Carolina Panthers, College Football

Did Matt Rhule just leverage Carolina connections for latest recruit?

Matt Rhule has landed a three-star recruit from just outside of Charlotte in Evan Taylor to come play for his Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Apparently, people will actually follow Matt Rhule to Lincoln from Charlotte these days, as three-star defensive back Evan Taylor just committed to Nebraska over the long weekend.

Taylor had 10 offers, including ones from East Carolina, Charlotte and Rutgers. He is fresh off his June 16 visit to Lincoln, having visited Rutgers on June 2 and East Carolina on June 8. His primary recruiter to Nebraska is defensive passing game coordinator and assistant head coach Evan Cooper, who has been on Rhule’s staff since their days at Temple. Taylor is UNL’s 13th commit.

Even if Rhule’s tenure leading the Carolina Panthers went terribly, he still seems to carry some cachet in The Queen City, to some extent.

Did Rhule being the former Panthers’ head coach have anything to do with Taylor committing to Nebraska? Possibly, but there is way more than meets the eye on why he committed Monday.

Evan Taylor commits to play for Matt Rhule at Nebraska from nearby Charlotte

I think Taylor’s commitment to Nebraska has more to do with the two following things than it does Rhule’s former Carolinian connection: Taylor only had one other Power Five offer (Rutgers) and many members on Rhule’s staff have ties to the region as well, such as Cooper and offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield, who most recently worked for Shane Beamer at South Carolina.

Rhule may have coached in Charlotte for three seasons, but that doesn’t seem like the biggest selling point in getting people from that part of the country to come play for him over in Lincoln. Players commit to Rhule because they know his staff is keen on player development. He has a reputation for taking two- and three-stars and getting them to play championship-caliber football.

The other big factor in this is Nebraska has to recruit on somewhat of a national level to achieve any long-term success, simply because there is not enough blue-chip talent in-state to sustain a Power Five program of the Huskers’ historic ilk. They used to have a pipeline into Texas during the Big Eight/Big 12 days, but they must recruit even more creatively now playing over in the Big Ten.

Taylor’s commitment to Nebraska is not all that surprising when you consider several key factors.

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