A Star-Studded Recruiting Weekend For Nebraska Football
Matt Rhule and his staff are bringing some of the most coveted prospects in the country into Lincoln next week into the Nebraska football program. What is their status as recruits, and what are some of the projections that they have received towards other schools? We analyze their likelihood to commit to the program, as well as how each recruit will fit into the current roster at Nebraska.
A Familiar Face At Quarterback
As the number one quarterback in the 2024 class, Dylan Raiola has been a major target of the Nebraska football program for the past several months. Expect a hard push for the prospect by Rhule and his staff on this visit weekend. Another person to watch closely in his recruitment is his uncle Donovan Raiola. As the current offensive line coach for the Cornhuskers, he knows how to sell him on Nebraska and how he would fit into Marcus Satterfield’s offense alongside Jeff Sims. In addition to this, he can potentially help develop Dylan under his own offensive line. For good measure, his father Dominic was an All-American center at the school.
What Nebraska Would Get: If Nebraska somehow landed Dylan Raiola, it would provide a major spark to the program not seen since the late 1990s. Not only would recruits be lining up to play for him, but Rhule and Donovan Raiola would breathe a sigh of relief as they would have an excellent quarterback in the fold for 2024 alongside Sims. But this doesn’t look as though this will be a possibility as of now. According to 247 Sports, USC is in the lead in the recruitment with 55.6%, while Nebraska is behind them at a 33.3%.
Read more about Dylan Raiola here: https://lastwordonsports.com/collegefootball/2023/02/16/will-the-huskers-land-dylan-raiola/
Another Regional Offensive Line Prospect
The first regional recruit on Nebraska’s visit list goes to Iowa’s Grant Brix. As a four-star offensive tackle and the number 122 player in the 2024 recruiting class, the Logan Magnolia product is one of the hottest prospects in the Midwest. With offers from most of the Big Ten as well as premier colleges outside of the region, Nebraska may be in a tough position with this prospect. As of now though his recruitment is taking a Midwestern turn. According to On3, Kansas State leads his recruitment with 30.9%. But, Nebraska seems to be closing the gap as they are just behind them with a 21.7%.
What Nebraska Would Get: As a 6-6 270 pound offensive lineman, Brix would help shore up depth in the Cornhusker’s offensive line room and give offensive line coach Donovan Raiola someone to work with alongside veterans like Bryce Benhart, Ethan Piper and Teddy Prochazka. Because of this, I would watch out for Brix’s name as a candidate for major playing time down the line.
The Need for Speed
From the wide receiver ranks, Nebraska brings in an elite prospect in Missouri’s Ryan Wingo. As a five-star wide receiver for St. Louis University, he caught 41 receptions for 785 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns in his junior season. Furthermore, Wingo is also elite in track as he ran a 10.55 in the 100-meter dash as a sophomore. Now as a senior, he has over 40 Power Five offers from programs all around the country. As of now, the ones that factor in his recruitment appear to be Tennessee with a 46.3%, while Notre Dame is close behind with a 38.8%.
What Nebraska Would Get: If the Nebraska football program obtained a commitment from Wingo, it would solidify him as a legitimate contender for early playing time in the Cornhuskers receiving corps. On the other hand, he would act as their receiving threat in the absence of Trey Palmer to the NFL Draft. But can he live up to those expectations right away with the Huskers?
Read more about Trey Palmer here: https://lastwordonsports.com/collegefootball/2023/03/11/thoughts-on-the-three-cornhuskers-at-the-nfl-combine/
Local Tight End Gaining Momentum Nationally
As a prospect from a small town in Nebraska, Carter Nelson isn’t the type of prospect that teams put on their radar as a priority. However, Nelson makes a strong case for his offer list of top programs like Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. This is because the junior from Ainsworth High School is his team’s leading receiver with 525 yards and 11 touchdowns on eight total receptions. Furthermore, he excelled at other positions as well. As a quarterback, he threw for 663 yards and 15 touchdowns on 83 attempts. This versatility could benefit any program that has offered him. According to On3, the Cornhuskers are an active leader in his recruitment with a 39.2%. Because of this, Kansas State is struggling with a 11.8%.
What Nebraska Would Get: Besides getting a top regional prospect in Nelson, the Cornhuskers would supplement their tight end room with an explosive playmaker beside Arik Gilbert. Furthermore, the Huskers would also add a playmaker that could hopefully replace Travis Vokolek and his talents. The only challenge that Nelson faces is taking his talents to a bigger stage like Nebraska. Can he develop and take the reigns or does he have to redshirt for the Cornhuskers?
Can Nebraska Land an Elite Defensive Lineman?
Rounding out the list of players who could make a huge impact for the Nebraska football program is five-star defensive lineman Williams Nwaneri. As the number one player in the state of Missouri, he has a lot of talent that schools around the country would benefit from. Over his sophomore and junior seasons, he racked up 99 tackles and 12 tackles for a loss along with 31 hurries and 17 tackles for loss. But does Nebraska even have a chance with this prospect? They haven’t locked up a five-star talent in decades, and their lack of recent success is unattractive to recruits. What makes this even more interesting is that Nebraska’s rival Oklahoma leads his recruitment. According to On3, the school has a 77.5% chance to land him. But can Nebraska keep it interesting on visit day?
What Nebraska Would Get: If Nwaneri pledged for the Cornhuskers, the defensive line room would land an impact player that could potentially play right away. While Tony White has proven that he can recruit well with both Princewill Umanmielien and Cameron Lenhardt in the fold, Nwaneri is considerably more talented than both of those prospects. On any other side, he would be a headache that the Huskers would have to reckon with. Can Matt Rhule and defensive coordinator Tony White put an end to his recruitment next week?
Photo courtesy: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports