Nebraska Football may have a star on their hands
Let me start off by saying that I see the comparisons. Heinrich Haarberg has been compared to former Oregon quarterback and current Los Angeles Chargers rookie Justin Herbert. Now, given the success that Herbert has had recently, that may be a bit of a lofty comparison. After all, Herbert is in the NFL. However, I can certainly see where the comparisons are coming from.
As I take a look at Herbert’s draft profile, two things remind me of what I have seen from Haarberg as well. One of Herbert’s strengths is that he “Scans crisply through full slate of progressions without panic.” Another strength of his according to this report was “ Fluid stride and throw rolling in either direction.” Those two things stood out to me immediately as well, and it’s something that I saw with Haarberg.
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As I wrote in my piece about why he will excel in Lincoln, Haarberg has the ability to roll out of the pocket while keeping his eyes on his receiver. When the pocket collapsed, he shifted the other way, set, and made the throw. With the way the Nebraska football line was last year, that could definitely be an essential part of his game.
The comparisons don’t stop there. As written in a report by the Journal Star, Frost and new offensive coordinator Matt Lubick both took part in offering Herbert a scholarship while at Oregon. Lubeck was more involved with Herbert’s development, as Frost went to coach UCF shortly after. Much like Haarberg, Herbert was also a bit of an overlooked college prospect. Haarberg has not been ignored by any means, but he certainly did not get a ton of attention from the likes of Alabama and LSU.
If Haarberg can turn into a Justin Herbert, that would be great for Nebraska football. For all his flaws, Herbert succeeded under center for Oregon. He threw for 3,471 yards and 32 touchdowns in 2019. He threw 29 touchdowns the year before. His mobility helped him keep plays alive, and his shiftiness out of the pocket resulted in putting Oregon in good field position more often than not.
The comparison is certainly warranted and applicable. Hopefully, Haarberg can produce the same results. He has a similar play style, and his ability to be a big playmaker is definitely there. It’s interesting to see how many similarities there are between the two quarterbacks. From the coaches who recruited them, to their play styles, to the fact that they were generally overlooked, there’s a lot more similarities than you may think.