NCAAF LINCOLN, Neb. — As the spring semester opens at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the football team is gearing up for another season under the guidance of Coach Matt Rhule. With twenty-three early enrollees on campus and the addition of Glenn Thomas as quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator, the team is taking shape. Coaches are currently on the road visiting recruits, with special teams coordinator Ed Foley visiting quarterback Alex Manske in Algona, Iowa, and defensive coordinator Tony White visiting defensive lineman Keona Wilhite, a transfer from Washington.
Now, as the Huskers prepare for spring practice, there are several key questions that Rhule and his staff must address. First and foremost, who will emerge as the team leaders? With a group of veterans who have experience in the program and the system, such as Ty Robinson, Nash Hutmacher, and Gabe Ervin, the team’s leadership should be strong.
Another important question is how the culture has changed in Year 2 under Rhule. With an intense offseason training program designed to establish high expectations, strength coach Corey Campbell will push the players even harder this year. The team has the luxury of added depth, allowing them to demand more from each player.
The impact of new quarterbacks coach Glenn Thomas is another topic of interest. Thomas will work closely with Dylan Raiola, Daniel Kaelin, and Heinrich Haarberg to improve the offense. Marcus Mazzccua, a transfer from Florida, could also bolster the offensive line and provide stability in a starting role.
Speaking of the linemen, are they a strength for the team? The Big Ten is becoming increasingly competitive, and if Nebraska wants to take advantage of their strengths, they need to be even stronger. The front line on defense looks solid, with a mix of experience and young talent.
Responsibilities among the support staff will also need to be addressed. With recent departures and new hires, it’s important for the staff to work together effectively to recruit and manage the team. Anthony Crespino, the former general manager at TCU, will join Nebraska as operations director, adding to the administrative team led by GM Sean Padden and chief of staff Susan Elza.
The quarterback position is still a work in progress, with several freshmen and a pair of walk-ons competing for playing time. After the uneven production at the position last year, it will be crucial for players like Dylan Raiola to adapt quickly and make an impact.
Recruiting in-state talent has been a focus for Rhule, and he aims to sign eight Nebraskans in each recruiting class. With commitments from players like Tyson Terry, Caden VerMaas, and Conor Booth, the Huskers are off to a good start. However, they are also pursuing several other top recruits in Nebraska, Iowa, and beyond.
The team’s success in recruiting will be crucial, as Nebraska looks to build momentum and attract national-level prospects. Last spring, they were able to convince several high-profile recruits to visit the campus, and they hope to have similar success this year.
Trimming the roster will also be a challenge for the coaching staff. With over 40 newcomers and restrictions due to Title IX equity, the team will need to prioritize positions and make difficult decisions about who stays and who goes.
Finally, the coaching staff will keep an eye on the transfer portal for any potential additions to the team. While they already have a strong roster, Coach Rhule is always looking for ways to improve and bring in talent that can help the team succeed.
As the Huskers enter spring practice, Coach Rhule and his staff have a lot of work ahead of them. With key questions to address and a talented roster, Nebraska football is ready to take the next step towards success.