Nebraska landed its first verbal commitment for the 2022 recruiting class on Sunday morning from Columbus linebacker Ernest Hausmann. Here are three observations following Hausmann’s announcement.

1. The in-state linebacker is a good icebreaker for the 2022 class.

Landing a Nebraska kid to start building the recruiting class around is a win-win for the Huskers. NU has taken a purposeful approach so far in 2022 since recruits haven’t been able to visit campus, but the staff didn’t want to go too much longer without having anybody on board.

Hausmann is not only a promising prospect, but he’s a local foundation, too. Think about Teddy Prochazka at the start of the 2021 class and the way in which he was able to serve as a peer recruiter, show up on campus regularly when other prospects came to town and more. Now that torch is Hausmann's, a high school standout who grew up a Nebraska fan and picked the Huskers over several other good Big Ten options, just like Prochazka did.



"I'm really excited about doing that," Hausmann told the Journal Star. "I'm ready to help build this class and I'm excited about 2022." 

The in-state crop of 2022 players has been a source of some consternation among Nebraska fans, particularly after four-star offensive lineman Deshawn Woods (Omaha Central) and linebacker Devon Jackson (Omaha Burke) left the Huskers out of their respective top groups of contenders recently. Now, NU has Hausmann in the boat and can continue on its path of recruiting the others — notably, Bellevue West tight end Kaden Helms — while evaluating further players like Lincoln Southeast’s Jake Appleget, Bellevue West offensive lineman Henry Rickels and others.

Hausmann is the 14th in-state scholarship player to commit to Nebraska since coach Scott Frost took over in December 2017. 

2. It’s not every day you find a Power Five linebacker prospect who also plays wide receiver, but that’s Hausmann. 

He led the Discoverers in 2020 with 447 yards on 34 catches (13.1 per reception) and was second on the team with five touchdown catches.

Columbus coach Craig Williams said his staff made the easy call to move Hausmann from cornerback — he played there behind now-Wyoming freshman running back Joey Braasch in 2019 — down to linebacker for the 2020 season, but they wanted to leave him at outside receiver where he could use his size and skill set.

3. Let’s not get too far out over the skis when it comes to the first commitment of the cycle for Nebraska, but Hausmann jumping on board early does begin to set up an interesting situation at linebacker for the Huskers in 2022.

Put simply, NU has offered a bunch of them. Players like Hays, Kansas, teammates Gavin Meyers and Jaren Kanak, Jared Badie (Oswego, Illinois), Harrison Taggart (Draper, Utah), Jordan Crook (Duncanville, Texas), Edwin Kolenge (Clearwater, Florida) and more.

Perhaps one in the boat will lead others to think about joining Hausmann in the class. It’s not exactly clear how many linebackers Nebraska will take in 2022 — they most certainly would like to add somebody with a frame like Badie (6-foot-5 and 220 pounds) as more of a true outside linebacker, though Hausmann could end up playing either inside or outside in college — but Hausmann’s addition will help the Husker staff plan its board from here forward.

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