Matt Rhule has developed the reputation of being the type of coach that brings college programs out of the ashes and puts them on the national stage. It’s looking like that process has already begun at Nebraska before his first season has even started.
“There’s just a different structure, a different organizational feeling. And it’s all Matt Rhule,” Sean Callahan of Husker Online told JD PicKell on the On3 Roundtable. “It’s his Nebraska and he controls every element of this program, has his fingers on just about everything that matters, and just his attention to detail on everything. I think that is the biggest difference.”
Rhule’s players, staff and Nebraska fans alike have completely bought into the vision he has for the program. If you don’t believe in the hype, just ask the 66,000 fans that packed Memorial Stadium for a spring game last month. Based on the incredible turnout for a scrimmage — imagine what the Huskers’ first home game will feel like this fall.
Upon Rhule’s arrival in Lincoln, some instant-impact transfers followed suit. Presumed QB1 Jeff Sims and former five-star recruits Arik Gilbert (TE) and MJ Sherman (LB) will lead Rhule’s new group into the 2023 season. Add in the returning playmakers from last season alongside the top-30 incoming recruiting class, and there’s a lot for Rhule to work with heading into his first season as head coach.
“The way they’ve gone about building the relationships and the trust with the players, I think that’s what’s opened up a lot of guys’ eyes,” Callahan said. “The players, I think, feel like they truly already know him, have a good relationship with him. They’ve invited the player’s families down multiple times.
“I think that things like that have gone a long way, just to kind of start that trust-building process. And he wants the players to know that he’s going to be there for them. And I think that’s been impressive to see that too.”
It might not get turned around right away, but Rhule has eight years to get the ball rolling in Nebraska after signing a contract totaling $72 million over that span. Still, 2023 is a trial run as Rhule is inheriting a fair few of the players on his roster, but that isn’t stopping them from rallying behind their head coach in year one.
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