Rhule also mentioned that the fact that Nebraska kept Scott Frost—who he considers a friend—for five years was a drawing point. He also mentioned interim head coach Mickey Joseph, saying that he felt he’s done a “tremendous job.” Rhule did not offer any perspective on whether or not he intends to hire Joseph on his staff at this time.
As for the players that Rhule will look for, he turned back toward the development piece.
“Players that want to come to Nebraska, they have to want to be NFL players,” Rhule said. “They have to want more in their lives than just play football.”
Speaking of players and the NFL, Trey Palmer—Nebraska’s single-season receiving yards leader—announced his decision to declare for the NFL Draft on Saturday morning. He’ll be a key piece for Rhule and his new staff to replace in 2023.
In the meantime, Rhule said he had an opportunity to speak with former Nebraska coach and athletic director Tom Osborne this morning.
“That’s a bucket list item for me,” he said.
Rhule also praised Nebraska’s administration for the search they ran. He said he’s in alignment with administration—like athletic director Trev Alberts and president Ted Carter—and will look to pick Nebraska up and move forward.
Additional contract details for Rhule will be made Monday. Nebraska is set to officially welcome him at a press conference at 1:30 p.m. CT.
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.