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5 predictions for Nebraska Football spring game



Nebraska Football
Syndication: The Des Moines Register

The Nebraska football spring game will be held Saturday and here are five predictions as we’ll see the Huskers for the first time under Matt Rhule.

As a Nebraska football fan, it’s hard to express the excitement surrounding the program under new head coach Matt Rhule.

While Saturday’s spring won’t answer all of our questions, it will give Nebraska football fans the first real look at what the Huskers will look like under Rhule. We’ve got some glimpses and lots of rumblings this spring, but on Saturday, we’ll watch the Huskers with our own two eyes.

Of course, this version of Nebraska isn’t the final one. I know we’ll see some departures and I’m hopeful for an addition or two as well on the offensive line, defensive line, or even a pass rusher (hello, Bear Alexander).

There are also guys that are injured right now, haven’t enrolled, or aren’t full participants for whatever reason. I still can’t wait for what we’re going to see and here’s a stab at five predictions for the Nebraska football spring game.

Henrich Haarberg will show out

Few players on this roster have improved their stock more this spring than Heinrich Haarberg. At the beginning of the spring, he was asked about playing another position and now, he’s viewed as a potential quarterback of the future.

The athleticism has always been there and Rhule’s staff is finding a way to tap into that. Rhule said that the quarterbacks will be live and that means we’ll probably see some quarterback runs. I want to see what Haarberg can do with the full offense at his disposal.

I’m not sure exactly how the quarterbacks will be split up and I don’t mean this to say that Jeff Sims won’t impress, but I think one takeaway from the spring game — just like spring practices — is that Henrich Haarberg has truly made a leap this spring.

The QB race won’t be decided

Many Nebraska football fans will be excited to get their first look at Sims and you can count me among them. I’m expecting a solid performance and it sounds like Sims has done everything expected of him this spring.

It’s probably fair to say that he’s the slight favorite to be the starting quarterback. However, Rhule has been complimentary of Casey Thompson, who is still limited and won’t play.

Sims has the running ability, is a tremendous athlete, and has a big-time arm. Accuracy has been an issue. I think Sims will play well, but I don’t think we’ll see the quarterback competition as decided by Saturday night.

We’ll see if that means Thompson sticking around for the fall, but I don’t believe he will be with Nebraska football in the fall unless he feels he has a legitimate chance to win the starting job.

Nebraska will run the damn ball

This isn’t that bold of a prediction. Matt Rhule knows Nebraska fans want to see the Huskers pound the rock and I think that’s exactly what we’ll see.

Gabe Ervin has generated a lot of buzz this spring and I’m interested to see how he’ll look with the live bullets flying. The same goes for Anthony Grant. You wonder if Ervin could surpass him. Haarberg has taken advantage of the new staff and a new opportunity. Ervin has also.

I’m also curious to see what Rahmir Johnson’s role will be. He doesn’t need to be the featured back or anything but I want to see how he will be utilized. I’m also excited about Emmett Johnson and Ajay Allen, who was just cleared to fully practice.

We probably won’t see a ton of carries for Allen. Yet, he’s one of the most exciting young players on the roster and I’m excited to see what will happen with him next season.

The passing game will exceed expectations

I feel like the expectations are kind of low for the offense. The defense has felt like it’s been ahead most of the spring and that’s not surprising.

The Huskers have been installing a new system, with a bunch of new players and that can take more time for offenses usually than on defense. Yet, guys have been making plays. It might not be perfect on Saturday but I think we’ll see guys like Billy Kemp, Thomas Fidone, Marcus Washington, and Zavier Betts will make plays.

We all want to see what the tight ends are going to do. But I think we’ll see some explosive plays from the wide receivers too.

Nebraska football defense will win the day

I don’t know exactly how the game is going to be scored. But when it’s all said and done, I think that we’ll view the defense as having the better day.

As I’ve said, the offense is going to have its moments. One question that needs to be answered is about the pass rush and I’m very curious to see how Chief Borders and MJ Sherman look at linebackers.

Beyond some of the additions, Jimari Butler seems to have had a really nice spring along with others such as Nash Hutmacher. The Huskers are also loaded in the secondary. I think Malcolm Hartzog will get his hands on the football on Saturday and I think by the end of the game, we’ll be excited about Tony White’s defense.

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Nebraska Football zeroing in on local 2025 LB



Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska football is beginning to make inroads into the 2025 recruiting class, and they will have visitors on campus next weekend. Hosting some local talent. 2025 outside linebacker Zayvion Campbell will be in Lincoln next weekend.

This is notable for a couple of reasons. For one, Ryan Gottula is the head coach at Lincoln Southeast. His son Gunnar is part of the 2023 Nebraska football recruiting class. The family connection could help Nebraska football land Campbell.

Secondly, Nebraska is continuing to recruit in-state. This is something that we have seen in the 2023 and 2024 recruiting classes it appears that in-state recruiting will be a focal point. This is something the coaching staff has zeroed in on as one of their main goals during their time at Nebraska. They are sticking to that goal.

What could he bring to Nebraska football?

Campbell is a very intriguing player. He measures in at around six-foot-three, 200 pounds. He has good pursuit ability, and is able to wrap up and make tackles with ease. Campbell would be able to fit the Nebraska football defense by providing a solid presence inside. Campbell uses a variety of moves in order to get to the quarterback as well.

