Matt Rhule, the head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, has once again made headlines for his controversial comments off the field. This time, it wasn’t about integrity or honesty, but rather about his refusal to embrace the transfer portal and his belief in doing things the “hard way.”
In a recent press conference, Rhule expressed his skepticism towards the transfer portal and the high cost of acquiring a good quarterback from it. He stated, “A good quarterback in the portal costs, you know, a million to $1.5 million to $2 million right now… We just kind of believe in doing things the old-school way, the hard way – building.”
Rhule’s comments immediately drew comparisons to Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, who has been known for his traditional approach to recruiting and player development. However, unlike Swinney, Rhule lacks the credentials and success to back up his statements.
It’s worth noting that Nebraska actually started a transfer quarterback this season, Jeff Sims, but he struggled and was eventually benched due to turnovers and an injury. The Huskers’ quarterback play was a major factor in their disappointing 5-7 record and failure to make a bowl game.
Rhule’s decision to stick with Heinrich Haarberg, a quarterback who wasn’t even in the QB room last season, and his reluctance to give playing time to Chubba Purdy, who showed promise when he finally saw the field, raised eyebrows among the fanbase. The Huskers’ offensive struggles were evident, and their high turnover rate ultimately cost them several games.
The fact that Rhule took nine and a half games to realize the potential of Purdy is concerning, especially considering Nebraska’s consistent late-game collapses and their inability to win close games. The team’s quarterbacks threw critical fourth-quarter interceptions that led to game-winning, walk-off field goals in multiple games.
While Rhule may believe in the “hard way” of building a team, the reality is that the transfer portal has become an integral part of college football. Many successful programs have utilized it to bolster their rosters and find immediate contributors. By refusing to adapt and embrace this modern recruiting tool, Rhule may be hindering Nebraska’s chances of success.
Furthermore, the departure of defensive coordinator Tony White, who is likely on his way to USC, adds another challenge for Rhule and his coaching staff. If he truly believes in the hard way, he will have to overcome the loss of a key member of his coaching staff and find a way to maintain the team’s defensive prowess.
In conclusion, Matt Rhule’s comments about the transfer portal and his preference for the “hard way” of building a team may not be the best approach for Nebraska. In a college football landscape that is constantly evolving, it is important for coaches to adapt and take advantage of all available resources to ensure their team’s success. Only time will tell if Rhule’s stubbornness will pay off or prove to be a detriment to the Cornhuskers.