Nebraska received a transfer commit Tuesday from Utah offensive lineman Tyler Knaak. Three takes on the decision of the 6-foot-6, 305-pounder:
Offensive line remains a long-term need, so the Huskers made a long-term addition
It'd be surprising if Knaak, who left Utah after a redshirt season, made the starting lineup in 2023. Even the rotation might be a stretch; among first-and-second-year players, only Henry Lutovsky appears to be in that top seven. But ponder the 2025 season, when all the current juniors on the roster have left for the NFL or some other league. Knaak — along with Georgia offensive line transfer Jacob Hood — is a down payment on that year, and perhaps even 2024, before which it's possible guys like Bryce Benhart, Turner Corcoran and Ben Scott might test NFL waters.
A good athlete who's still in the transition from defensive line to offensive line
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And that can take a little bit of time. Knaak made the switch late in high school, spent one year in the role at Utah, and now is here. There's some advantage in adding a player who already knows how to balance school and practice, who's already had a taste of collegiate strength and conditioning and who comes from a pro-style offense like Utah, which does some of the same things Nebraska hopes to achieve.
Never say never with the portal
Nebraska might be done — but there's no guarantee, either. Graduate transfers can leak into the portal once they get degree, and NU in June is hosting a post-grad camp for portal and junior college players. NU coaches will make the scholarship numbers work; they have no choice, for one thing, and new name, image and likeness arrangements can pay older prospects scholarship-equivalent money through endorsement deals. Nebraska might well chew on the right receiver. Or the right older quarterback willing to back up Jeff Sims.