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No choice but to move forward for 2024

When your passing game ranks 129th among 133 D1 programs, leading only Iowa and the three service academies, you know the only way is up. So what have Husker receivers coach Garret McGuire, TE coach/OC Marcus Satterfield and head coach Matt Rhule Benn done to fix things?

Good question. Before we look at the solutions, let’s look at the 2023 receipt statistics.

The numbers are for those who were on the Husker roster last year and will return this fall.

Return tight ends:

1.) Thomas Fidone (6-6, 250) JR 260 yards with 4 TDs

2.) Nate Boerkircher (6-5, 245) JR 51 yds and no TDs

3.) Luke Lindenmeyer (6-3, 260) SO -2 yds and no touchdowns

Totals: 309 net yards 4 TDs

Returning wide receivers:

1.) Jaylen Lloyd (5-10, 160) SO 237 yards and 3 TDs

2.) Alex Bullock (6-2, 205) JR 221 yds & 1 TD

3.) Malachi Coleman (6-4, 190) SO 139 yds & 1 TD

4.) Ty Hahn (6-2, 200) JR 36 yds and no TDs

5.) Jaidyn Doss (5-11, 190) SO 20 yds, no TDs

6.) Isaiah Garcia-Casteneda (6-4, 190) SR 7 yds, no TDs

Totals: 660 net yards and 5 TDs

Combined receiving distance:

969 total yards and 9 TDs

Please note: the above totals do not include those who played last year and will not return this fall. (Billy Kemp IV, Marcus Washington and Joshua Fleeks combined for a total of 555 yards and 1 TD.)

If you’re wondering how many games each Husker receiver played last year, here are the numbers: TEs: Fidone, Boerkircher and Lindenmeyer (12). WRs: Bullock and Hahn (12), Coleman (11), Lloyd (10), Doss (4), Garcia-Casteneda (1).

Can the Huskers make enough improvement this fall to make a difference? My answer is yes. First we look at the recipients coming into the program.

WR transfers:

1.) Isaiah Neyor (6-3, 215) SR from Texas/Wyoming

Stats: At Texas in 2023 (1 catch for 14 yards) 2022 (DNP) At Wyoming in 2021 (44 catches for 878 yards and 12 TDs)

2.) Jahmal Banks (6-4, 205) SR Wake Forest

2023 (59 catches for 663 yards and 4 TDs)

From secondary schools:

Tight ends:

1.) Carter Nelson (6-3, 215) FR Ainsworth, NE

Wide receivers:

1.) Dae’vonn Hall (6-1, 190) FR Bellevue West (NE)

2.) Isaiah McMorris (5-10, 170) FR Bellevue West INE)

3.) Jacory Barney (6-0, 170) FR Palmetto High School (FL)

4.) Janiran Bonner (6-2, 200) SO (Was FB at NU last year)

5.) Quinn Clark (6-5, 205) FR from Bozeman, MT (legacy player)

6.) Demitrius Bell (6-0, 175) RSFR He was injured in the Husker spring game and will miss the 2024 season.

Please note: Not all recipients are listed in this column.

The solutions

Yes, the Husker passing game was terrible last year. But Nebraska enters this fall with a QB room that is very capable of turning things around quickly. Freshmen Dylan Riaola and Danny Kaelin can do it. Heinrich Haarberg seems to have improved considerably. Let’s not overlook Luke Longval of Sioux City (and IWCC) either. He had a good high school career but was injured his senior year. Other programs shunned him. Luke is a walk-on, but don’t let that fool you.

WR depth chart:

Namely Lloyd, Coleman, Neyor, Banks and Bullock

Twos: Doss, Garcia-Casteneda, Hall and Barney

TE depth chart:

1,) Fidone, Boerkircher, Nelson and Lindenmeyer

Rhule & Company made it a point this offseason to sign some potentially great receivers. The Husker passing struggle should be just a passing fantasy this fall.

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