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Top 3 items on Christmas wishlist for Nebraska football



Nebraska football
Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Christmas and here are the top three things Nebraska football could use from Santa Claus.

If we’re being honest, the Christmas season has already been kind to Nebraska football. The commitment of five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola was as good a gift as the Cornhuskers could have gotten.

Not only is Raiola the top-ranked recruit in Nebraska football history, at least in terms of the era of recruiting sites, but to get him at the quarterback position makes it even more important.

The Huskers have had some legendary quarterbacks in their day, but it’s been a long time since they had a Heisman-caliber dude back there, and Dylan Raiola could be that guy.

Outside of Raiola, here are the top three things that should be on the Christmas Wishlist for Nebraska football.

4-star RB transfer Dante Dowdell

Dante Dowdwell, a former top-10 running back recruit in the 2023 class, has entered the transfer portal. Nebraska football is expected to host the former Duck on an official visit in early January.

Dowdell played in six games last season and averaged more than five yards per attempt. But in three of those, he carried the ball less than two times, so there had to be some concern about Oregon wasting his eligibility since they inexplicably wasted his redshirt year.

At 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, Dowdell would give Nebraska football another power back. Plus, he ranked No. 194 overall according to the 247 Sports composite rankings in 2023, as well as No. 9 among running backs.

That’s the kind of player Nebraska needs at running back to pair with Raiola. They missed on Kewan Lacy, but Dowdell would be a perfect fit and the ideal back to pair with this offense.

A proven wideout

Nebraska football has some young talent at wide receiver — there’s no question about that. But the Huskers could use a veteran ready to step in and be the No. 1 next season. Julian Fleming from Ohio State would have been a great fit and I still believe that to be true.

The transfer crystal balls are projecting Fleming to wind up at Penn State. However, the Huskers have also offered Jahmal Banks from Wake Forest. I was hoping they would get into the mix with former five-star Evan Stewart, but it sounds like the former Texas A&M receiver is considering some SEC schools among his top contenders.

We’ll see if the Huskers get involved there. Banks is an intriguing dude at 6-foot-4, 208 pounds. He’s got consecutive seasons of more than 500 yards receiving. Michigan is the main contender right now.

A QB coach

It’s one thing to land a five-star quarterback. Now, Nebraska football has to develop him. They need to get the most out of Dylan Raiola and they need to plan for him to start game one against UTEP. At this point, really from the moment he announced the official visit, that was the only move that made sense.

However, I think that Matt Rhule needs to reshuffle the staff to add a quarterbacks coach. That’s easier said than done since that hire might want the title of passing-game coordinator or co-offensive coordinator, but with two Elite-11 freshmen at quarterback, development will be the key to success, so Nebraska has to get it right, which means making a move to add a real quarterback coach this offseason.

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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