Big Ten Recruiting Scoreboard: Matt Rhule's 'complaint' about Nebraska, Ohio State perception (2024)

Nebraska coach Matt Rhule was trying to make a point, June 20, about how common it is for college football programs to invite prospects to its camps and make scholarship offers after evaluating them.

This is true — and long been so at NU — but Rhule used the word “complaint,” and then proceeded to compete the Huskers to the Big Ten’s No. 1 recruiting juggernaut.

“We have a lot of talented players come through here, and the only thing — the only complaint I have is, I think people think this is a Nebraska thing,” Rhule said, noting he’d talked to folks about the topic. “Ohio State brings in their top recruits to camp when they’re sophom*ores or a junior. But Ohio State sees those kids run fast or do whatever and then they offer them, and then those kids nationally become four or five stars. They’re vouched.”

Rhule wants to see prospects come to his camps, too.

People are also reading…

“When we offer them, people are ‘oh, Matt’s recruiting diamonds in the rough,’” Rhule said. “No, we’re recruiting future NFL players. Ohio State does it, and we just kinda say, ‘well, that’s what it is,’ we do it and it’s ‘oh, they’re diamonds in the rough.’ No. No. We evaluate just as good as anybody else in the country.”

And what recruiting reporters, Rhule said, are starting to see is, a prospect gets an offer from Nebraska, a bunch of phone calls the next couple days.

“People know we know how to evaluate,” Rhule said. “I think the fact that we’re willing to offer people shows the belief our coaches have in their evaluation.”

It perhaps show a need to offer additional prospects since, until Nebraska wins at the same level as Ohio State, the program is unlikely to get the same caliber of recruits the Buckeyes do.

NU can, of course, point to an exception: Dylan Raiola. OSU had him and lost him to Georgia, which lost him to the Huskers. But Raiola’s a legacy guy, as well. Ohio State would have taken pass rusher AJ Epenesa — who instead went to Iowa — but Epenesa’s dad had played for the Hawkeyes.

Otherwise, the Buckeyes — currently No. 1 nationally in recruiting — land the players that every other program would take if it could. That includes Nebraska, which is currently middle-of-the-pack in the Big Ten.

Ohio State has 10 Top 100 prospect in its 2025 class, according to On3’s industry rankings.

The Huskers don’t have any yet, but taken their swing with several Top 100 prospects in this cycle.

Here’s where those battles stand:

No. 2 Charlotte (N.C.) Providence Day offensive tackle David Sanders: Came to NU for a visit, but appears likely to stay in SEC country.

No. 21 San Antonio Alamo Heights receiver Michael Terry: He came on a visit, just finished his visit to Oregon, and now has a decision to make among many suitors. If the Huskers beat Texas and the Ducks for Terry, it’d be an incredible victory, for which Raiola would deserve some credit.

No. 28 Goodland (Kan.) tight end Linkon Cure: Never really went anywhere. Kansas State is favored to win here.

No. 53 Las Vegas Bishop Gorman lineman Douglas Utu: Visited NU, seemed to like it, then committed to Tennessee this week.

No. 71 Las Vegas Bishop Gorman lineman SJ Alofaituli: A teammate of Utu, Alofaituli has also taken a visit to NU. He hasn’t decided, but visited Miami (Fla.) last in his list of officials.

No. 87 Overland Park (Kan.) Blue Valley linebacker Dawson Merritt: He took his last visit to Alabama weeks ago and decided on the Crimson Tide this week after NU was in the clear final two.

Best case scenario, NU gets three of those guys. Worst case, it gets none.

Again, OSU has 10 — five more than the rest of the Big Ten combined.

It’s the Buckeyes — and everybody else.

1. Ohio State

Total commits:19

247Sports composite national/Big Ten:1/1

On3:1/1

Rivals:1/1

The big names:CB Devin Sanchez, QB Tavien St. Clair, CB Na’eem Offord

Skinny:The Buckeyes have NIL money to practically burn, and their two collectives are spreading it around to prospects from eight states. OSU’s recruiting train kept rolling in June and won’t stop until Signing Day.

