We went over the transfers on Monday… now we will get into grading each position group and how the new staff did addressing the needs.
Jeff Sims – Georgia Tech Transfer
Nebraska has a ton of scholarship guys coming back in this room, but we are hurting here in my opinion. Casey Thompson won’t be 100% this spring, Purdy looked awful when we put him in there this fall, Smothers couldn’t beat him out, and Torres/Haarberg i’ve seen nothing from. If there’s one thing that makes this even more difficult, it is what is this staff going to lean on for a starter. If they need someone who can throw, you have Thompson, but you sacrifice running/athleticism. If they wanted a bigger QB who could run, they needed to go to the portal and they found one in Sims. However, as I said in my portal talk, first thing texted to me was “looks like you guys won’t be throwing this year.” He’s pretty rough when it comes to passing the ball, but how much of that will be necessary? Add that to the fact that the Arkansas transfer QB is basically the same situation, and it’s pretty evident that they are wanting athletes who have a main ability to run, and we will get by with throwing later.
Grade and Summary: (B) Look, Nebraska needed something in the portal. We got a decent one, but it’s not like we grabbed an Adrian Martinez or someone else in my opinion. We will see how it comes to fruition.
Kwinten Ives – Palmyra, NJ – offers: UConn, Temple
Ives comes to us as someone that Barthel was recruiting while he was at UConn. I have to admit, there leaves a little bit to be desired on this one for me as it feels like we were just filling up a spot. But with that said, there are a couple things that make me “less worried” here. First, good RBs are everywhere, so even if i’m not enamored he could be good, especially if our OL does what Rhule wants it to. Second, we have decent depth coming back if Ajay Allen is healthy and stays, Gabe Ervin Jr, these northeast guys have to love Rahmir Johnson. We have options in my opinion, but this one i’m not sure will help us out right away.
Grade and Summary: (C) Look, it’s tough during a transition. Part of me almost thinks we should have waited and just left a scholarship open. But these first two years i’m trusting the coaches.
Wide Receiver (5)
Malachi Coleman – Lincoln, NE – offers: Georgia, Michigan, USC
The gem of the class and highest ranked recruit for the 2023 commitments was a kid that lives 15 minutes from Memorial Stadium. It was important for them to secure him even though it was very unlikely he would leave. He is everything Matt Rhule looks for in recruits, fast track speed. But this time Coleman has some football accolades to back it up. Now, I will be interested to see how he does with some competition and not being “the man” right away, but this was a great get.
Jaidyn Doss – Peculiar, MO – offers: Michigan, Oregon
We were able to keep Jaidyn Doss in the mix as he committed to the old staff and Mickey Joseph. Further, he is from the Kansas City area which is a rich area for high school recruits that no one has been able to plant their flag in. Ryan Held did an ok job, John Garrison did an ok job, but Doss could go a long way to helping us get our name back out there. Doss is also an electric return man which could have him factoring into playing time as early as 2023 for us. His first couple highlights will show you that, and Foley has already spoken to him about getting on the field for us there.
Brice Turner – Bay City, TX – offers: Prairie View A&M
This is one of those where you tilt your head a bit. Zero FBS offers, but there are some really intriguing things here. First, if you think Coleman is fast, this kid would absolutely dust him. He runs a 10.25 100 and a sub 21 200. That’s not quite Tyreek Hill speed, but it’s the fastest thing we’ve ever had committed around here. He was a huge target for the Nebraska track team, and that squad has to be thanking Alberts everyday that he brought Rhule on board, because their 4×100 just became legit contenders for All-American status.
Jaylen Lloyd – Omaha, NE – offers: mostly track offers and big time at that
Let’s stick with the track thing, Nebraska was all over this kid to come run down in Lincoln as he triple jumps over 50 feet and runs the 100 meter dash in 10.5. What will be intriguing is how these track guys fit into football. At least one of them will just make a move to the track, but I like the idea from Rhule for sure.
Josh Fleeks – Baylor Transfer
We went over this guy in our transfer article… but Rhule has to like getting an older guy that has “been there done that” in FBS. Let’s see how he does getting off his injury from 2021.
Grade and Summary: (A) Wide Receiver still has some work to do, but it was a position that needed serious upgrades. Coleman, Doss, Fleeks, those are great gets. Lloyd and Turner are exactly what Rhule has been looking for and actually remind me a bit of the 2019 OL class where Frost and his team decided to just get tall/athletic OL and try and develop them. If we get Turner or Lloyd to contribute on the field in the next couple years, things are looking way up for us.
Offensive Line (6)
Gunnar Gottula – Lincoln, NE – offers: Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State
Don’t let the offers fool you, this is quite the get. Most of the time when schools see a Lincoln kid committed to Nebraska they don’t even try anymore. A four star according to Rivals, the 6’5 300 pound Gottula may have the easiest path to playing for us out of all the high school guys.
Brock Knutson – Scottsbluff, NE – offers: Colorado State, Arizona State
I’m a bit confused on this kid, not about the offer, I think you offer a kid like this all day with a 6’7 300 pound frame. What i’m confused about is how is this kid going to do once he’s not the biggest kid on the field going against Class B players? We saw how long it has taken Nash Hutmacher to do it, and he’s still not there yet. But one things for sure, Knutson is the massive human Rhule mentioned he needs to move people off the ball.
Sam Sledge – Omaha, NE – commit: Kansas, Miami (OH)
Sledge is a legacy that committed from Creighton Prep. Not entirely sure what to think about this commit either, but again I have no problem with the offer. This will be one where i’ll be curious to see how Rhule gets him going with technique and how Campbell gets him going in the weight room.
Mason Goldman – Gretna, NE – offers: Arizona State, Kansas State
I am pumped for this offer. That dude had an unreal motor and at 6’5 260 he has the frame to develop into what our staff wants. The kid plays with extremely good leverage and has great football instincts. I loved him on both sides of the ball, but liked him a little more on the defensive side. Will be curious if he ends up over there.
Jason Maciejczak – Pierre, SD – offers: North Dakota
So this one may dictate a bit what we do with Goldman. This kid was previously committed to North Dakota, and at 320 pounds it’s really interesting to see how well he moves. If I had to bet, I think he is better suited on offense giving room for a more athletic Goldman to get on the defensive side to help out.
Ben Scott – Arizona State transfer
Last but not least is a guy that will come in and add immediate starting possibilities, I fully expect him to be at center or tackle in 2023 depending on where we are struggling to find someone. My gut would be center right now. 28 starts at a Power 5 school heading our way? Yes please!
Grade and Summary: (B+) Nebraska needed help offensively and they went and got it both with high school and in the portal. While I would have liked to see a bit more star power, I do think our local players are underrated. Scott is a massive pickup, Gottula you take all day, I love the kid from South Dakota. Knutson and Sledge i’m curious to see how they do at this level. Goldman let’s see where they slot him. But this was a well put together class.
I think this staff did a great job putting this together. They had to get a transfer QB, got one. RB was a bit full. WR we brought some good players in. OL I like what we did. We have to focus on getting a grad transfer TE in, we are hurting bad there. We probably are going to take a look at another WR or OL grad transfer.
But going back to Rhule’s philosophy, if we can get one of those track guys at WR to play some meaningful snaps for us in the next couple years, that gives me a ton of optimism for how Rhule is trying to build this. Further, the OL is going to intrigue me as well. For years we’ve had zero development, and this line (save Gottula and Scott) are the kinds of guys that are going to need 2-3 years to develop. Can Rhule do that? If he can develop the OL and get the track speed helping him on the football field, our QB and RB situation will look much better than it has in the past.
Tomorrow we will go over the defense!
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