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5 things we learned about Nebraska football recruiting in June



Nebraska Football
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

June was a big month for Nebraska football recruiting and here are five things we learned.

The month of June has officially come to a close and Nebraska football wound up with a total of 15 verbal commitments in the 2024 recruiting class.

Nebraska football started the month with seven commitments and ranked outside the top 30 overall. Now, the Huskers have 22. They also rank 13th in the 247 Sports composite rankings.

And if Nebraska football is able to land top-100 offensive tackle Grant Brix, the top player from Iowa, that ranking should get even better. When things are all said and done, it will likely be a top-20 class for the Huskers, depending on the final numbers.

But it’s been an impressive haul already. The Huskers have landed commitments from the top four players in the state of Nebraska and three came in the past month (all within about a week).

Four-star wideout Jacory Barney is expected to make a decision this weekend. But outside of that and Brix, things have slowed down just a little bit. Ernest Campbell is trending to Texas A&M, so really the focus looks like the offensive line, EDGE, and maybe the defensive line.

I’m interested to see if Caleb Benning takes an unofficial visit at the end of July. If not, I think that’ll be pretty telling about where things stand in that recruitment.

However, looking back at June, a month filled with fireworks for Nebraska football recruiting, here are five things we learned.

Nebraska kids are embracing Matt Rhule

There were some solid recruiting wins outside of the state of Nebraska and we’ll get to those, but this month will always be remembered for Matt Rhule turning around three huge in-state recruitments.

Georgia nearly had Carter Nelson. Notre Dame was right in the thick of it too. The Bulldogs got some expert projections even from Nebraska insider Greg Smith of Rivals. That had me really worried.

But Rhule and the Huskers stayed the course. In reality, they won this commitment with those visits last winter to Ainsworth. That effort to show Nelson he was the top priority is what won out in the end, although the additions of Danny Kaelin, Isaiah McMorris, and Dae’vonn Hall to the 2024 class certainly didn’t hurt.

Rhule actually canceled the visit of Hall at one point. Then, it became clear there was a fit for both sides and the Huskers quickly became the favorite. It was smart to send a message that Nebraska football isn’t just a fallback.

So when Tennessee did offer Hall, it was too little too late. Garret McGuire deserves a big assist too, as does the entire staff with these commitments. It wasn’t just about Rhule.

But the overall strategy is what Rhule is responsible for. He made it clear that the state of Nebraska was going to be his top priority when he got the job in terms of recruiting. And it’s paid off in spades.

June 23rd weekend was extremely productive

When signing day rolls around, if Nebraska football is inking a top-15 or 20 class, we’ll look back on the June 23rd visit weekend as a turning point.

Basically, on the first day of the weekend, Nebraska football landed the commitments of McMorris, Hall, and Nelson, who told Rhule he was N the same day.

Nebraska football achieved more than that though. The Huskers got five pledges total out of that weekend and are trending as the leader for Grant Brix. 

Campbell was also on campus and it looks like he’ll get away to Texas A&M. I was worried about that happening. However, Quinn Clark, a Husker legacy and three-star from Montana, also committed, as did three-star running back Kewan Lacy, a top-600 prospect with 36 total offers (also an Ole Miss lean at one time).

If Brix does wind up committing to Nebraska — the June 23rd weekend will have led to five huge commitments. And outside of Kaelin, I’d say those five are the top five commitments in the 2024 class in terms of importance.

The Texas pipeline is real

We knew this prior to the month of June, but it was reinforced once again as Nebraska football landed three commitments from the Lone Star State in June.

When you look at the 2024 total, Nebraska has more pledges from Texas (7) than Nebraska right now (6). So far in his tenure, Rhule has 50 total commitments in terms of high school recruiting. 27 of them are from Nebraska/Texas.

That tells you how Rhule is going to build his program. The Huskers are hitting other places too — such as Florida, Missouri, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and other states — but I would expect the percentage of Texas/Nebraska commitments to stay around 50 percent during his tenure.

Rhule’s ties to Texas were brought up when he was hired and I knew the Huskers would recruit Texas better. Yet, I didn’t know he would re-establish the Texas pipeline overnight.

Braylen Prude was underrated and didn’t have a ton of interest before the Nebraska offer. But Lacy and Carlon Jones are both high-ranking three-star recruits. Jones took five official visits before the Huskers were able to win his commitment. Lacy had a ton of offers and was an Ole Miss lean before Nebraska turned it around.

