Nebraska Football: Will Howard backup plan crystallizes in East Lansing

Michigan State's Sam Leavitt throws a pass against Nebraska during the first quarter on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.
Michigan State's Sam Leavitt throws a pass against Nebraska during the first quarter on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. /

The Nebraska football team is not messing around when it comes to going and getting a portal transfer QB1. They visited another top candidate on Monday.

Things move fast and furiously when it comes to the transfer portal. There may not be a greater soap opera in all of sports these days than who is going where from one day to the next. And it appears that Nebraska football coaches understand the topsy turvy world of the portal means you absolutely cannot put your eggs in one basket, even for a few days.

That’s why just a few days after the Husker coaches paid a visit to their presumed top quarterback target in Will Howard, they spent Monday visiting a talented backup plan in Michigan State signal-caller Sam Leavitt.

Specifically, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Marcus Satterfield spent Monday in East Lansing selling Leavitt on the Huskers and what the dual-threat quarterback could do in his offense. The sales pitch was apparently good enough that Leavitt is considering a visit to Lincoln in the near future.

“I’ve never been there, obviously,” Leavitt told On3. “But it’s been a big-time program since Day 1, and I really like the coaching staff there right now.”

Nebraska football courting another transfer portal quarterback

There’s a couple of interesting takeaways from Satterfield’s trip to the former Michigan State player’s home. The first is that this isn’t a player the Huskers were ever really in on when he was coming out of high school. That makes his almost immediate interest that much more of an eye-brow raiser.

There’s also the fact that when Matt Rhule talked about how much it would cost to get a transfer quarterback this offseason, there was some school of thought that he was trying to prepare Nebraska football fans for disappointment and a lack of moves.

It is of course, possible it was a warning and the Huskers aren’t going to be able to reel in their top targets. For now it looks more like he was publicly letting the area NILs what they needed to pony up.

In regards to which quarterback the Cornhuskers would like to land, Howard might be the bigger name, thanks to a couple of seasons playing for a resurgent Kansas State team, but Leavitt is certainly intriguing.

The former Gatorade Oregon Football Player of the Year as a senior at West Linn High in Portland didn’t play a ton in his true freshman season, but he did manage to complete a pass for 25 yards and a touchdown against the Huskers.

With Howard having one year left and Leavitt having three, one has to wonder if Nebraska football might be going after both of them.

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