Four-star ATH recommits to Nebraska football, picks Huskers over Deion Sanders and Colorado

Malachi Coleman is back in Nebraska’s class.

It took an all-out, crucial effort from the new coach Matt Rhule and the Huskers, which included relationships built with other staff members – such as recruiting staff Omar Hales that should not be overlooked.

The coaches had to navigate Coleman’s decommitment during their first week on the job and had to hold off a late charge from the strong aura of Deion Sanders and Colorado – where Coleman took an official visit during the final weekend of the live period Dec. 16-18.

That work has paid off in a tremendous way as Coleman recommitted to Nebraska on National Signing Day, making the announcement via Rivals live stream with national recruiting analyst Clint Cosgrove.

“We’re staying home. We’re not going anywhere,” Coleman said. “Coach Rhule is known for putting people into the NFL and building teams back up. And I fully believe that’s what we’re gonna do here. And I wanna be part of it when we change things around because I’m from here, this is where I live. This is my city. So I wanna put on for the state. That’s what I’m trying to do.”

The Huskers have now locked up the commitment of the state’s top-ranked player from Lincoln East. In doing so, they earned one of the most important in-state recruiting wins in recent program history and what will be the biggest win for Rhule’s staff in the 2023 cycle.

Coleman, the country’s No. 65-ranked overall player and No. 2-ranked athlete nationally, is booming with potential. He’s a 6-foot-5, 196-pounder who runs a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash, a 10.46 in the 100-meter dash and has a vertical leap of 41.8 inches. That combination of size, speed and athleticism are what make him one of the highest-ranked players in the state’s history.

It’s also what makes him the ideal Rhule recruit.

While Coleman is loaded with all of those tangible athletic gifts, he is still raw and has a lot of room for development. That’s what gives him such a high ceiling in Lincoln, and now he has a coach guiding him who has a strong track record of developing players with raw skill sets – skill sets that aren’t as impressive or as vast as Coleman’s.

“I got offers to play seven different positions,” Coleman said. “(Rhule) wants me to play receiver, and once I master that we’re gonna branch out from there and see what else I can do.”

Coleman initially committed to Nebraska on Oct. 22 but reopened his recruitment on Dec. 1 following the arrest of Mickey Josephwith whom Coleman and his family had as strong and impactful of a relationship as you will see between a Nebraska coach and a high school recruit.

It was going to take a strong, concerted effort from Rhule and Co. to prove themselves to Coleman and his family. Rhule got to work immediately, making it clear how highly prioritized Coleman was to him and the Huskers.

“I was one of the first people that Matt Rhule called,” Coleman said on the day he decommitted. “Nebraska’s definitely not out of the picture.”

Rhule backed up that talk by visiting Coleman at Lincoln East on the first day of the live period, Dec. 2, and made an in-home visit with him hours later. The communication continued throughout the next two weeks and included Coleman’s official visit Dec. 9-11.

Others got in the mix, too, with Michigan being the other keynote competitor while Syracuse and Louisville traveled to see him during the last two-plus weeks. In the end, though, Coleman’s recruitment came down to a two-team race: Nebraska and Colorado

Sanders and the Buffaloes came calling, and Coleman listened. But the Huskers spoke to him louder.

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