Nebraska added its second verbal commitment of the day, fifth of June and seventh overall in its 2022 class Sunday evening when Lincoln Southeast linebacker Jake Appleget announced his intention to play for the Huskers. Here are three observations on the addition of a hometown standout.
1. Appleget waited his turn and capitalized in impressive fashion.
It wasn’t difficult to imagine Appleget playing in the Big Ten all the way back in August, when he was putting together standout performances for Southeast on a weekly basis. Given his size and length at 6-foot-4, Appleget could realistically play on either side of the ball at the college level, though his future at Nebraska likely begins on defense.
Given that coaches couldn’t come to watch him play, though, his recruitment dragged out through the NCAA’s dead period. Frost told him June 1 when he received his scholarship offer that, had it not been for the dead period, he probably would have been offered months ago. Instead of pouting or doubting, though, Appleget kept working and then geared his training to be ready for workout-style events once the dead period ended.
Boy, did that pay off. He picked up offers from NU and Minnesota on the first two days of June and secured his spot on Nebraska’s recruiting board at linebacker.
2. The Lincoln Southeast pipeline continues to produce for Nebraska.
In 2020, NU added Isaac Gifford as a defensive back and he contributed immediately, playing on special teams in every game for the Huskers last fall. Now, he’s penciled in on the two-deep along with Javin Wright behind JoJo Domann as an outside linebacker/nickel.
The 2021 class didn’t have any scholarship players but includes three Southeast walk-ons. Now, Appleget will represent the Knights in Lincoln for the 2022 class.
Nebraska hopes to add much more in the coming year, too, considering the talent coming down the way in 2023. That includes a pair of players already with offers in defensive lineman Teitum Tuioti and offensive lineman Gunnar Gottula.
Tuioti, of course, is the son of Nebraska defensive line coach Tony Tuioti, and has several Power Five offers already. Gottula just picked up an offer from the Huskers earlier this month and also has early offers from Iowa State and Kansas State.
3. The second wave of in-state prospects looks to be paying dividends once again for the Huskers.
Over the course of the NCAA dead period, one of the biggest storylines, as it pertained to the Huskers’ recruiting efforts, was the failure to really get into the picture for any of the top four in-state players in the 2022 class: Tight ends Kaden Helms and Micah Riley-Ducker of Bellevue West, linebacker Devon Jackson of Omaha Burke and offensive lineman Deshawn Woods of Omaha Central.
That’s still going to sting, but less so considering the Huskers’ two defensive commits in the class are also in-state kids in Appleget and Columbus linebacker Ernest Hausmann.
Last year, Nebraska found talent it liked later in the recruiting cycle in Kearney Catholic quarterback Heinrich Haarberg, Omaha Westside defensive back Koby Bretz and Norris tight end James Carnie. The NU staff is of the mind that sometimes Nebraska kids take a little longer to break out because of the relative lack of year-round work compared to places like Texas, California and the southeast U.S.
The pandemic also slowed the recruitments of all of those players to some degree, but it’s become clear that just because an in-state player doesn’t get an offer as an underclassman, doesn’t mean he can’t work his way into one later in the process.
2022 Husker football recruits
|Chase Androff||TE||Lakeville, Minn. (South)||***|
|Jake Appleget||LB||Lincoln Southeast||***|
|Ashton Hayes||RB||Reno, Nev. (McQueen)||***|
|Victor Jones Jr.||WR||Orlando, Florida (Olympia)||***|
|Grant Page||WR||Boulder, Colo. (Fairview)||***|
|Richard Torres||QB||San Antonio, Texas (Southside)||***|
|Hayden Schwartz||DL||Jacksonville, Florida (Bolles)||***|