As you know, the early signing date for high school football recruits was less than a month away. The new Husker head of football for his coach, Matt Rule, had an early signing date (12/21) just three weeks before his Husker stint. Meanwhile, Ruhr and his then-unfinished coaching staff somehow managed to put together a Top 30 (Rivals.com) class.
We take a look at some of the players who could make a difference this fall.
Portal Player Transfer
All Husker transfers this year are from the Power Five program (Kai Wolin is from JUCO). They have a proven track record of performance. Experience at that level of play usually translates into significant playing time and positive results at the new school. Players are not listed in any particular order.
Jeff Sims QB 6-4, 220 lbs (Georgia Tech)
Sims has a lot of experience as a GT starter over the past three years: 4,404 yards, 30 TDs and 20 INTs. Yes, he has a bad INT to TD ratio, but maybe Rule & Company can coach him. Crowded Sims enters the QB room, but some may leave the program. Last year’s starter, Casey Thompson, may be out of action for Springball (post-his-season surgery).
Josh Fleeks WR 5-10, 190 (Baylor) Grade 6
Freaks are unique players. When Ruhr was at Baylor, he played under Matt Ruhl (two years). Instead of staying with the Bears, he’s coming to Nebraska to play under his former coach. It’s amazing. Josh said he could replace Trey Palmer on the transfer portal last year. Palmer chose to enter this year’s NFL Draft. Look for the Fleeks, catch the pass, and return the kick.
Ben Scott (Center) 6-5, 290 (Arizona)
Scott appears to be Trent Hickson’s replacement on the Husker O-line. Scott will be ready to play soon. As a bonus, his mother’s family is from Columbus, Nebraska. And get this: Ben attended the same high school (St. Louis, Honolulu) as Husker positions coach Donovan Raiola and former Husker All-American Center Domonic Raiola. Scott just graduated from ASU last month.
Chief Borders LB 6-4, 240 (Florida)
Borders is fast, smart and aggressive. He could replace Ernest Hausmann, who transferred to Michigan from Nebraska. Borders are a great addition to your Husker LB crew.
Corey Collier, Jr. DB 6-2, 170 (Florida)
He was able to find early playing time. Collier said he was a five-star player and fellow Husker Dwight, who was Bootle’s high school teammate.
Elijah Judy (Edgerusher) 6-4, 240 (Florida)
Judy will help bolster the pass rush that saw edge rusher Ochaun Mathis enter the 23 NFL Draft.
Marco Ortiz (Deep Snapper) 6-4, 236 (Florida)
Deep Snapper isn’t usually seen as essential to a football team’s success, but Ortiz fills the void and should be of great help on special teams.
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high school signer
We take a look at some of the players in the ’23 class who might have a chance to contribute this fall. And this is in no way disrespectful of any of the new signatories not mentioned.
Malachi Coleman (WR/Athlete) 6-5 205 (Lincoln East HS)
If what Matt Rule said is true, Coleman is what the doctor ordered for Rule’s first recruiting class. Speed, speed, and more speed. MC was Mickey Joseph committing and Coleman stopped committing when Jospe wasn’t going to be the next Husker head coach He considered Dion his Sanders and Colorado but rule his coach talk Malachi decided to recommit to the Huskers. Nebraska has acquired a great player who can contribute this fall as a WR, returner or TE. A brilliant career awaits MC.
Tristan Albano 6-2, 185 penalties (Omaha Westside)
Anyone who watched the Nebraska Class A Football Championship game in November couldn’t help but think that Alvano not only would be a great power-five kicker, but had great potential in the NFL. Yes – he is very good. Husker’s kickoff man, Brandon Franke, has entered the transfer portal. His departure may pave the way for Tristan to take over Franke’s throne. Nebraska already has Timmy Bleaklooud as a penalty. When Bleekrode leaves Nebraska (he becomes a junior this fall), it could pave the way for Alvano to replace him.
Jalen Lloyd WR/Athlete 5-11, 160 (Omaha Westside)
What is Omaha Westside High School? Lloyd is a speedster who runs tracks and plays soccer. He plans to do both in Nebraska. Thankfully, the rules did not allow Albano and Lloyd to leave the state. Lloyd should be able to play this fall. Remember he can’t coach speed.
So far, there has been only one junior college transfer in Rule’s first recruiting class.
Kai Wolin (Edge Rusher) 6-6, 240 (American River California CC)
Look for Warin to make an impact on the D-line this fall with his physique and experience.
There are some good high school signers in this class, but most of them will need some seasoning before they see any significant playing time. It may be time to play this fall, depending on which one.
Pierce, Nebraska TE If Benjamin Brahmer has left Nebraska and signed with Iowa State, look for Coach Rhule to find TE via the transfer portal.
A night with Johnny Rogers
I recently spoke with Ashley Spitznogle, a local artist known for her paintings of Husker greats. She completed the painting of Johnny “The Jett” Rogers’ iconic punt her return against Oklahoma in the 1971 “Game of the Century”. As all Husker his fans know, JR won his first Heisman his trophy in Nebraska the following year.
The event will take place this Friday (January 6th) from 6-8pm at Main Street Studios and Galleries in Elkhorn, Nebraska. Please refer to the link below for details. Joining Johnny are his two other Husker-Heisman winners, Microzier and Eric Crouch. Don’t miss this! Here is the link.
How Bout Them Huskers
In this week’s podcast episode, my grandson Will and I talk about the bowl game we watched over the weekend. He describes TCU’s win over undefeated Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl and Ohio State’s loss to Georgia in the Peach Bowl. These two bowls are his one of the most exciting college football games I’ve ever seen.
Cheer on Max Duggan and Horned Frogs as they head to Georgia Monday night in Inglewood, California.
Get your Huskers tickets here at SI Tickets.