Mario Buford was also a huge get. There was a tie-in due to his brother, but the Huskers still pulled one of the best DBs from Texas and did the same with Roger Gradney earlier in the cycle.

Losing the recruiting hold in Texas was one of the negative consequences of the Huskers moving to the Big Ten and Rhule has seemed to negate that basically overnight.

Nebraska football takes the camp circuit seriously

One thing we didn’t know about Rhule was how much he valued camps. I don’t know if Nebraska football will be getting commitments from eight camp evaluation offers in the future, but it was impressive the way the Huskers built their board over the summer.

Sure, they had some high hopes with the March visit weekends. Some of those targets stayed on the board and some proved to be unrealistic. Nebraska football went to work rebuilding the board in June and camps were a huge part of that process.

At the end of the day, Nebraska football landed eight commitments from players it offered at camps. Some were unranked and didn’t have other FBS offers before the Huskers pounced.

It might seem like a risky strategy. But all of these guys have NFL measurables and real upside. The Huskers verified those things and offered guys they think can play. We’ll see if they’re right.

The 2024 recruiting class is about wrapped up

I’d hazard a guess that Nebraska football is about 85-90 percent done with its commitments in the 2024 class. I could see that number getting to 25 and a little over.

A class of 30 would surprise me. Nebraska football needs to save some room for the transfer portal and this is actually a fairly young team.

Nebraska definitely needs an offensive tackle. There also needs to be an EDGE at some point. You could even make the case for multiple takes at those spots. Outside of that, there isn’t an urgent need.

I’d love to see a 300-pound nose tackle type, but that might not be in the cards for this class. Ashton Murphy also has the chance to grow into a pretty big dude.

That being said, I wouldn’t expect a ton of official visits for the rest of the 2024 class. Some will get saved for the portal guys in December and some of the later targets, but once we hit the fall, I expect recruiting to focus more on 2025, with the 2024 focus just on holding commitments and filling the final spots.

Most of the heavy lifting has been done. Now, it’s time to get this program to a bowl game.

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Nebraska Football lands athletic playmaker in JD Crisp



Nebraska Football
Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska football continues to recruit for the 2024 class. They picked up a commitment from 2024 wide receiver JD Crisp on Wednesday afternoon. Crisp played both sides of the football in high school, playing both defensive back and wide receiver for Second Baptist High School.

He is not ranked in the 247Sports regular or Composite Rankings. However, he does have a solid offer sheet.  Crisp had seven offers in total, including one from Minnesota. He was officially offered by the program on September 16 and quickly made his decision.

It’s also worth noting that his recruitment was active throughout the summer. He attended Texas A&M Aggies camp on June 14. At the very least, he garnered interest from a prominent Texas school. That is notable in of itself.

What could he bring to Nebraska football?

It’s interesting that he is a two-way player. He played both the receiver and safety positions in high school. As far as Nebraska is concerned, I could certainly see him playing at receiver. He has as a tremendous amount of athleticism, and played mostly on the outside and high school. Crisp was very good at catching in space, and making contested catches and tight windows.

Playing receiver would make sense for him, given Nebraska’s lack of depth at the position moving forward. He has the agility and ability to become a solid piece if developed properly.

Nevertheless, he has overall qualities that could make him a good safety as well. This coaching staff loves the opportunity to work with athletes and molding them as they see fit. His ability to fire off the football and read a play certainly stands out.

The commitment of Crisp adds to a 2024 recruiting class that ranks 24th overall nationally. The class itself is stacked with talent. It currently has 25 commitments in total.

It will be interesting to see what Crisp can do for Nebraska football. He is definitely more of a project player. Nevertheless, his athleticism and speed is intriguing. One of this coaching staff’s strengths is identifying how players fit into the program. They will have to do that with Crisp.

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Nebraska Cornhuskers news: Jeff Sims still not 100 percent, a flip attempt, and more



Nebraska football
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska football QB Jeff Sims still isn’t 100 percent, plus more Nebraska Cornhuskers news.

One thing we know for sure about the Nebraska football quarterback situation is that we won’t know anything until kickoff on Saturday against Louisiana Tech.

Matt Rhule said that he won’t be making any announcements prior to the game, similar to last week, about the starting quarterback. Marcus Satterfield told reporters on Tuesday that Sims took “50-55 percent of the snaps” so he’s improving, but according to Rhule, he’s still not 100 percent.

