Photo Credit: Steve Marik

Observations From Nebraska’s 7-on-7 Tournament

June 06, 2022

Two days after its first Friday Night Lights camp of June, one which produced a commitment to the 2023 class in Kansas City-area receiver Jaidyn Doss—Nebraska held its 7-on-7 camp Sunday.

At last year’s 7-on-7 tournament, class of 2023 quarterback JJ Kohl of Ankeny, Iowa, stole the show and put himself on the Huskers’ radar. The 6-foot-6 Kohl, a 4-star recruit according to the 247Sports Composite, later received a Husker offer in October but is currently an Iowa State pledge. Nebraska landed its quarterback for the 2023 class in three-star William “Pop” Watson III of Massachusetts.

While all eyes were on Kohl last year, there was no doubt about which camper commanded all the attention on Sunday: Lincoln East’s Malachi Coleman.

Standing at 6-5 and 190 pounds, Coleman has exploded on the recruiting scene and used this past weekend for his official visit to Nebraska. He’s a four-star prospect and currently ranked as the top player in Nebraska and 208th nationally. The dynamic athlete owns offers from Nebraska, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, Georgia and many others.

Coleman plays for Nebraska Elite, a 7-on-7 program, and is the next big-name recruit on its roster. Last year it had players like Bellevue West tight ends Kaden Helms and Micah Riley-Ducker on the team. Helms committed to Oklahoma and will be playing the Huskers on Sept. 17 when the Sooners come to Lincoln. Riley-Ducker signed with Auburn and is playing SEC football.

On Sunday, Coleman made things look effortless at times while catching passes from 2025 quarterback Sebastian Circo of Omaha North:

Nebraska’s coaches knew where Coleman was at all times Sunday. Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple sat on the upper deck of the Hawks Championship Center watching Nebraska Elite compete. When Coleman and his teammates advanced in the tournament and played in Memorial Stadium, Whipple followed.

Receivers coach Mickey Joseph, inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud and just about every staffer available was chatting with Coleman on Sunday. That included the head coach as well. Scott Frost found Coleman and spent time talking with him as other 7-on-7 teams competed.

More observations:

>> Circo, Nebraska Elite’s quarterback, is small in stature, but he’s capable to carving up defenses in 7-on-7 settings. Circo already owns multiple Power 5 offers, including from Penn State, Ole Miss, Boston College and Temple. Circo showed zip on passes in tight windows and touch on others leading receivers down the field.

Here are a few examples of what Circo showed Sunday:

 

>> Nebraska Elite didn’t win the tournament, however. The championship went to a team from Glendale High School in Springfield, Missouri, and it was led by 2023 quarterback Cole Feuerbacher, who was picking apart defenses. Glendale beat Creighton Prep in the championship game, and the 6-3 Feuerbacher showed off a strong arm and accuracy. He was tough to stop:

 

>> Husker assistants and staff seen at the tournament included Frost, Whipple, Joseph, Ruud, special teams coordinator Bill Busch, running backs coach Bryan Applewhite, defensive line and outside linebackers coach Mike Dawson and senior director of player personnel and recruiting, Vince Guinta.

>> There was a relaxed and fun vibe in the stadium during the 7-on-7 competition. Frost was seen laying down on the brand-new Memorial Stadium turf watching the action. Analyst Ron Brown was walking around the field and, while watching the 7-on-7, was stopped by a fan and took a picture.

In case you missed the first Friday Night Lights event, here’s a breakdown from Hail Varsity recruiting analyst Greg Smith.

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