Just wanted to roll through some things i’ve been talking about with other people and give thoughts on them. The first one is most important in my opinion for when the sky inevitably falls this spring.
Rhule has a lot of work to do in-state for 2024
Much like with Frost’s first 2018 class, Rhule got a little lucky that the best player in the state was going to come to Nebraska no matter what. There are a lot of similarities between Jurgens and Coleman when it comes to recruiting, but that was some early momentum that Rhule and his staff needed.
With that said, the first full year class for Rhule is much different than what Frost had. People forget that Nebraska was just one year removed from a 9 win season and a bowl game, even a top 10 ranking at one point. In comes Scott Frost coming off a 13-0 season, college coach of the year, and you had multiple outlets saying that Frost was worth at least 1-2 wins and a bowl game was inevitable year 1. Frost capitalized on that momentum and grabbed the top 5 recruits in the state for 2019 with Henrich, Hickman, Nelson, Snodgrass, and Piper.
But Rhule has an issue. He isn’t one year removed from a bowl game, we are 6 seasons removed. He’s not coming off 13-0, he’s coming off getting fired. And on top of that the class has way more national attention in it with guys like Kaelin getting a Florida State offer as a freshman, Alabama offering a TE from here, Bell West having 2 WRs with multiple P5 offers, and a couple OL we would have to beat out top programs for.
You see, in-state prospects have essentially shifted from “ok we believe it will happen” to “you gotta show us now, we’ve been burned with two straight coaching staffs.” It reminds me a bit of the Clester Johnson recruiting saga with his son Keagan. Everyone basically just thought Clester was a Husker hater for sending his kid to Iowa. But the truth really was that he didn’t think things were going well down in Lincoln, and when you are trying to choose where to send your son for 4 years, if you already have 3 seasons of pretty terrible football to gauge what’s happening, it can make the decision easy. Now, you can argue he picked Iowa and that was awful too, but the reality of the situation i’m getting at is for the majority of these kids’ football careers that Rhule is recruiting, they probably have only seen Nebraska be good 1 year, and that was 7 years ago.
Bookmark this page, Rhule is going to lose a couple in-state guys for sure. It’s going to take some time. It has nothing to do with people not buying what he’s selling, it has everything to do with Nebraska looking like Bitcoin, the price has plummeted and no one wants to buy them until there’s some stability. Rhule has had an uphill battle since he got here with rebuilding relationships, so in-state recruits going elsewhere is more a reflection of what he inherited and not the job he is or isn’t doing.
Time to go out on a limb like when I kept telling you all to quit worrying, and that Rhule would be our coach, Raiola will be a Husker
So, going back to Rhule needing some help. I predict he will get it with the commitment of Dylan Raiola in this class. There’s some very good vibes going right now fresh off his visit to Lincoln this past weekend. Quite frankly, in my opinion the only hold up is what i’ve mentioned up in the previous paragraphs. What Rhule and Satterfield are telling them are great, but is that what it’s going to look like? I believe my eyes, not my ears, and the Raiola’s are the same way.
That will catapult this class into close to a top 15 situation nationally which I believe is Nebraska’s ceiling for recruiting. Even if Raiola commits elsewhere initially, don’t worry, if we get to a bowl game we can flip the kid. They are very excited to have the ability to play for family and turn around the program that his dad played for. I’ll leave it at that.
Kaelin will commit before Raiola and people will try to get you nervous
Here’s another shot i’m calling… the Bell West QB will commit before Raiola does and every message board with trolls and Twitter will tell you how “you better make sure you get Raiola now!”
Listen, that’s how this was going to work out anyway. This staff is going to wait for Raiola to make his decision before they get anyone else on board, that’s just how it works with players that were #1 overall in the country (I used ‘were’ get off me). But the Bell West QB is also going to want to make it seem that his decision to go elsewhere wasn’t due to the Huskers getting a different QB.
Tell everyone to relax. Even if we lost Kaelin early, then Raiola chooses another school, we have plenty of options. We can flip the Bell West kid, we can flip Raiola. Just tell people to relax.
Bell West QB won’t be the best QB from the state in 2024
I’m just also going to throw this out there… while Kaelin is an unbelievable recruit, I think there’s some QBs in this state that will end up having better college careers than him. That’s not a knock on what he’s capable of, that is me just saying there’s some really good QBs that are somewhat being afterthoughts.
For me, there are Division 1 weapons everywhere at Bell West, so the QB there should be good. And their coach does a great job recruiting guys like Kaelin who are elite at the high school level getting the ball to those guys. But guys like Zane Flores looked elite with non D1 skill level players around them. That’s the difference for me. The comparison i’d make is a Tristan Gebbia, who was playing at Calabasas with all sorts of athletes everywhere. While the physical stature is different, I think we are starting to see that once guys like Gebbia were on a level playing field it got much more difficult.
Join us tomorrow when we go over some of the S&C stuff we’ve been looking at, NIL finally evening out with 1890 actually trying, and I give a little Hoiberg question.
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