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Nebraska Football rebuild is being over-exaggerated



Syndication: The Des Moines Register

The Nebraska football does need to be rebuilt. However, the Huskers are a lot closer than people think.

There’s been an interesting debate among Nebraska football fans recently. It centers on whether the Huskers need a full-on rebuild or if they just need to reload.

That’s essentially the debate. It’s hard for me to say that Nebraska football simply needs to reload because the Huskers haven’t played in a bowl game in six straight seasons. They are the only FBS program to have that claim.

Over the past two seasons, the Huskers have only won seven games. But was that due to a massive talent gap or a head coach that was simply incompetent?

One stat that tells the story of the Frost era is the fact that over the past five seasons, no team has suffered more one-score losses than Nebraska football.

Nebraska has had 23 according to Pick Six Previews. Iowa State is second at 19 and is tied with North Carolina. That equates to nearly five games per season lost by a single score.

Add a coach with a clue in Matt Rhule and it’s easy to see that getting turned around. I have no doubt that if Rhule were the coach in 2021, Nebraska football would have won 7-8 games at least.

And that’s what I believe will happen next season. This might be a rebuild, but it’s not a dramatic one.

Nebraska football isn’t far off

Even this past season, if Casey Thompson doesn’t get hurt and Frost doesn’t try that onside kick, Nebraska goes bowling. Georgia Southern, Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Minnesota are all games that should have been won.

Take care of business in those games and Nebraska is 8-4. I understand that it didn’t happen and that the Huskers have lost some key players such as Garrett Nelson, Trey Palmer, and Ocahun Mathis.

But there is quite a bit of talent coming back on this team. The offensive line needs to improve. But it should with the addition of Ben Scott at center and the return of two starters in Teddy Prochazka and Nouredin Nouili.

With Tony White, I’d expect the defense to take a step forward too. That’s one addition that isn’t talked about enough and most of the starters on that side of the ball return.

Offensively, Nebraska football has two starting-caliber quarterbacks and one of the most underrated running back rooms in all of college football. Add in Malachi Coleman, a five-star talent at wide receiver, along with Marcus Washington, Billy Kemp, Thomas Fidone, and Arik Gilbert, and the Huskers have weapons.

One bold prediction for 2023

Talent hasn’t been the issue with this program. Sure, it needs to upgrade to compete with the Ohio State’s and Michigan’s of the world. But there isn’t a team in the Big Ten West that’s more talented than Nebraska.

The Huskers just need some competency and with Matt Rhule, they are going to get that and more. That’s why in 2023, I guarantee you Nebraska will go bowling.

It’s amazing what a little competency can do and because of that, the Huskers will surprise people in 2023.

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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 welcoming Nebraska high school coaches



Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska football was busy on Thursday, as the first week of spring ball begins to wrap up. There was a ton of anticipation throughout the week, as players and fans got a first look at what this team could be like. Thursday, Several Nebraska high school coaches got their chance too, with many in attendance.

Omaha North’s Larry Martin, York coach Glenn Snodgrass, and Papillion -La Vista South coaching legend Walt Olsen were there Thursday. In addition to the coaches, Lincoln Football Coaches Association president Mark Waller was also in attendance, per a report from Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald.

It’s easy to gloss over why this is important information. Nevertheless, the attendance of those particular people fits with the vision that Matt Rhule is trying to bring to the program.

This Nebraska football coaching staff wants to make the state of Nebraska a focal point in recruiting. Honestly, they should. There is a ton of talent in the state, and that should be able to continue with future classes.

Nebraska high school coaching staffs indicated they felt ignored by previous coaching staffs. The Scott Frost staff was just beginning to make inroads into the Nebraska high school circuit in 2022. Coaches such as Mickey Joseph were beginning to really build a fence around the state. Now, this current coaching staff looks to finish the job.

What better way to do so than to have Nebraska high school coaches at a practice? It’s clear that Rhule and this coaching staff wants to make the state a priority. Having high school coaches at practices helps establish the pipeline early.

It’s good to see this group of Nebraska coaches building connections with those in the state. It’s something that should be able to serve them well. Establishing good rapport early is nothing but a positive. It’s encouraging to see the state itself being addressed, and a focal point at that.

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Nebraska Football: Tommi Hill returns to practice Thursday



There was a lot of information to take in during Thursday’s Nebraska Football practice, including the appearance of a player who was not practicing at the beginning of the week. Defensive back Tommi Hill returned on Thursday, adding more depth to the field, per a report from the Omaha World-Herald.

Hill played on both sides of the football for Nebraska last season. He started at defensive back, before moving over to wide receiver. It was a rough year for Hill, as it was for most of the defense. All told, he tallied 17 pass breakups and four deflections. He did not record any statistics as a wide receiver, though his speed made it an intriguing position move.

Whatever happened during the beginning of the week appears to be settled, as Hill was back at practice. He could very well be a major part of the defensive backfield, especially with Malcolm Hartzog potentially moving to safety. It would be more of a natural fit for Hill at the corner spot, as he has played the majority of his career in the defensive backfield.

At the very least, this gives another body for the huskers coaching staff to work with. Hill is one of the many players who are looking to bounce back after a difficult year last year. It will be interesting to what kind of role he will play, as Nebraska football has several options for personnel in Tony White’s defense.

Hill’s athleticism could land him a potentially big role in White’s 3-3-5 defense.  As for now, Hill is just working to get back into the fold, as the defense begins to take shape.

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