2. Penn State

Total commits:18

247Sports composite national/Big Ten:9/2

On3:13/4

Rivals:22/7

The big names:CB Daryus Dixon, LB Max Granville

Skinny:The Nittany Lions have had a huge June with seven commits, including that of Dixon and Granville. Strong class of defenders for a program that has hung its hat on D for several years.

3. Rutgers

Total commits:28

247Sports composite national/Big Ten:11/3

On3:16/6

Rivals:9/4

The big names:LB DJ McClary, S Tariq Hayer, WR Michael Thomas

Skinny: A spectacular June for the Scarlet Knights that’s included 20 commits thus far. The class has nine New Jersey commits — three of whom are four-star prospects — which is the kind of in-state haul Greg Schiano needs.

4. Wisconsin

Total commits:20

247Sports composite national/Big Ten:14/4

On3:20/7

Rivals:8/3

The big names:LB Mason Posa, CB Jaimier Scott, OL Logan Powell

Skinny: Since mid-April, the Badgers have landed commits from the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin— the usual territories for this program. With a strong June, Wisconsin has cemented itself as a recruiting power in the Big Ten.

5. Oregon

Total commits:10

247Sports composite national/Big Ten:18/6

On3:8/2

Rivals:23/8

The big names:WR Dallas Smith, QB Akili Smith, Jr and DE Matthew Johnson

Skinny:The Ducks reached into suburban St. Louis— that is, Belleville, Illinois— to grab Dierre Hill, one of the Midwest’s top prospects. Coach Dan Lanning, himself with Midwest roots, has the ability to do that. Also, a familiar name at QB. If he’s as good in Eugene as his dad was in 1998, the Ducks will be in good shape for years to come. The Ducks are flush with high-profile transfers and blue-chip underclassmen, which may inform the 2025 class to some degree.

6. Michigan

Total commits: 12

247Sports composite national/Big Ten:15/5

On3:14/5

Rivals:20/6

The big names:DL Nate Marshall, QB Carter Smith and S Kainoa Winston

Skinny:Smith, the QB, gives off some JJ McCarthy vibes. Michigan doesn’t appear to have as many visitors as other Big Ten schools. Is that a roster size issue, or a young staff still organizing after the Jim Harbaugh hurricane left the building? (Harbaugh was an aggressive, effective recruiter.) UM will have a good class, but the jury is out on how great it’ll be.

7. USC

Total commits:12

247Sports composite national/Big Ten:19/7

On3:11/3

Rivals:22/7

The big names: QB Julian Lewis, S Hylton Stubbs

Skinny:The Trojans lost Top 100 defenders from the state of Georgia — to Georgia. Oh well, something ventured, nothing gained for USC. There are still good players in an albeit small class.

8. Minnesota

Total commits:22

247Sports composite national/Big Ten:28/8

On3:41/12

Rivals:17/5

The big names:QB Jackson Kollock and LB Emmanuel Karmo

Skinny: The Gophers landed 16 commits in June, mostly mid-level three-star guys who will develop over time. Karmo could be one of the best ‘backer commits in the Big Ten, but he’s been a little drama in the last month, waffling back and forth about whether he’d take more visits after his commit.

9. UCLA

Total commits:11

247Sports composite national/Big Ten:37/10

On3:27/8

Rivals:37/9

The big names:QB Madden Iamaleava, S Jadyn Hudson and RB Karson Cox

Skinny:The Bruins got a key add in Iamaleava, who turned down the chance to play with his brother, Nico, at Tennessee to stay close to home in the Rose Bowl. Cox is a good one, too. Four commits in June, modest work.

