In the Nebraska football win over Illini, one of the things that stood out the most was just how many native Nebraskans contributed to the victory.
Nebraska football’s win over the Illinois Fighting Illini wasn’t pretty. But what was quite beautiful to many a Husker fan eye was just how much homegrown talent contributed to the 20-7 victory.
It felt as though a native Nebraskan was contributing to a big play here and a big play there almost constantly and on both sides of the ball. And it wasn’t just the usual suspects like Nick Henrich and Heinrich Haarberg.
There was Alex Bullock, who has stood tall a couple of times this season. He might have only had two catches for 16 yards against Illinois but one of those was on a big 4th and 5 conversion when the Nebraska football team led just 3-0.
There was Ty Hahn, who didn’t have a catch this season entering Friday night. He made a big 21-yard grab on the same drive that eventually allowed the Huskers to go up 10-0. A margin the Huskers never allowed Illinois to close.
And of course, even in a game he struggled in at times, Haarberg ran for 82 yards and a touchdown and had some big completions that allowed the Huskers to score 20.
Nebraska football homegrown talent stands up
On defense, Benkelman’s own Phalen Sanford stripped the ball away from an Illinois receiver on what had been a first down play. Sanford has been seeing more playing time on defense after mostly being a special teams ace and he rewarded his coaches on Friday.
And then there was Grant Tagge, long considered one of the stars of the Nebraska football special teams, who managed to scoop up an Illini fumble after a kickoff.
We also can’t forget wide receiver Malachi Coleman. He came into the game when Marcus Washington left with a leg injury. He played 57 snaps and had his first career catch as a member of the Nebraska football team.
The high school talent in the state has been rapidly increasing on a level where they can compete on a national scale more than ever before. That’s one of the reasons Rhule and company have made it so important to recruit the state so well.
With guys like Carter Nelson, Daniel Kaelin, Isaiah McMorris, and Dae’Vonn Hall and others coming in the 2024 class, it appears the Nebraska football team is going to have even more homegrown talent coming in the very near future.