The transfer portal is looked at by Huskers Head Coach Matt Rhule as more of a tool for opportunity rather than a tool of key significance. Rhule has received plenty of heat for not going all in on the transfer portal, but stands strong in his conviction. The Huskers are wanting to build a family, and a group that trusts each other. A group that when down in the fourth quarter, when talent is equal and when the players are exhausted they will want to truly fight for the man next to them. This cannot be achieved with one and two year transfer players. Looking at Nebraska versus a school such as Colorado, Nebraska is focused on bringing in the best athletes in the country and developing them into NFL quality talent. Meanwhile a school such as Colorado wants to bring in new NFL level talent every year and hope they fit into the system. With one you get a family, with the other you get chaos as we saw later in the year for Colorado.

Rhule and staff are not looking to add much this transfer window, but what they do add they are doing so in a way that they can make an immediate impact. Look at it this way, you need to pick up groceries so you go to your favorite store. You think you got everything you needed while there, and on your drive home realize that you forgot to pick up milk. You swing by the gas station to grab a gallon and now you have everything checked off your list. You wouldn’t get all of your groceries there do to it’s limitations but it is handy when you need to grab one more item to complete your list. I believe that is the way Rhule is looking at the transfer portal. Picking up items that are needed or that will advance the team, but not relying on it for the entirety of the haul.

That being said there are a couple of pick-ups the Cornhuskers are eyeing this transfer period. The first is always a key position in Offensive line. Jason Zandamela is a Guard out of USC and has at least three years of eligibility left. He is the number one offensive lineman in the portal and was ranked as the number one guard in the country coming out of high school in 2023. The Huskers need depth at that position and this would be a fantastic pickup. The other schools currently in the running for Zandamela are notable institutions such as Georgia, Auburn and Florida. If Nebraska can continue pulling top targets like Zandamela away from the Georgias of the college football world then they will be in a good position.

Rhule is also hoping to add depth to the defensive back room with Tre’shon Devones from Rice and Bryan Massey out of SMU. Devones showed his love for the big stage when he started 2023 with a career high 6 tackles against a very good Texas team from the safety position. He also led the Rice Owls being the highest graded defensive back in 2023, bringing experience to the Husker secondary and adding depth in a position that may need it as the season grows. Massey out of SMU is another one of those more experienced defensive backs having signed with SMU in 2020. Having shown consistency, recording 23 solo tackles in both the 2022 and 2023 seasons, he will most likely be used as a rotational player but one in which could play himself into a starting roll.

Adding to a much improved room Rhule is also going after wide receiver target and former Top 100 recruit Tyler Williams. Williams played for Georgia in 2023 and is currently being targeted by the Huskers along with other top schools such as Michigan and Florida State. Being a class of 2023 recruit, Williams is only in his second year of college. Rhule loves developing players especially when they have the attributes this wideout has.

Assuming Nebraska picks up one or two of these top targets, it will help the Huskers 2024 roster immensely. I do not think any of these players are a need, but will help with the overall depth. Zandamela is the transfer who could come in and make an immediate impact starting at the left guard spot.