Do we take a transfer QB

Yesterday we went over where we are so far in the season, and the numerous reasons we are 3-3 (for better or worse). One of the biggest reasons we are where we are right now is due to QB play. The transfer QB we brought in to start was the active leader in turnovers for FBS players. And our coach didn’t believe it:

I talked to Satterfield and Coach Rhule during the spring, and they mentioned to me how Sims had less interceptions every year while at Georgia Tech, and had over 50% of them his true freshman year where he may not have been ready. Further, they talked about how “we haven’t see that while here”. I was skeptical, I knew of Sims as an elite running QB but mediocre throwing the ball. The two practices I witnessed in the spring I started to see what they were talking about. Minimal bad throws, taking care of the ball, I was sold.

But then the Minnesota and Colorado game happened. Sims throws an INT to end the first half of our first game that we just needed some points. He just starts completely dropping snaps against Colorado, and eventually he is responsible for 7 turnovers in his first 6 quarters of football for the Cornhuskers. It just wasn’t meant to be.

Insert Henrich Haarberg who starts against Northern Illinois, and we have won 3 of our last 4 games and the reality of the situation is that he just isn’t losing games for us like Jeff Sims was. We should be 4-2. Our defense is playing lights out, but our offense turning the ball over those first two games had us in a bad spot.

Here’s the deal on Haarberg… I think he’s done a remarkable job at not losing us games, but for me it’s unfortunate that we are in a spot we are just having to play a QB that won’t lose for us. Nebraska is a big enough name in college football that we can get QBs that will win games for you. The fact we are in this situation means the staff really messed up with who they brought in. Allow me to give a Rhule quote that I believe in:

While Rhule is talking about position changes there, I think that’s so important as it relates to transfers. The biggest predictor on how a player is going to do is how they’ve done against FBS teams prior. We can take a gamble on good FCS players like Kolarevic, or sit there and think that since Alabama wanted Kaine Williams we should want him to and take their backups, but for me I need to see it. With Sims we saw it, the staff saw it, but they said “we can make him something different.” That just didn’t work.

I bring up “should we bring in a transfer QB” because i’ve received a ton of mixed reviews. I was at a gathering this past weekend where everyone said “absolutely you do!” But then on certain message boards you have people that say they’ve heard the staff isn’t looking for an immediate guy. For me, with Haarberg starting the rest of the year (barring injury), you are going to lose Sims and/or Purdy for sure for 2024. You bring in Kaelin, will keep Haarberg, but this staff wants at least 4 scholarship QBs. You need to be developing someone behind Haarberg. I would take another guy like Sims or Thompson, that has starting experience elsewhere. The schedule gets much tougher next year and “just don’t lose games” won’t cut it against UCLA, USC, Ohio State, and others.

But the big name to keep an eye on that everyone is thinking may come our way is Lincoln Kienholz from South Dakota who is a true freshman at Ohio State:

But here’s my thing with that… go back up to that Rhule video, and you are again hoping he is something rather than seeing it. Further, Ohio State theoretically gave him a massive NIL deal, and if they really wanted him around they would keep him for sure. I have no problem if you bring him in as a Chubba Purdy type transfer, where you start developing him to be your next starter after Haarberg or your next transfer.

I think you have to keep Haarberg, bring in Kaelin, grab a Kienholz, and get an instant impact transfer guy there as well. Our position room just is not as good as it should be right now there.

But let’s circle it back to positive for the rest of this season. As many people forget, Haarberg basically was just sent down to the scout team while he was here under Frost and got minimal coaching. There are 6 games left, what if all of a sudden he goes from a 52% passer to closer to 60%? What if all of a sudden when we start beating teams we go from 300 total yards to 400+ and not just relying on our defense? That’s possible.

Let’s see how he progresses from here.

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29 thoughts on “Do we take a transfer QB

  1. I will always claim from the tape and film and everything I saw CT was the better of the two guys we had. The idea that well, JS would run better and we were moving in that direction contradicts the rectruitment of Kaelin. HCMR simply made his first big error with that decision and will have to live with it.
    As far as HH is concerned, the one thing about him as hes going to get better. JS is where he is going to be, but with HH……he hasnt peaked yet. So there is some hope the HH we see the next 2 years is much better. Maybe not, but theres a chance.
    It will def be interesing to see if they take one. I dont think they need to as it stands today, but as you mentioned theres a good chance we lose Sims, Chubby, heck maybe both. So you have to look at that.

    1. “I will always claim from the tape and film and everything I saw CT was the better of the two guys we had. The idea that well, JS would run better and we were moving in that direction contradicts the rectruitment of Kaelin. HCMR simply made his first big error with that decision and will have to live with it.”

