Connect with us


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.

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.










Chris has worked in sports journalism since 2005 writing for multiple newspapers and websites such as the Bleacher Report and Fansided before starting Husker Big Red, A fan site for hardcore followers of the #Huskers offering articles, podcasts, videos and more exclusive content on all things Nebraska