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Nebraska Recruiting: QB Search Continues as Spring Practice Begins

March 11, 2020

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.

Quarterback recruiting cannot be avoided. Nebraska is currently in a good spot on the roster at the position thanks to good consecutive recruiting cycles and Noah Vedral’s transfer into the program. But as Mario Verduzco said on Monday to reporters, Scott Frost would like to have five scholarship quarterbacks on the team at a time. 

The team hopes to land a 2021 quarterback and there is a solid group of guys they have been recruiting. They’ll see where it ultimately leads but there will be a signal-caller in the 2021 class. 

One of those quarterbacks from the group the Huskers are looking at will be on campus this weekend. California 4-star Peter Costelli will be in Lincoln for Junior Day and knows what he’s looking forward to most about the trip. 

“I’m looking forward to going to the spring practice and seeing the position meetings,” he told Hail Varsity in a message Tuesday evening.

Interestingly enough, the other “cube” that Nebraska has been most linked with recently visited campus on Monday. Kearney Catholic quarterback Heinrich Haarberg took in practice on Monday. His lasting impression of the visit lines up with what Costelli is looking for. 

“[What stood out was] how each of the coaches took time out of practice to say hi to me and ask how I’ve been,” Haarberg said. “Most importantly the way practice was run with the speed and tempo and always moving.”

Verduzco mentioned Haarberg on Monday—not by name of course because of NCAA rules—and was complimentary of him. Verduzco described the in-state quarterback as a taller version of the players they have on campus currently but noted he’s athletic and can run. That’s part of the mix of what Coach Scott Frost and Verduzco are looking for at quarterback versus looking for complementary skill sets.

“Overall [we look for] if they can run and are athletic,” Verduzco said. “We do our research on what kind of kid they are and if they are quick-blinkers. We won’t know that until for sure until they are here. What was really good about watching Logan [Smothers] today was that which we asked in terms of questions about him processing information showed up today. So, no [we aren’t looking for complimentary guys].”

There are different ways to assess if a potential quarterback is a “quick-blinker.” Nebraska talks to high school coaches to ask questions about the prospect. They also like to talk to the player about his offense and what he’s asked to do. It’s all about seeing how a young guy processes information. Still, you get a wide-range of responsibilities at the high school level. 

“McKenzie Milton’s offense in Hawaii was pretty wide-ranging,” Verduzco said. “We understood he had a lot to handle on his plate. Logan’s offense was like that at Muscle Shoals. You ask as many questions as you possibly can. But again, you don’t know for certain until they get on campus.” 

This may end up being a rare year where quarterback recruiting isn’t the most pressing concern for the class. Still, rest assured that Verduzco and Frost are looking. They will also have the luxury of working ahead to 2022 and even the 2023 classes. 

Recruit Watch

>> Colorado 2022 running back target Gavin Sawchuk checked out Oklahoma over the weekend. The speedy back is former teammates with Luke McCaffrey.

>> According to his high school coach, outside linebacker target Travion Ford is setting official visits. He has two spots left and Nebraska is jockeying to get one. 

>> It looks like three good Illinois prospects will be heading to Lincoln this weekend for Junior Day. The Huskers have made a real effort to get back into Illinois recently. 


>> As I wrote, the defensive backs took some time, but Travis Fisher has helped them (Premium) find a groove.

>> The Hail Varsity staff is back to answer your questions in the mailbag including talking through the impact of Nebraska’s Ready Now program.

>> We’ve continued updating the expected list of Junior Day attendees (Premium) throughout the day.

> > As Brandon Vogel wrote in Hot Reads this morning, Greg Austin’s new role puts his run game philosophy on display.

>> Jacob Padilla’s Padding the Stats is back to get you ready for the Nebraska Boys State Tournament.

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