Nov 11, 2023; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Matt Rhule during the third quarter against the Maryland Terrapins at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Takeaways from Nebraska Football’s Early National Signing Day

It was a day for the Nebraska Cornhuskers as it received 29 National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. It was a culmination of the amount of work that was put in by Matt Rhule and his surrounding coaching staff throughout last offseason, in-season and the first few weeks of this offseason. The Huskers were on the winning side in many recruiting battles and all of it shows where the program is heading in the near future.

Here are takeaways from Nebraska Football’s Early National Signing Day. 

Takeaways from Nebraska Football’s Early National Signing Day

Dylan Raiola is Officially a Husker

Dylan Raiola, the No. 1 quarterback in the 2024 class, officially signed his letter of intent Wednesday morning. Better yet, he was the first player to do so for Nebraska, to kick off a great day for Rhule and the Huskers. At his press conference on Wednesday, Rhule talked about Raiola’s recruitment. He said that after Raiola committed to the Georgia Bulldogs, Rhule didn’t really recruit him after that. Despite that, Raiola kept up with Nebraska, whether that was through Rhule or his uncle Donovan Raiola, the current offensive line coach for the Huskers. 

His decision wasn’t anything about playing for Kirby Smart and Georgia, but when Raiola made his decision about rethinking his commitment, He said that his heart was at Nebraska. 

“Dylan called me last Sunday and said you know my heart just keeps telling me to come to Nebraska,” Rhule said. “He said, you know my life has a greater purpose than just being the top recruit. I know what Nebraska means to my family, and I know what it means to me, and I would like to come there.” 

Raiola is the highest-ranked player in the modern era of recruiting for the Huskers and the most recent five-star recruit since 2005, when running back Marlon Lucky committed to Nebraska. Raiola headlines a top 20 recruiting class for Nebraska and has been marked as the first landmark commitment for the Huskers in a long time, possibly since the last great quarterback with the number 15. That being Tommie Frazier, who has been dubbed the best quarterback in program history. 

It’s Flipmas!

Raiola wasn’t the only recruiting flip that Nebraska got in the 2024 class. There would be two on Wednesday, starting with three-star linebacker Vincent Shavers out of Miami Central High School in Miami, Florida. Shavers was originally committed to the University of Miami Hurricanes, but he de-committed from the Hurricanes last week. Shavers then visited Nebraska over the weekend and announced that he was signing with the Huskers. Shavers comes to the Huskers to help replace the losses of Luke Reimer and Nick Henrich from last year’s defense. Shavers brings speed to Nebraska and will certainly have a role in the next few seasons. 

The second flip was from four-star cornerback Larry Tarver Jr out of Norland High School in Miami to add to the many “Flobraska” commitments in the 2024 class. Tarver was originally committed to the Maryland Terrapins but made his decision to sign with the Huskers on Wednesday. Tarver officially visited Nebraska back in October, so this is someone that the staff has gotten to know and he could get some playing time in 2025 or as early as next season. 

Any Transfer Portal Pickups?

For the Early National Signing Day period, it only looks like Nebraska will receive one commitment from a player in the transfer portal. Wednesday, the Huskers received a commitment and letter of intent from cornerback Blye Hill from Saint Francis University at the FCS level. Hill brings some size and speed to the back end of the Husker’s defense, and he felt that there was something special brewing in Lincoln. Hill also said that it really feels like a family and that it was the right decision for him. Hill has three more years of eligibility and was an All-NEC performer for the Red Flash.  

There could be a few more transfer portal commitments down the road as more players enter, but it would most likely be at running back or wide receiver. Despite that, there shouldn’t be as many pickups as there was last season. 

Any Surprises?

Other than the three flips, Nebraska received a commitment from three-star cornerback Amare Sanders from Miami. The Huskers received letters of intent to all other prior commitments, which include players like four-star prospects Grant Brix (OT), Preston Taumua (IOL), and Roger Gradney (S/ATH). 

Nebraska brought in a plethora of weapons for whoever starts at quarterback next season. Those include four-star tight end Carter Nelson, three-star tight ends Eric Ingwerson, Keelan Smith, and Ian Flynt, and three-star wide receivers Dae’Vonn Hall, Isaiah McMorris, Quinn Clark, and Jacory Barney Jr. They are added to the roster in addition to the playmakers already on the roster. Playmakers like Thomas Fidone, Malachi Coleman, Jaylen Lloyd and Jaidyn Doss. Whether it’s Raiola, who gets the starting nod, or Chubba Purdy against the UTEP Miners on August 31, 2024, they will have plenty of weapons to use against the opposition.

Final Thoughts

Overall, it was a very successful day for the Rhule and the Huskers, bringing in 28 total scholarship players. The 2024 class ranks No. 19 in the 247 Sports composite class ranking, the highest ranking in a while. Things could change, but it seems like Rhule has the Nebraska Football program heading in the right direction. There is a lot to look forward to in Lincoln. 

Main Image: © Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

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