10. Washington

Total commits:15

247Sports composite national/Big Ten:35/9

On3:35/10

Rivals:39/10

The big names:TE Vander Ploog, WR Raiden Vines-Bright and QB Dash Beierly

Skinny:Washington doin’ work in June, getting 10 commits. UW coach Jedd Fisch mostly worked West Coast outposts there. The Huskies added a second quarterback, Treston McMillan, to the class. He threw for more than 4,000 yards at Mililani (Hawaii) High School.

11. Nebraska

Total commits:11

247Sports composite national/Big Ten:42/13

On3:32/9

Rivals:47/14

The big names:QB TJ Lateef, DL Tyson Terry, RB Conor Booth

Skinny:Lateef will be a game changer in the class, a big-time passer who is bound for a good year at Orange County (California) Lutheran High School. The Huskers are playing the waiting game, a bit, with prospects who are likely to commit eventually, but haven’t yet said yes. Still, there have been some high-profile losses. NU’s taken a swing at some West Coast linemen and not connected much yet.

12. Iowa

Total commits:12

247Sports composite national/Big Ten:47/14

On3:36/11

Rivals:49/15

The big names:TEs Thomas Meyer and Eli Johnson

Skinny: It’s a little slower year in Iowa than previous cycles— which were off-the-charts good— so the Hawkeyes may venture more into Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin and Michigan for their recruits. Iowa has a couple big tight ends and big linebackers in the class already.

13. Indiana

Total commits:16

247Sports composite national/Big Ten:41/12

On3:47/14

Rivals:46/13

The big names:DE Triston Abram, S Byron Baldwin

Skinny:Coach Curt Cignetti has taken a few zero-star guys in June, which a coach at Indiana is wise to do early in his tenure.

14. Northwestern

Total commits:15

247Sports composite national/Big Ten:40/11

On3:58/16

Rivals:42/11

The big names: CB Marquet Dorsey and DE Caden O’Rourke

Skinny: Northwestern historically recruits well early in a cycle because the school already knows which prospects will or won’t qualify for admission. So it’s not surprising the Wildcats have made their move with commits. David Braun has a new stadium to sell, too; by the time the 2025 kids get to campus, they’ll only have to play at the lakeside mini-stadium for one year.

15. Maryland

Total commits:12

247Sports composite national/Big Ten:48/15

On3:61/18

Rivals:44/12

The big names:RB Iverson Howard, OT Lamar Williams

Skinny:On3 has 48 prospects in Maryland with a three-star grade, and 33 such players in Virginia. In case you’re wondering how the Terrapins slowly improved in a tough Big Ten East. Still, this is one of Mike Locksley’s weaker classes in College Park so far.

16. Michigan State

Total commits:10

247Sports composite national/Big Ten:55/16

On3:43/13

Rivals:55/16

The big names:RB Jace Clarizio and QB Leo Hannan

Skinny:Out of the Big Ten basem*nt— thanks to the commit of Clarizio, a local back— and looking to host as many as 40 official visitors in June. MSU needs a lot of players and could sign 30 prep guys if it wants.

17. Illinois

Total commits:9

247Sports composite national/Big Ten:63/17

On3:49/15

Rivals: 64/17

7The big names:WR Brayden Trimble and QB Carson Boyd

Skinny:Trimble (May 20) was one of the few May commits in the Big Ten. More importantly, he’s an in-state guy, and coach Bret Bielema said he’d build the program with guys from Illinois.

18. Purdue

Total commits:9

247Sports composite national/Big Ten:65/18

On3:60/17

Rivals: 66/18

The big names:QB Sawyer Anderson, OL Cameron Gorin

Skinny:The Boilermakers head to the cellar of the standings, and it’s not clear whether they’ll get out of it any time soon. Recruiting was Jeff Brohm’s strength; he brought really good players to West Lafayette. That was before the NIL era hit a basketball school. Anderson is a Drew Brees/David Blough Texas intrigue, throwing for 9,580 yards and 109 touchdowns in three years at a small Christian school in Dallas. Great skillset. He’s also 5-11.

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Big Ten Recruiting Scoreboard: Matt Rhule's 'complaint' about Nebraska, Ohio State perception (2024)
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