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Nebraska Football: 3 thoughts on commitments of Ethan Nation, Cameron Lenhardt



247 sports
247 sports

Ethan Nation and Cameron Lenhardt each committed to Nebraska football on Tuesday and here’s what it means for the Huskers.

Tuesday turned out to be a big day for Nebraska football on the recruiting trail.

It’s interesting because since Matt Rhule was hired as the head coach, the Huskers have had plenty of those, including Early National Signing Day.

Some people were down on the hire because of the way he recruited at Baylor, but to take a class that ranked outside the top 60 and do what he’s done is impressive, to say the least.

The Huskers added two important commitments to their 2023 recruiting haul on Tuesday in four-star defensive end Cameron Lenhardt and three-star cornerback Ethan Nation.

We offer some thoughts on what each player can bring to the program and also what their additions mean for Nebraska football moving forward.

Another EDGE piece for Nebraska football

Cameron Lenhardt is listed at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds by 247 sports and he’s ranked 308th overall in the 2023 class according to the 247 composite rankings. He might not be 6-foot-5 or 6-foot-6 as some of the best EDGE players but Lenhardt can rush the passer and he’s actually a really versatile prospect.

Playing at IMG Academy, Lenhardt is going to be ready to contribute early. At least he should be. That program plays the best teams that high school football has to offer and in Lenhardt, Nebraska is getting a guy that’s solid against the run and can even drop back in coverage.

He’ll be an ideal fit for the 3-3-5 which is going to be very multiple. The Huskers aren’t going to be linear on defense and they shouldn’t be. Adding guys like Lenhardt who could stand up or put his hand in the ground and get to the quarterback is essential.

It was a big-time get for Rhule and a great way to close out the 2023 recruiting class, which is pretty strong on edge rushers which is important with the departures of Garrett Nelson and Ochaun Mathis.

Ethan Nation will out-play his recruiting ranking

Watching highlights of practice from the Under Armour All-American Game and seeing what Nation could do on the field makes me believe he should be a four-star prospect.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder took on some of the best wideouts in the 2023 class this week and definitely held his own. The 5-foot-11 might be generous in terms of height and teams probably overlooked him because of it.

Nation did have over 50 scholarship offers so overlooked probably isn’t the right word. However, Nebraska football was one of the few programs still pushing toward the end. Some teams have strict requirements about height and things like that but there have been enough really good DBs at 5-foot-9 or even 5-foot-10 to believe it won’t be an issue.

The coverage skills of the Peach State prospect aren’t really in question. He’s also made a lot of plays on the ball with 12 interceptions and 20 PBUs in high school. I love that and as a guy who can handle the slot or play on the outside, it wouldn’t shock me at all if Nation got on the field sooner rather than later.

Moving on up

These commitments were significant in terms of the 2023 recruiting rankings. Nebraska football is now 25th in the 247 team composite rankings for 2023. That’s a really impressive feat. Rhule was able to land some key players in the state of Nebraska and Lenhardt is his third four-star commitment in 2023 since his arrival.

Rhule was instrumental in landing four of the top five commitments in the 2023 class and did his part to keep Riley Van Poppel too — the other four-star commitment in this class.

Not only is the ranking solid but Nebraska football did well at some really key positions. It fortified EDGE and wide receiver, as well as a linebacker with Eric Fields and Dylan Rogers, and the secondary landed a really good haul with Nation, Rahmir Stewart, Dwight Bootle II, and Syncere Safeeullah.

The Huskers added some in-state offensive line prospects too and of course, getting a talent like Malachi Coleman was huge. All in all, it’s hard to find many complaints with this group.

One thing to watch is whether Nebraska shows interest in any 2023 quarterbacks. Marcus Stokes is one name to watch but the Huskers might be all in on Dylan Raiola, which isn’t a bad strategy at all.

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More crystal ball projections for Nebraska Football ahead of big weekend



Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska football has landed two more crystal ball projections ahead of a huge recruiting weekend for the Huskers.

There are going to be 26 recruits on campus this weekend visiting the Nebraska football program. Five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola is the headliner, along with a number of other top-100 recruits and the top-ranked player in the state of Nebraska Carter Nelson.

It’s one of the most impressive visit weekends for Nebraska football recruiting in a long time, maybe ever, but how many commitments are going to come this weekend if any?

I certainly wouldn’t expect a pledge from Raiola. As much as Nebraska football fans might want that, the top-ranked QB in the 2024 class just scheduled an official visit in June with Georgia, the defending national champs. This is on the heels of another visit to UGA, so the Huskers need to recapture some momentum.

The key objective with many recruits will be getting them back for an official visit. Gatlin Bair is a name that comes to mind since the kid is ranked 40th overall in the 2024 class via 247 sports. He’s visiting this weekend and if the Huskers got him back for an official visit in June, they’d have to feel good about their chances.

