Matt Rhule is back coaching college football and things have changed since he left for the NFL following the 2019 season.
Name, Image and Likeness, coupled with the transfer portal, has changed the sport significantly, as players are now free to find a new landing spot after the season.
In just the past few days, multiple quarterbacks have reportedly entered the portal, including Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke, Duke’s Riley Leonard, Kansas State’s Will Howard and Coastal Carolina’s Grayson McCall.
In Rhule’s first year at Nebraska, three quarterbacks made at least five appearances during the season, according to ESPN.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Rhule was asked whether he needed to go into the transfer portal for a quarterback, and Rhule made it clear what that would require.
“Make no mistake that a good quarterback in the portal costs a million to $1.5 million to $2 million right now,” Rhule told reporters. “Just so we’re on the same page. Let’s make sure we all understand what’s happening. There’s some teams that have $6 or $7 million players playing for them.”
Rhule added that Nebraska will certainly take a look at the transfer portal, but the player would have to meet a certain set of requirements.
“We just kind of believe in doing things the old school way,” Rhule said. “The hard way. Building. But that doesn’t mean we won’t look at people in the portal. We did it last year.
“It just means they have to be clearly an impact player for us, if they’re like a one-year player. Or they have to be someone that has multiple years to get into our program and develop.”
Sophomore quarterback Heinrich Haarberg led Nebraska in passing yards with 967, while sophomore Chubba Purdy and junior Jeff Sims combined to throw for 664 yards.
“When I go back and look at our quarterbacks this year, obviously everyone can look at the negatives,” Rhule said. “The turnovers and all those things. I also see a lot of positives. I saw a lot of positives in the way that Chubba played. I say to myself, if Chubba had played more throughout the course of the year, would he be further along?”
“I think Chubba has a high ceiling,” he continued. “When I look at Heinrich, Heinrich wasn’t even in quarterback meetings last year. He wasn’t even allowed to go to meetings. So, I’m really proud of him.”
Nebraska finished the year 5-7 in Rhule’s first season in Lincoln, missing out on a bowl game after a close loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes in Week 13.