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Nebraska received a commitment on Monday from San Antonio (Texas) Southside quarterback Richard Torres. Three takes on the decision of the 6-foot-6, 210-pounder:
1. The Huskers got there first with a big scholarship offer, and reaped the benefits. If Torres turns out to be what NU coaches think he can be — a game-changing passer with above-average mobility — he'll be one of the chief scouting successes of the Scott Frost era, because Nebraska offered him before every team other than Texas-San Antonio. Torres had virtually no heat on him when NU pushed the offer, and while other teams like Kansas State and Washington State followed suit, Nebraska's risk kicked open the door. This is Frost and quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco trusting their evaluation over any kind of typical recruiting perspective. They largely did the same with Logan Smothers and McKenzie Milton, who turned into a star at Central Florida.
2. NU appears to be moving in a new direction on its quarterback recruits. Torres is in the mold of current Husker QB Heinrich Haarberg — long, lean, and strong-armed. This is different from McKenzie, Noah Vedral, Luke McCaffrey and Smothers, all of whom are smaller and shiftier than the two most recent NU quarterback recruits.
What's the advantage of guys like Torres and Haarberg? First, they can see over defenses. That's helpful, especially over the middle of the field. Second, because both can sling it long distances, Nebraska's able to stretch the field vertically, which in turn helps to open up intermediate crossing routes and hook routes that won't have safeties pouncing on them. A team doesn't have to complete 100% — or even 50% — of super-deep passes to shape a defense's response.
Taller, lankier quarterbacks don't typically have great 10-yard dash times, so they don't necessarily pop off the screen at the beginning of a zone read. But once they get up to speed, they can run away from defenders over the course of 40 yards (watch Haarberg with this).
Does this represent a shift in NU's offensive philosophy? Not necessarily. Marcus Mariota is a tall guy. Justin Herbert, recruited to Oregon by Frost, is a tall guy too. Haarberg and Torres fit the molds of those players — even if it's very premature to compare them to Mariota or Herbert. The frame and potential is there.
3. Can Torres be the tentpole Nebraska's 2022 recruiting class needs? Running backs and wide receivers tend to want to know who will be throwing them the ball. Now any 2022 prospect will know. Is Torres the type of recruit who then turns into a peer recruiter for the team? He's easily one of the quietest QBs in terms of interviews, and he did not play the recruiting game with teams during the spring. NU's done a lot of work in putting together a list of top offensive prospects, and Torres will likely be the first domino among many. Watch Ashton Hayes, Landon Samson and Grant Page, especially. Watch 2023 and 2024 prospects in Texas as well.
The Huskers were the first major program to offer a scholarship to three-star quarterback Richard Torres, and the early work paid off with his commitment to Nebraska.