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Nebraska Football: Post-spring QB depth chart projections

The quarterback room is loaded for the future.

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Nebraska football
Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

The post-spring quarterback room looks brighter than ever for Nebraska football. There are three quarterbacks in the room alone that are talented, confident, and ready to lead the Huskers into the future.

Of course, Dylan Raiola is in a class of his own. He stands at the top of the room. However, Heinrich Haarberg and Daniel Kaelin shouldn’t be forgotten or counted out either. Both of those guys provide dependable depth in the room itself. This is not something the program has had in years.

This speaks to how well Nebraska has recruited the quarterback position over the last year or so. Oh yeah, they have some future talent coming in as well. Nebraska is well-positioned to compete in the new Big Ten.

With that in mind, we take a look at the quarterback depth chart following spring practice.

No. 1- Dylan Raiola

Raiola has come to Lincoln with a ton of hype, and rightly so. After a decorated high school career, his first action for Nebraska for came during the course of the spring game. To say he dazzled would be an understatement.

Raiola went 10-of-16 on the afternoon, throwing for 121 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. The touchdown in particular showcased his touch on his throws, and gave Nebraska football fans a preview of what is to come. He looked poised in the pocket, and was quick with his throws and reads. This lines up similarly to how he performed in the Polynesian Bowl. He showed similar traits of keeping calm in the pocket, and delivering his throws.

Yes, Heinrich Haarberg has more experience. If this was a quarterback battle based on experience, Haarberg would be the outright favorite. However, that is obviously not the case. Raiola possesses top-tier arm talent. He will obviously have to work hard over the course of fall camp in order to get the job. Nevertheless, it’s his for the taking, based on pure skill alone.

No. 2- Heinrich Haarberg

Heinrich Haarberg undoubtedly paid his dues last year, as Nebraska football was banged up at the quarterback position. He finished 2023 with 967 passing yards, seven touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He made a big impact on the ground, rushing the ball 120 times for 477 yards and five touchdowns.

People will undoubtedly criticize him for his throwing motion and his inconsistencies last season. The fact of the matter is, he kept the Huskers in games. The quarterback made the throws when he needed to, and he put the team in positions to win games more often than not.

It would be easy to completely overlook him in favor of the other freshman in the quarterback room and Daniel Kaelin. However, Haarberg provides the veteran experience needed at the position. On top of this, he had an impressive spring game performance. The quarterback went three-of-four throwing for 46 yards and a touchdown. His improved throwing motion was also of note, and much of that credit goes to new quarterbacks coach Glenn Thomas.

It would be difficult for me to see him falling completely down the depth chart. Although he probably won’t get as much fanfare as the highly-talented, new quarterbacks in the room, he’s a gamer. His experience and accountability will be needed as the freshmen continue to develop on the fly.

No. 3-Daniel Kaelin

Kaelin is perhaps the most intriguing quarterback in the room at the moment. We know he has talent, and we know he has skill. With that being said, he still has a lot of work to do in terms of development.

He made several solid strides over the course of the spring, and this included the spring game itself. He looked confident in his throws, and showed that he indeed has a strong arm that can translate to the collegiate level. The Bellevue West start finished the spring game going two-of-four for 13 yards. This spring game was a no-pressure situation for him.

The potential is definitely there. He has a tremendous amount of skill, and there is no doubt his arm strength is a tremendous asset of his game. Even still, the gap between him and the other two quarterbacks is sizable for now. That is certainly okay, as a solid quarterback room gives him time to develop moving forward. This is the benefit of being deep at the position. He has a bright future ahead of him, and the fact that he stayed, on top of canceling his visit to Michigan State, is a testament to his character and his belief in his coaching staff.

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Danny is a Nebraska athletics fan and writer. He also enjoys writing about recruiting in his free time. Danny has been following the Huskers for the last five years. Find him on Twitter @NebCornholio.

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