However, Nebraska football could land a couple of commitments this weekend. One candidate is three-star tight end Ian Flynt. He visited back in January, has family ties to Nebraska football, and just received another crystal ball projection for the Huskers. That’s four total for the No. 456 overall recruit in the 2024 class (247 composite).

A commitment might not happen this weekend, but I’d look for a commitment date coming soon out of this weekend. Flynt is out of Texas and so is three-star offensive lineman Gibson Pyle, who also received a crystal ball projection on Friday (Flynt did too).

Pyle is 735th overall and he teased an announcement a couple of weeks ago but it didn’t come. He’s got six crystal ball predictions for the Huskers and that’s another potential commitment to watch out for this weekend.

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Nebraska Football hosting elite tight end, 4-star EDGE to return



Nebraska Football
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Nebraska football recruiting buzz has been off the charts and another top-100 recruit is on campus today plus more on the Huskers.

Matt Rhule and the Nebraska football coaching staff have been doing a spectacular job on the recruiting trail. The Huskers are set to host 26 recruits this weekend and that number could grow.

However, those weren’t the only visitors for Nebraska football this week. On Monday, the first day of spring ball, the Huskers hosted a three-star offensive lineman and also Willis McGahee IV, a four-star EDGE.

McGahee is out of Miami, Florida and his dad, of course, was a legendary running back for the Hurricanes who also played for the Bills and Ravens in the NFL. The pedigree is there and the 6-foot-1, 225 pounder who is actually a three-star in the 247 sports composite rankings, is expected to return for the Nebraska football spring game.

McGahee is listed by 247 sports as a linebacker, but he’s an EDGE. He had 13 sacks as a junior and he’s got the kind of athleticism that Rhule loves. This is definitely heading in the right direction for the Huskers but Florida, Tennessee, Texas, and UCF are all set to get visits too and are in the mix.

Nebraska football hosting top 100 tight end

Rhule and the Huskers are trying to make the state of Missouri a bigger priority and so far, it’s worked pretty well. Nebraska football is making headway in the state, especially with one of the best Missouri prospects in the 2024 class in Jaden Reddell.

Reddell is 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, and out of Raymore, Missouri. He’s ranked 68th overall in the 247 sports composite rankings for the 2024 class and is fourth among tight ends, as well as a third-ranked player from the Show Me State. He’s also visiting Nebraska football on Thursday according to his Twitter account.

The On3 prediction machine currently gives the Missouri Tigers a slight advantage, but this will be the second trip for Reddell to the Nebraska football program. The next objective will be getting him back for an official visit in June.

That’s the same with McGahee. If he comes back for the spring game and then takes an official visit, you’d have to feel good about Nebraska’s chances. And while fans want commitments, visits are an important part of building the relationship that can lead to a commitment down the line.

As of now, Rhule and company are doing exactly what they should on the recruiting trail and it’s refreshing to see.

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Nebraska Football in good spot for 2024 WR Gatlin Bair



Nebraska football has been recruiting at a high level ever since the new coaching staff stepped on campus. They have made their recruiting priorities clear, and that includes 2024 Idaho wide receiver Gatlin Bair.

Bair is the ninth overall wide receiver in the 2024 class. The wide receiver is the top player in the state of Idaho, and has a 95 overall numerical ranking on 247DSorts. He has two schools in the lead for his recruitment in Michigan and Nebraska. Garret McGuire is taking care of Bair on Nebraska’s end, and it appears the coach is making a good impression.

Bair could give Nebraska a downfield weapon that spreads the field. This is something that Nebraska football wants in the program, as they are targeting playmakers that open up the offense. He has the size and speed to be a legitimate threat, at six-foot-two, 180 pounds. The Huskers have gotten several playmakers already in the offense. Bair would fit the bill, and make the wide receiver room even deeper.

Initially, he was one of the more under-recruited prospects, but now more programs are catching on. Even still, the wide receiver spoke highly of the Nebraska football program during a recent interview with the Omaha World-Herald. Bair is coming to Lincoln this weekend, along with several other prospects for the big Junior Day. He really likes the energy   surrounding the program, and the willingness of McGuire to learn as transcribed by Sam McKewon.

“There’s just an energy about the program,” Bair said Tuesday evening. “It just seems like every single person in the building really wants to turn that program around and get things rolling. I was really drawn to that, and what they’re trying to do.”

“I really like people who are open to learning,” Bair said of the 23-year-old McGuire, perhaps the youngest assistant in major college football. “I don’t like people who are set in their ways. I really enjoy the fact that he’s open to learning and progressing. That would allow me to progress with him at the same time, allow me to grow.”

It seems as though Nebraska football recruiting pitch has been very good to this point. Several fans were worried about McGuire’s age, but it seems as though that is not a problem for recruits. It certainly bodes well for Nebraska football that Bair thinks so highly of them. This could be extremely important heading into the upcoming weekend.

Nebraska football will not have a shortage of wide receivers, nor will they have a shortage of talent in the room. Bair’s recruitment and subsequent interest is proof of that.

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 out podcast on Apple or Spotify

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