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How Are Matt Rhule’s First Year Recruits Playing Compared To Scott Frost’s?

New coaches usually get hired 2-3 weeks before signing day so their first signing class may be a bit of a knuckleball. However, you can definitely piece together some quality talent!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 06 Nebraska at Illinois Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I’m gonna break this down position by position. Hop in the passenger seat & ride around the corner with me!

QB: Adrian Martinez (Frost) vs. N/A (Rhule)

Matt Rhule dropped our then-QB commit William Watson (now at Virginia Tech) in favor of other prospects. He attempted to flip South Dakota QB Lincoln Kienholz from Ohio State, to no avail. He decided to rest on his laurels and focus on a QB for the 2024 class.

Frost on the other hand, flew to Fresno, California as soon as he was hired by Nebraska to recruit a Tennessee commit named Adrian Martinez. He successfully flipped him to the Big Red. Adrian had one of the BEST seasons by a true freshman QB in college football history, and it looked like we were on the verge of becoming CFP title contenders. You guys know what happened next. Frost wins here.

RB: Maurice Washington & Greg Bell (Frost) vs. Kwinten Ives (Rhule)

Yeah.....not much to say here. Washington was the most electric back we’d seen in Lincoln since Ameer Abdullah. Greg Bell was a JUCO transfer that actually started games here before taking his ball & going home. Kwinten Ives is a project player that has yet to play a game this season. Frost wins again here.

WR: Andre Hunt, Dominick Watt, Miles Jones, Mike Williams, Justin McGriff & Jaron Woodyard (Frost) vs. Malachi Coleman, Jaidyn Doss, Jaylen Lloyd, Demitrius Bell & Brice Turner (Rhule)

The JUCO transfers Mike Williams & Jaron Woodyard made minor contributions their first years at Nebraska. The rest of them never even saw the field at all. Dominick Watt never even showed up. Coleman and Lloyd have already risen up to starters as true freshmen, primarily because of injury, and I expect their stats to balloon during the second half of the season. The rest of our recruiting class for 2023 has much more potential than the 2018 class did as well. I give the edge to Rhule here.

TE: Cam Jurgens & Katerian Legrone (Frost) vs. Ismael Smith Flores (Rhule)

None of these guys played as freshmen, although we are still in the middle of the season, so I can’t write off ISF yet. Cam ended up moving to offensive line & had quite a fruitful career though. ‘Tis a draw.

OL: Will Farniok & Willie Canty (Frost) vs. Gunnar Gottula, Brock Knutson, Sam Sledge & Mason Goldman (Rhule)

Will Farniok didn’t play as a true freshman. Willie Canty never even made it to Lincoln. None of Rhule’s guys have played either but Gottula, Sledge and Knutson have all appeared on the two deep. Advantage Rhule.

DL: Casey Rogers, Tate Wildeman and David Alston (Frost) vs. Cam Lenhardt, Princewill Umanmielen, Sua Lefotu, Kai Wallin, Vincent Carroll-Jackson, Maverick Noonan, Jason Maciejczak & Riley Van Poppel (Rhule)

Is this a serious question?

LB: Will Honas & Caleb Tannor (Frost) vs. Dylan Rogers & Eric Fields (Rhule)

Honas was a JUCO transfer that played a lot before suffering an ACL injury & missing the remainder of the year. Caleb Tannor played immediately as a true freshman. I like the potential of Rogers and Fields but Frost’s guys get the edge here.

DB: Will Jackson, CJ Smith, Deontal Williams, Cam Jones, Cam Taylor-Britt & Braxton Clark (Frost) vs. Dwight Bootle, Syncere Safeeullah, Rahmir Stewart, Ethan Nation, D’Andre Barnes & Jeremiah Charles (Rhule)

CTB played a lot as a true freshman & flashed. Deontai Williams was a JUCO transfer that flashed when he played. The rest of the 2018 class didn’t do anything. Dwight Bootle played a lot at both safety and corner the first two games before sustaining a season-ending shoulder injury against Northern Illinois. Ethan Nation played on special teams against Illinois & also appeared on defense in garbage time against NIU. The rest haven’t played. I’ll give Frost’s DB class the edge here, but I think Rhule’s class has much more potential.

Kicker: Barret Pickering (Frost) vs. Tristan Alvano (Rhule)

Timmy Bleekrode needs to do a TED Talk on patience & inner peace. I have no clue how you can see how terrible Tristan Alvano has been and not want to slap somebody. Pickering was bad, but Alvano somehow is even worse. Frost wins here.

I have Frost winning 5-3-1 overall, but all of the positions were close for the most part. The difference is that Rhule’s class has much more potential (on paper) than Frost’s inaugural class did. I’m more excited than a pig in slop to see how his guys pan out!