He would give Nebraska a player that could be used in multiple ways in a 3-3-5 defense. It would be fun to see defensive coordinator Tony White work with him. He has the ability to rush as well as fill gaps on the inside. That type of versatility is what Nebraska football should be looking for defensively with the scheme they have.

At the very least, Campbell is coming to campus to check things out.  It’s important that Nebraska continues to look at multiple candidates at the linebacker position. At the very least,  they need to make an effort to continue the recruiting pipeline in-state. The 2023 and 2024 classes were filled with Nebraska-born players. This is a trend that needs to continue.

For More Nebraska content, follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook Page, and Subscribe to the Husker Big Red YouTube Channel. You can also find our podcast on Apple or Spotify

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Nebraska Football: QB visit canceled and a Carter Nelson update



Nebraska football
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska football is set for its first official visit weekend of June and Kamari McClellan has canceled, plus the latest on Carter Nelson.

One of the big questions lingering about Nebraska football recruiting this weekend was whether or not three-star quarterback Kamari McClellan would make it for his official visit.

It was still on the schedule for this weekend according to the recruiting sites and in a recent interview, McClellan indicated he was still coming. However, with the recent commitment of Daniel Kaelin, it was only going to happen if Nebraska football suddenly decided to take two quarterbacks in 2024.

Anything is possible but the visit has now been canceled according to Sean Callahan of Husker Online. I think McClellan will wind up at Clemson or another team scrambling for a QB. Nebraska football was in that position and the kid is talented, but Kaelin, who is heading to the Elite 11, is a much better get.

Daniel Kaelin will visit Nebraska football again

Speaking of Kaelin, it wasn’t lip service when he said he wants to be around when any recruit comes to visit. The quarterback will take his official visit the same weekend as Carter Nelson.

But he’s now on the list for an unofficial visit this weekend. There are a couple of wideouts expected to visit. Jacory Barney is one and the Huskers lead for the three-star wideout via the On3 prediction machine. He’s ranked 459th overall out of Miami, Florida.

Williams Nettles is also visiting but he could be a cornerback or receiver. Caleb Pyfrom is a three-star in-state tackle also visiting and Kaelin being on campus could help push him toward a commitment, which seems to be where things are trending according to recent crystal balls.

It’s just clear that Kaelin is serious about doing what he can for this class, no matter how many times he needs to come to campus.

Another Carter Nelson visit

Add Penn State to the list of teams to worry about in the Carter Nelson sweepstakes. He’s going to visit the Nittany Lions on June 16th, which will be his fourth scheduled official visit.

Nelson is going to visit Georgia this weekend, followed by Notre Dame next weekend. The Huskers just got a Futurecast projection from Greg Smith of Rivals to land Carter, the top-ranked recruit in the state in 2024 and things seem to be trending in the right direction.

My thought is that Nelson is likely going to take these visits and make a decision sometime this summer, maybe in July or August. That’s just a guess. I don’t see this recruitment bleeding into the season and Nebraska football has put more effort in than any other program.

That doesn’t mean anything on its own. But Carter just took a visit to Nebraska along with Kaelin and that connection seems to be helping. Nelson hasn’t talked about his recruitment a ton, so it’s hard to get a read, but the tea leaves are pointing in Nebraska’s direction.

We’ll see if that’s still true after the next three weekends.

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Nebraska Football trending in right direction with Florida CB



Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska football is having a newsworthy recruiting month to start up June. The program is already trending with four-star corner Mario Buford. Now, it appears that another corner may be in their sights as well.

Amare Sanders is the name to keep an eye on. He is a four-star corner He is ranked numerically at 87.50 according to the On3 recruiting rankings. He plays at Gulliver Prep high school, and is from Miami, Fla.

Sanders is a three-star recruit and measures in at 6-foot-2, 167 pounds. Right now, Nebraska is in the lead for his recruitment according to the On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine. He is also visiting Nebraska this weekend, in what is turning out to be a big weekend for visitors.

Sanders has tremendous athleticism for a corner. He is able to make the proper reads on passing plays, and that allows him to close on wide receivers quickly and break up potential completions. He does a good job of turning his hips, and reading the play in its entirety. This is certainly important to his game and the way he plays. He also is a decent size for a corner, as he measures in at 6-foot-2 167 pounds.

Nebraska football making Florida a priority

It’s clear that Nebraska football wants to establish a stake in Florida. They are trending with wide receiver Jacory Barney Jr, and already have a commitment from Willis McGahee IV. Both of those players hail from Miami Palmetto. Sanders goes to Gulliver Prep, which is another highly-touted school in the state of Florida.

Currently, the 2024 Nebraska football recruiting class ranks 31st overall nationally with seven commitments. They have focused on both sides of the football, and are landing talented prospects both in and out of the state of Nebraska.

It will be interesting to see if Sanders ends up coming to Nebraska. The fact that he is visiting this weekend and is trending towards the Huskers is certainly a positive sign. The program done work in Florida before, but it seems like this time around their efforts will stick. Recruiting in Florida is a key component for success. Nebraska football is trying to establish that.

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