Where Does Each Nebraska Quarterback Stand In The Offense?

Nebraska quarterback

Nebraska added another talented quarterback to its roster in Northwestern College’s Jalyn Gramstad. Where does the reigning NAIA player of the year fit into NU’s quarterback room? Let’s take a look.

 Dylan Raiola

Before he ever set foot in Memorial Stadium, the former five-star prospect looked like a veteran. On the opening drive of the program’s Spring game,  Raiola was able to lead the Red Team on a 78-yard drive towards the end-zone. This was capped off with a 16-yard completion to fullback Janiran Bonner. Although he had an interception which stalled his next drive, he came back strong in the second quarter. This was shown when he connected with sophomore wide receiver Jaylen Lloyd for his second touchdown. Are these plays enough for offensive coordinator Glenn Thomas to give him the starting job immediately? Or will the program consult with the other quarterbacks on the roster? The Huskers have plenty of depth at the position.  And that depth comes with an understanding of what it takes to be a quarterback in Lincoln.    The talented freshman has yet to show how he handles pressure. The Spring game and the NFL Pro Day were good benchmarks for his progress.  However, older veterans on the roster are more likely to impress head coach Matt Rhule with their mental abilities within the offense.

 Heinrich Haarberg

In only 10 starts last season for the Cornhuskers, the dual-threat quarterback from Kearney alleviated the concerns of the Husker faithful with his improved mechanics. This began at the beginning of the season against head coach Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes. With seven seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Haarberg completed a four-yard touchdown pass to tight end Thomas Fidone. In the next game against Northern Illinois, he accounted for 158 yards yards through the air and two touchdowns. He would also weaponize his legs. Against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, he would run 19 times for 154 yards and a 72-yard touchdown. The next game at  Illinois would be no different. Haarberg’s 82 rushing yards gave the Huskers a spark in Champaign.   In April, the junior was also able to deliver the goods in the program’s spring game by connecting with freshman wide receiver Jacory Barney Jr on a 41-yard touchdown pass.

Read more about Henrich Haarberg in Spring Game Standouts: Nebraska’s Offense

 Jalyn Gramstad

At a postgraduate camp earlier this month, the Iowa native captured the attention of Nebraska’s coaching staff. And on Thursday, the former Red Raiders starter rewarded the program with his commitment. But what does this mean for the roster? A couple of things. He’s most likely the answer to the turnover issues that have been happening in Lincoln. Last season, the Iowa native threw for 35 touchdowns and only nine interceptions as a starter. His experience in the NAIA  should give freshman quarterback Daniel Kaelin a mentor in Nebraska’s quarterback room.  He’s the only other option that the Huskers have tabbed as a long-term option in the Cornhuskers quarterback room. Because of this, the coaching staff will deploy Gramstad in an effort to learn the offense.  There’s really only one concern if they use this strategy. Gramstad wouldn’t know what to do in the division one ranks. And he doesn’t have knowledge of what it means to be a Husker. Does this help him or hurt his cause for the starting quarterback position?

 Daniel Kaelin

The former four-star prospect from Bellevue West had a decorated high school career under head coach Mike Huffman. In his junior season in 2022, Kaelin was able to pass for 36 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. This momentum continued in his senior season when he passed for 2,225 yards and 17 more touchdowns. However, the true honors wouldn’t start to reveal themselves until the end of his high school career.  In the Elite 11 Accuracy Challenge, Kaelin won the competition over Alabama enrollee Julian Sayin. Can he display the same ability that he had in high school? Or will redshirting be more effective?  On his first drive of the spring game, he failed to move the ball. And on his second possession, he threw an interception to ex-Husker cornerback Ethan Nation.

 

Nebraska quarterback
Photo courtesy: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

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