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Nebraska Football: Carter Nelson’s importance rivals Dylan Raiola



Nebraska Football
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to Nebraska football recruiting targets, it’s clear that Carter Nelson is right there with Dylan Raiola in terms of importance.

If case you haven’t noticed, Nebraska football fans, the recruitment of in-state tight end Carter Nelson is taking off like a rocket as more big-time offers have poured in this week.

While Michigan and Notre Dame recently got in the mix with offers, the SEC contingent has been active recently as Alabama, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and now Georgia have all extended offers to the 6-foot-4, 215-pound tight end out of Ainsworth, Nebraska.

Nelson is ranked No. 202 overall in the 247 sports composite rankings for 2024 and is the No. 1 player in the state of Nebraska. Many Husker fans are obsessed with Dylan Raiola, the five-star QB from Arizona, who is the top-ranked player in the entire 2024 class.

Trust me, I want Railola as bad as anyone, but in terms of recruiting importance, Carter Nelson takes a back seat to no one for Nebraska football or at least he shouldn’t.

The fact that Nelson has 28 offers should tell you something, especially when they are from the likes of Georgia, Alabama, Michigan, and Texas A&M. Texas and Miami also offered this week too so basically every heavy hitter is involved and if they aren’t, they probably will be.

But where does that leave Nebraska football?

Does Nebraska lead for Carter Nelson?

The Huskers are the current leader according to the On3 prediction machine. Nebraska football also appears to be in the lead according to Sean Callahan of Husker Online.

One thing in Nebraska’s favor is that Nelson has visited campus unofficially four times. He hasn’t been anywhere else more than twice and Notre Dame is the only big-name school he has visited. That could change this spring and summer obviously and that’s something to watch.

If Nelson takes multiple visits to Georgia or Alabama for instance, I would be worried. So far, Nebraska football is the only school to pay him an in-home visit and Matt Rhule and the coaches also took in a basketball game in Ainsworth.

As with Raiola, Nebraska football isn’t guaranteed to win a commitment. But I’m confident in one thing: Rhule and his staff won’t be out-worked.

Nebraska football isn’t going to miss on Nelson because another school recruited him harder, that much I can promise. Rhule has emphasized in-state recruiting and beyond that, Nelson has been a priority for the staff since day one.

At the end of the day, Nelson may want to leave the state of Nebraska for college. There could be factors beyond the Huskers’ control. But if they prioritize Nelson and recruit him as hard as they possibly can, what else can be done?

I have confidence that Rhule will land Nelson, just as he was able to land Malachi Coleman in the 2023 class. But all of the offers to Nelson are worrisome. It’s a sign of just how talented he is and that’s a good thing for Nebraska football.

It’s a great opportunity to have a kid this talented in your backyard — now, the Huskers just have to try and find a way to keep him home, because, in my view, he’s right at the top of the board with Dylan Raiola.

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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