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Does Nebraska football need two QB transfers?



Nebraska football
Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Transfer portal quarterbacks are the hot topic for Nebraska football fans, but will one be enough for the Huskers?

There is no debate about the biggest need for Nebraska football in the transfer portal — quarterback.

The Huskers have also been busy. According to reports, they have visited Will Howard, formerly of Kansas State, former Michigan State quarterback Sam Leavitt, and Blake Shapen from Baylor.

There is some movement among the transfer rankings from different recruiting services but Will Howard is a consensus top-5 quarterback. The Huskers will also face stiff competition to land his commitment as Miami, USC, Wisconsin, and others are in the mix.

There does seem to be some positive momentum with Leavitt. There is even talk of him visiting Lincoln which would make the whole thing a slam dunk.

But if that move happens, is it enough to address a quarterback room that was the Achilles heel for what was otherwise a pretty good football team?

I’m not sure about that. Leavitt is a former four-star recruit. He flashed some talent this season with the Spartans and it’s possible he could win a quarterback competition against Chubba Purdy. Between the two of them, one solid quarterback should emerge.

Why two transfer quarterbacks could work for Nebraska

That’s one line of thinking at least. However, I would also like to see the Huskers add a veteran and while there are bigger names out there, I really like Shapen.

One thing I like about him is the fact that he’s completed 63 percent of his passes throughout 27 games and 752 pass attempts. He’s also got 36 career touchdown passes compared to just 13 interceptions, as well as averaging 7.4 yards per pass attempt, meaning he can push the ball down the field.

Shapen’s QBR left a lot to be desired last season at Baylor. But Nebraska has a solid offensive line and it had one of the best run games in the Big Ten last season. I’d like to see Heinrich Haarberg incorporated into the running game next season too and Shapen, who also plays baseball, is a decent athlete but not much of a runner.

To be honest, if Shapen joins the team, Purdy could leave via the transfer portal along with Jeff Sims. But if Nebraska football has Shapen, Sam Leavitt, and Daniel Kaelin, that’s not a bad quarterback room.

If Chubba decides to stick around, it gets even better, so even if the Huskers aren’t able to land a Will Howard or another elite transfer, they could still have a solid QB room, which is all that’s needed going into 2024.

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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