Rhule indicated that Sims is throwing the ball well. The Nebraska Cornhuskers just want to see some more movement skills out of their starting quarterback. One of the starting quarterbacks I should say since Sims and Heinrich Haarberg were listed as co-starters this week on the depth chart.

We’ll see how it plays out. If Sims is healthy, I expect that he will get the start or at least play, but with how thin Nebraska football is at running back, both quarterbacks will probably be needed, especially with their prowess for pounding the rock.

Nebraska Cornhuskers aiming to flip Michigan State 4-star

Andrew Dennis is a 6-foot-5, 275-pound offensive lineman rated as a four-star prospect by the 247 Sports composite rankings. He’s out of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, and has been committed to Michigan State since April but Nebraska football is one of many programs to throw out a recent offer.

We don’t know if Dennis has any plans to visit Nebraska football. He’s been offered by Auburn, Stanford, Penn State, and Purdue just since Monday. I wouldn’t get too serious worrying about Dennis until he takes a visit to Nebraska, but if that happens, watch out.

It’s at least a name to keep on the radar and a decommitment definitely seems possible with the situation going on at Michigan State with Mel Tucker getting fired.

Nebraska Cornhuskers Big Ten basketball schedule released

We knew which teams Nebraska basketball would play in the 2023-24 Big Ten season but got the official schedule on Tuesday. The Huskers released it on their official Twitter account.

Nebraska basketball will open Big Ten on December 6th against Minnesota on the road. Fred Hoiberg’s first conference home game will be against Michigan State on December 10th.

The schedule is fairly balanced in terms of the home and road games. The Huskers have consecutive home games twice on the conference schedule. Nebraska has also back-to-back road games twice.

My first impressions though, are that Nebraska basketball is capable of a winning season in Big Ten play, which would definitely keep Fred Hoiberg in place and likely, would give the Huskers a realistic shot at making their first NCAA tournament since the 2014 season.

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Nebraska football is trending for a priority target, plus more Cornhuskers news



Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska football seems to be closing in on the commitment of three-star athlete Caleb Benning, plus another win for volleyball.

For the first time this season, Nebraska football fans are enjoying a victory Monday following the Huskers’ 35-11 win over Northern Illinois on Saturday.

It was an important win for plenty of reasons. But Matt Rhule’s team needed some momentum. The Huskers got it with that win and now, they are picking up momentum with top recruiting target Caleb Benning.

Benning has been one of the top high school players in the state this fall. He was injured last year, which slowed down his recruitment, but the Huskers have been putting on the full-court press and hosted him for a visit during the game on Saturday.

After that, Benning told reporters how much he wanted to play in the Nebraska football defense. He also said that a decision could be “pretty soon” which sounds like great news for the Huskers.

Over the weekend, Nebraska football also picked up a new expert projection to land Benning from Bryan Munson of Husker Online. This was after another recent crystal ball from 247 Sports.

The On3 prediction machine now gives the Huskers a 91-percent chance to win the commitment of Benning, while all of the crystal ball projections agree. Even Greg Smith, a former Nebraska insider who covers Midwest recruiting for rivals, also projected Benning to Nebraska.

The 5-foot-10, 183-pounder is one of the top targets left on the board along with the likes of Grant Brix, Brandon Baker, and Jayshawn Ross. His addition to the 2024 class would be huge and regardless of his ranking, Benning is a player the Huskers need on their roster in the future.

Nebraska volleyball notches another top-25 win

The Cornhuskers were back in the Bob Devaney Center on Sunday and scored another win over a top-25 opponent, their second of the week with a 3-1 win over Kentucky by the scores of 25-14, 25-22, 23-25, and 25-21.

Merritt Beason was on fire for Nebraska volleyball as she had a team-high 17 kills, a total that was matched by freshman standout Harper Murray. Beason also added three blocks, as did Murrary, but Beason hit .438 compared to .308 for Murrary.

Nebraska had 62 kills compared to 53 for Kentucky, which was limited to just a .243 hitting percentage. The Huskers only had four service aces but Bergen Reilly had 32 assists in the win, while Lexi Rodriguez pitched in with 18 digs and had a perfect serve-receive percentage.

The Cornhuskers (9-0) open Big Ten play this week against Ohio State on Friday at 8 PM CST.

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