And then were two for top linebacker target, including Nebraska

One of the top linebacker prospects in the country has included the Nebraska football team in his final two schools.
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Nebraska football team has locked in a 4-star quarterback for their 2025 class in TJ Lateef, how about also getting a 4-star linebacker? That seems to be the mindset for head coach Matt Rhule and company.

The Huskers' coaching staff has turned up the heat recently on Blue Valley, Kansas prospect Dawson Merritt. They especially turned up the heat once he came dow to Lincoln to see what all the hype was about for the spring game.

When Merritt came to Lincoln last month, it was expected that the race for the 4-star linebacker was a 3-team race between Missouri, Alabama and Nebraska. However, this week, it appears it's been pared down to a two-team fight.

According to Chad Simmons, the Tigers are no longer really in the race. That means that Nebraska has only Alabama to worry about if it wants to reel in Merritt. Not that it's ever going to be easy to win a recruiting battle over Alabama.

How Nebraska football could beat Alabama for 4-star linebacker

There are some positive notes to keep in mind when it comes to the fight for Merritt. The top one likely being that Rhule is no longer trying to out recruit the legacy and legend of Nick Saban. 

Certainly Kalen Deboer is a good head coach. There was even a time when it looked like he might be taking over the Nebraska football program. However, if there is a strike against Deboer, it's that he's lacking a bit in recruiting prowess.

The Husker coaches can also make the argument that Alabama is going to have some years of struggle. Meanwhile - the argument goes - Nebraska is finally making it's climb back near the top of the college football world. It might even climb over the Crimson Tide to get there.

Just who will win the battle might be divulged sooner rather than later. Merritt is taking a trip to Tuscaloosa on June 7. He's said once he's done with that visit, it's time to make a call.

“Alabama and Nebraska are two totally different programs in my eyes. That is why it is so hard to choose one school. When I go take my official visit to Alabama, I want to take a deeper evaluation into everything there and just compare it all to my official visit to Nebraska"

When Dawson Merritt figures out where he better fits, he'll pull the trigger.