      Why does everyone assume that CT was going to stick around for an open QB competition in his last year of college football? Not to mention, dude was coming off a shoulder injury/surgery, where he wasn’t able to do anything all offseason/spring. He had to have known he was going to be behind heading into fall camp. The coaches NEEDED to bring in a transfer QB – no way they could gamble on CT out of the blocks, with also looking at what we had as backups last year.

      1. Kind of went into that, but the reason he left was because he wasn’t guaranteed a starting spot. It was his last year of college football, so that’s why he took off. I don’t blame Thompson and I certainly don’t blame Rhule.

    2. I don’t think Thompson would have been able to do anything in this offense. We have zero receivers and our OL can’t pass block for anything. I think Rhule knew that and knew we needed a running threat at QB, and Thompson simply can’t run the football. I think it’s pretty telling that he was ran out of Texas and then when he left Nebraska no Power 5 teams wanted him.

      The real thing that happened though is Thompson wanted a guarantee he was the starter and Rhule told him he couldn’t do that because he hasn’t even seen him practice. I don’t blame Rhule for that. I don’t think the big error was moving on from Thompson, but who he moved on with.

  2. As a long term prospect, I don’t know if Haarberg will be more than a safe route guy. Nothing personal, dude obviously works hard and is a gamer. While I believe anyone can improve, I just think he has passing limitations that won’t be coachable.

    As far as this year goes, he may be what we need given the rest of our roster. To get to a bowl, I think we basically just need to be Iowa this year. Play good defense, don’t turn the ball over, and make a few plays on offense to beat the mediocre teams.

    The next few years at QB…just have no clue how that will pan out.

    1. I’m leaning your way for sure on that. I just don’t want to call him a finished product. But for me, it’s hard to see that he will get markedly better these last 6 games against some much better defenses.

      If we can somehow get to a bowl game, Rhule can preach “they haven’t done that here since 2016, and i’m a year ahead of my normal schedule.”

  3. And I guess some of my feelings above have a lot to do with Kealin. Im assuming he is the real deal and can play at some point next year as the season goes on. I may be putting too much faith in that

    1. I think he can be the real deal, generally there’s some at least some pretty good talent when invited to elite 11.

      I’d say it’s tough to project that a Freshman will be ready to play next year though while still in HS.

      1. Even some highly recruited players/can’t miss prospects don’t pan out at the next level for whatever reason. We won’t be sure if he’ll even be a starter for us down the road. Not to say I don’t think he can, I think he will be eventually, we just don’t know.
      2. Hard for any Freshman to step into that role successfully.

      It’d be great if he was a stud and he did, but a lot of variables to project at this point, as well as not knowing what the pieces would look like around him next year.

    2. I worry about Kaelin a little bit. He has arm talent, but I just always get a little concerned with guys that just have loaded talent around them and make their way on Power 5 rosters. Guys like Tristan Gebbia are great when they are throwing to Johnson Jr, Holmes, etc. Kaelin has two WRs that had offers from USC and Tennessee. But he was also an Elite 11 guy, so he’s a take all day long.

  4. Here is the big question, is HH a P5 QB or not? Right now I would say no, but if Rhule can figure out a way to improve his passing ability, next Spring and Summer, then maybe he could be. Seriously, he could have had 3 or 4 picks against Illinois if they hadn’t dropped some of his passes.

    Honestly, NU has to bring in 1 quality P5 recruit at QB each year. If they transfer portal out after a year or two, then so be it as that’s the way things work these days.

    1. My thing is I think he would be a great “if your starter gets hurt P5 QB”. Comes in and doesn’t lose the game for you, can work within the structure of the offense, and helps you lean on your defense.

      I’m in the camp you have to bring in a starting P5 QB with experience. I don’t think you can solely get the backup from Ohio State. You have to bring in a guy for one year and let Haarberg earn it again IMO.

  5. I’m interested to see how HH does after this bye week against NW. I do think these last 6 games should go a long way toward helping the coaches know what they need to get for next season…. he seems to be showing some signs of improvement in some areas and getting a little more comfortable overall. But a lot of room for improvement still. Will be show steady signs of improvement in the next 6 games, or will he seem to peak?

    1. I agree. As I said above, I think Haarberg right now is absolutely that dude that can step in and help when the starter goes down. But is he that guy you roll into a season with and a gamechanger that can win you games? Not so sure about that right now.

      I’m looking forward to these next 6 games for sure.

  6. So – the romantic in me really would love to see us recruit a HS QB and develop them into a high performer. Probably because Husker history has had a lot of them – Gill, Frazier, Armstrong, Gdowski, Ganz, McCant, etc.

    But does QB development even matter anymore given the high percentage of transfer starters? It seems that in the brave new world of NIL – QB is the first position on the field to become a true ‘free agent’.

    1. I think it’s still very important and preferred. While you can hit on a very good transfer QB, you don’t know what QBs will be in the portal in any given year, let alone what QB will actually choose to come to play for you.

