The Second Wave of Commits

We wrote an article about just how curious we were with the recruiting strategy of Rhule after so many non-ranked kids committed here:

Rhule and staff then held their second big official visit weekend following camps the second week of June. We go over those commits here and our thoughts (in order of commitment)

Dae’Vonn Hall – Bellevue West – WR – The 6’3″ 190 pound WR who catches balls from our 2024 QB commit is a top end speedster that had 62 catches for 972 yards and 11 touchdowns last year. While he had a bit of the dropsies last year, but he was being courted by schools such as Tennessee and others.

Isaiah McMorris – Bellevue West – WR – The third Bellevue West commit to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. McMorris transferred to Bell West from Millard North, and is related to Ahman Green and Niles Paul. More of a slot receiver, McMorris can get to his top end speed faster than Hall, and reminds me a bit of Taylor Martinez in that regard. McMorris had 90 catches for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns. McMorris had offers from USC amongst others.

Rex Guthrie – Littleton, Colorado – S – Much like some of the commits in the previous article, Guthrie was a relative unknown and burst onto the scene June 15th after camping with Nebraska and gaining an offer. At 6’1″ and 205 pounds he had 117 tackles and 3 interceptions as a junior. He had made it to Wyoming for a camp as well, before camping a week later at Nebraska.

Kewan Lacy – Lancaster, Texas – RB – Nebraska needed a young RB in this class in the worst way in my opinion, and they found an absolute stud with Lacy. Lacy took official visits to Baylor and Arizona State before heading to Nebraska. But many thought he was Ole Miss bound, even leading to Rhule tweeting this:

Lacy battled injuries for much of his junior year, but says he is fully healthy now. This is a very good get for the Huskers out of Texas.

Quinn Clark – Bozeman, MT – WR – If the last name sounds familiar it’s because there’s millions of Clarks… joking, it’s because his dad is Ken Clark who played at Nebraska. Clark is another player that received an offer after an outstanding camp. As a junior, Clark had 58 receptions for 918 yards and 15 touchdowns. Things are always tough when I look at film from Montana, South Dakota, or Wyoming because the talent is very few and far between there. This one will be interesting to watch, as we brought in some extremely talented WRs in 2023 and of course what we have for 2024.

Carter Nelson – Ainsworth, Nebraska – TE – The one everyone said was Georgia bound but I got it right telling people not to worry.

Nelson is the #1 ranked recruit in Nebraska’s class and Rhule and the staff went head to head with big time programs to gain his commitment. Nelson has high jumped 7’0″ as a sophomore to get on the national map and move him to a top 100 player nationally. He did it all for Ainsworth as he played QB (threw for 663 yards and 15 touchdowns) and also played receiver (525 yards receiving 11 touchdowns). He also had 761 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns. Much like what we said with Clark and Montana, when you are playing at those lower levels you want to see production, and Nelson did that and then some. He was hampered this spring by an ankle injury.

Carlon Jones – Bay City, Texas – DL – Carlon Jones is the latest commit letting people know yesterday he plans to be in Lincoln for the 2024 season. Jones has a teammate Brice Turner who is a WR joining Nebraska currently. At 6’4″ and 260 pounds he fills a major need in this recruiting class along the DL and joins Ashton Murphy from Elkhorn South. Jones is nearly a 4 star on every site (he’s a 3 star) but he is a stud.

Summary:
A much different haul than what we saw with our previous post. Stud WRs, stud TE, stud RB, and a defensive lineman voted preseason player of the year in the state of Texas. That brings Nebraska to 22 commits, which is the 4th most in the country behind Stanford (26), Michigan (24), and Minnesota (23) when I can’t even figure out how they were getting to 15 once spring was over due to how many guys were on scholarship, as Nebraska only has 8 seniors on scholarship. Roster management will again be a topic this offseason.

According to Rivals (didn’t use On3 because they have USC and UCLA a part of B1G rankings already), Nebraska is 13th nationally in recruiting and 4th in the B1G. However, that is mostly volume based, as Nebraska currently sits 11th in average star ranking in the B1G. Just a very odd situation, and on the message boards you can tell who likes Rhule as a coach as they will probably quote the former, and who isn’t sold yet or doesn’t like him as they will quote the latter. Pyform certainly would have helped our ranking, and if Brix comes here he WILL help our ranking.

All in all I really like how this class shaped up. While there are some things I personally would have done differently (Pyform article linked), Rhule and his staff brought in some heavy-hitters at positions of need. They also took undervalued players with chips on their shoulder, so it’s just weird to me they got those guys so early. Typically that’s more of a December thing. That doesn’t matter to me much as we will soon settle back to the 30th or so ranking by the time signing day comes, and that’s right where we typically are.

What’s left?
Nebraska still needs an edge rusher and an offensive tackle for sure. Brix will hopefully be on board and help us at OT but the edge spot is still up in the air. That would take us to 24, and we may take one or two more after that that are “can’t say no to” guys. Now the staff turns their focus onto building relationships for 2025, and I couldn’t be more excited to see what they can build there, especially if we get to a bowl game.

Second article up as I didn’t want it to steal the thunder of these commits:

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6 thoughts on “The Second Wave of Commits

  1. I do like what Rhule is doing with recruiting. Its not even July and the class is almost full and it seems like they made recruiting Nebraska kids a priority to them. However, I will be interested to see if the trend continues. Didn’t the old staff talk about keeping Nebraska kids here? Was it 2019 maybe when they signed most of the local kids like Rhule did this year but for reasons you have pointed out in other posts, it seemed to fade pretty quick.

    1. Yep, I think I referenced it in the “in state recruiting turnaround” thread that 2019 he got all of the top 5, then lost one of the top 3 in 2020, 2 of the top 3 in 2021, and all of the top 4 in 2022. I feel like Rhule was able to get these recruits from hard work and diligence as opposed to Frost getting them on momentum from UCF which as you referenced faded fast.

  2. Great breakdown! I feel like this class is the result of Rhule and Co. having to break back into college. A lot of these guys have been talking to coaches for years (Raiola was offered by Smart two years before he ever spoke to Rhule), and catching up on those relationships is probably even more difficult than catching up on scouting/roster planning.

    I’ll be really interested to see what the ’25 and ’26 classes look like. If they’re full of development guys again that would be a much bigger cause for worry than this year’s.

    1. For sure, i’m excited to see what 2025 brings. They are doing such a good job communicating. To your point about how long Smart had been talking to Raiola, Rhule was playing catch up with basically every recruit. And he is still going to pull in a top 30 class. I am excited to see where it goes. They seem to be doing all the right things.

  3. I like your point that getting the class filled out now will give the staff to start working on the 25 class. They already have a fight for the Westside linebacker (Jones) and a number of others that will require a lot of attention. To scrambling late in the cycle for this class should allow them to work on those relationships.

    1. I think they are ready for the fight with the Westside LB. They already have Vermoss from Millard North and Terry from Omaha North committed for 2025, i’m excited to see what they can do with Jones with time to operate and who they uncover in-state this fall (let alone for Texas and other states).

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