Nebraska Football: Linebacker coach hire could hint at another puzzle piece

Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Matt Rhule at the introductory press conference (Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports)
Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Matt Rhule at the introductory press conference (Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports) /

Matt Rhule continues to put his new Nebraska football staff together, even if the pace of the additions of the coaches has slowed quite a bit since his first few days. On Sunday night, it looked as though Rhule added his linebackers coach, even if the hiring wasn’t officially announced by the coach or the school just yet.

The hiring of Matt Rhule’s staff has been interesting to watch because he’s mostly been putting the band back together. That hasn’t sat all that well with some Nebraska football fans who have seen other coaches, most notably Scott Frost, seem to choose his friends over putting together an all-star cast. Those are valid concerns; so far, Rhule has not made any flashy hires on their face.

When it comes to Rob Dvoracek, the substance is definitely going to have to be more important than style because, on its face, this isn’t what anyone would call a “home run” hire. On the other hand, during Rhule’s introductory press conference, he clarified that everyone on the staff needed to pull in the same direction. Dvoracek appears to check the “willing to go along with the larger theme” box.

Dvoracek played for Matt Rhule at Temple, and once his playing days were done, he jumped into coaching rather quickly. He was Baylor’s defensive quality control coach in 2017 and 2018 before moving on to Lehigh, where he was the defensive ends and outside linebackers coach. In 2021, Dvoracek rejoined Rhule on the Carolina Panthers and has been a defensive assistant for the last two years.

A big part of this hire should get Nebraska football fans excited if I’m reading the tea leaves right. This is yet another defensive coach hired while the Huskers have still not announced its defensive coordinator.

Dvoracek Hire Hints At New Nebraska Football DC

I continue to think that Rhule would not be hiring these guys unless they were in consultation with whoever was taking on the DC job. It’s hard to imagine the Huskers’ head coach talking about everyone pulling in the same direction and then not knowing if his defensive coordinator is on board with guys like Dvoracek and Knighton.

It seems as if the new DC is someone who is currently working. When Dvoracek was coaching in college last he specialized as the outside linebackers coach. It just so happens that name that’s come up more than once for the DC job is Georgia’s Glenn Schumann. Schumann happens to be a co-defensive coordinator who also focuses on inside linebackers.

At the moment, that feels like a puzzle piece that just fits a bit too easily for the Nebraska football staff.