      If some QBs don’t pan out or your room is very young, yeah portal can be great for that. But I’d rather have a few high quality guys who’ve been learning my system for years, and then hit the portal if that doesn’t work.

      I feel like case in point this year, we got a portal guy to take over, but hasn’t really panned out as we hoped but we’re stuck because we have a new staff and they haven’t built up their QB room yet

    2. If I were coach, i’d grab two HS QBs (staff is basically doing that with Kaelin and then the Ohio State backup if that happens) and develop those two in my 2024 class. I go out and grab a starting QB from a different P5 to get you through 2024 season. You tell Sims and/or Purdy we don’t need you, at least one of them has to take off. And you hope you can hang on to Haarberg.

  7. Agree with pretty much everything here. We’ll need at least one portal guy as I don’t see both Sims and or Purdy staying after the end of this year. If Lincoln Kienholz comes our way the QB room starts to look pretty damn good next year. I’ll just say don’t sleep on Haarberg. I think his ceiling is higher than most think and he has great leadership skills. It’s going to take a major effort to unseat him from the starting job imo.

  8. WTF is going on? Just lost “3” starters on the Online in one freaking game. I know the line has been below average but this is ridiculous. Also Scott got knocked up as well in the game.

  9. SSO, Who is coaching the QBs? Rhule originally wanted at OC/QB coach, can’t remember the name
    With the recruitment of Kaelin, who will develop him and the transfers? Is Satterfield up to that task?

  10. Also it looks like Carlon Jones maybe gone as well. N2FL had Jones as #2 on his list and Lacy as #4. That’s two big recruits NU has lost in the last few weeks. That isn’t a good trend. Not sure what’s going on with recruiting.

  11. As far as QB, I appreciate everything HH has done. In some ways he is just as prone to turnovers as Sims. Unless he makes substantial improvements next Spring and Summer I just don’t see him as a reliable P5 starter. I believe they need to bring in significant competition this Spring at QB (at least 2). I would let Sims and Purdy go to the portal. The schedule next year is going to be much tougher than this year.

  12. We need 2 portal QBs and a new offensive coordinator, qb coach and likely more offensive assistants. Then we have to pad that with 2 portal WRs and a LT who can step in immediately. I’m getting more than a bit nervous with Rhule looking to add 25-30 freshman and none looking like they can come in and help right away at those spots. We cant add much in the portal unless the floodgates open and half this roster was brought in by this staff so its not a great sign.

  13. The entire QB room needs replaced. For God’s sake please find “1” average portal QB for next year. NU has the worst QB room in all of college football. IMHO, I would get rid of Satterfield as well but that likely won’t happen. It’s been a complete waste of a good defense with such an inept offense. Jesus Christ they are averaging 4 turnovers a game. No reason for losing to Maryland today. In all honesty it’s likely they go 5-7 and no bowl game again. They have played one of the weakest schedules in P5 and still won’t get to 6 wins.

  14. Since SSO has stopped doing pregame posts, I will just add to the last post. It looks like it’s Purdy or Sims as QB for Wisc. If Purdy is healthy enough to play I would start him. Still believe this will be a very difficult game to win although Wisc has had its problems as well. NU hasn’t won at Wisc since 1966. As usual the key to this game will be turnovers and NU has shown no improvement at all in giving away the ball. To have a chance to win, NU has must limit turnovers to 2 or less and probably will need a TD from Special Teams or the Defense as well.

  15. Another punch in the gut loss at Wisc. NU doesn’t play complimentary football in may cases. When the defense does well, the offense sucks and when the offense actually plays well (not often) the defense fails to deliver. Purdy actually looked like a D1 QB for a change, however, some of the play calling was not good at times. The game changed when NU went for 4th and 1 at the Wisc 36 and didn’t make it. Wisc followed this with a TD drive making it 14-7 and it was game on after that. NU’s defense was average at best and they continue to have major problems on key 3rd down plays which has been the case the last 3 games. Not sure what NU was thinking with 1:35 to go and 3 timeouts left at the Wisc 26. NU let 20 seconds run off the clock before calling a timeout. They could have run at least 2 more plays for a go ahead TD but for some strange reason Rhule played for a game tying FG. NU has now lost 7 straight games in OT and hasn’t made “1” first down in any of those OT’s. That is flat out ridiculous and embarrassing.

    So here we are 5-6 and have to beat Iowa to get to a bowl game. Considering Iowa rarely beats itself and NU finds ways to lose most of the time, I don’t like NU’s chances on Friday. NU will have to play a nearly flawless game to win. Even if the Offense and Defense cancel each other out for both sides, that means it comes down to Special Teams. Iowa has much better Special Teams than NU so that may end up being what leads to an Iowa win in the end unfortunately. If NU doesn’t get to a bowl game this will up being a very frustrating season just like the Frost years. They were 5-3 with 4 games to go and had one of the easiest schedules to win 6 games.

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