The calendar has officially turned to 2024, and that means it’s officially time to think about the next iteration of the Nebraska football team. It’s time to completely forget that the 2023 version failed to make a bowl game again despite being 5-3 at one point.
There’s quite a bit of excitement about what the 2024 version of Matt Rhule’s team might do and not just because there’s a feeling that the quarterback position won’t be a never-ending ball of despair and heartache.
For the second straight year, Rhule and his staff have added quite a bit of talent to the roster. And this month, six very important transfer pieces for this new version set foot on campus early enough that they’ll be able to get ready for spring ball and really prepare for the upcoming season.
Meet the most transfer early enrollee additions to the Nebraska football team
Isaiah Neyor is one of those players that could either become a big impact type or someone who fades into the background. Whether he’s fully healthy is going to play a big part in his impact. That he’s in Lincoln now and getting to know his new teammates is a big plus.
It certainly feels as though Banks is the more surefire impact player of the transfer receivers. He put up big numbers for a Wake Forest team that took a step back this season. In the last two years, he hauled down 101 catches for almost 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns. He seems likely to step into the Marcus Washington role thanks to his 6-foot-4 stature. Getting to practice with Dylan Raiola right from the get go is a big plus.
Mazzccua was actually the last arrival of the six transfer players but he’s officially in Lincoln now. The Nebraska football offensive line is going to be revamped and the 6-foot-5, 325-pound guard could add a real edge and a real push to the Huskers run game in 2024.
Dowdell might just be the most anticipated transfer addition to the Nebraska football team. That despite the fact that he had just 90 yards on 17 carries in 2023. Dowdell has the size and speed to immediately challenge for a starting spot in a room that simply doesn’t have a clear cut leader.
Hill might win the trophy for most intriguing transfer pickup for Matt Rhule and company simply because he spent his freshman season at the FCS level. Still, he’s the only transfer defensive back the coaching staff went after. If Hill can adapt to the higher level of competition, it would appear that he’s got a real chance to start for the Cornhuskers in his first season in Lincoln.
Thompson will be one to watch because he brings a veteran presence to a linebacker corps that’s going to have plenty of talent. He also reunites with Tony White who was his coach at Syracuse. In four seasons with the Orange he had 169 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 20.0 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles. He’ll be expected to play quite a bit for Nebraska football if not start.