Nebraska surging for 2024 EDGE Keona Wilhite

On3 imageby:Hunter Shelton02/03/24

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Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe Catholic three-star EDGE Keona Wilhite was one of the many Washington signees to depart following Alabama’s hiring of Kalen DeBoer.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder announced on Jan. 18 that he had been released from his National Letter of Intent with the Huskies. It didn’t take long for new suitors to emerge once he came back on the board.

On Saturday, Nebraska recruiting insiders Bryan Munson and Sean Callahan each logged picks in the On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine (RPM) in favor of Wilhite committing to Matt Rhule and the Huskers.

Wilhite immediately took official visits to Michigan State and Nebraska the weekend following his NLI release. Both Big Ten programs began their late push — as did UCLA, one of the schools that was in the mix for his pledge back in the summer.

Huskers defensive coordinator Tony White and current UCLA head coach Chip Kelly each made in-home visits with Wilhite. Earlier this week, it was the Bruins that were picking up steam with the EDGE, as multiple recruiting insiders and analysts logged predictions in favor of the California program. Things could be shifting in favor of Nebraska, however.

“Earlier in the week, every indication we had was things were moving in a different direction with Keona Wilhite and Nebraska. Something changed over the last 24 to 48 hours, as he appeared set to go to UCLA,” Callahan said.

Reports of Kelly potentially leaving UCLA for opportunities in the NFL could leave the Bruins looking for a new skipper late in the process. That potential wrinkle could be a big reason why Wilhite would end up in Lincoln rather than Los Angeles, according to Callahan.

“I now like where things sit again with the Huskers as Wilhite prepares for a signing day announcement on Wednesday,” he said. ” I think some of the uncertainty surrounding Chip Kelly’s future at UCLA will be a major factor if the Huskers win out here over the Bruins.”

Huskers looking for late addition to impressive 2024 class

Nebraska hit it big on the recruiting trail in December, as it flipped Buford (Ga.) five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola from Georgia. The No. 3 signal-caller in the cycle now headlines a group of 26 signees — resulting in the No. 24 class in the On3 Industry Team Recruiting Rankings.

Logan (Iowa) Magnolia four-star interior offensive lineman Grant Brix flanks as a fellow top-100 recruit. Other top signees in the class for Rhule and Co. include DeSoto (Texas) four-star cornerback Mario Buford, Altair (Texas) Rice Consolidated three-star safety Roger Gradney and Bellevue (Neb.) West three-star wide receiver Dae’vonn Hall.

Wilhite is the No. 635 overall prospect and No. 55 EDGE in the 2024 cycle, according to the On3 Industry Ranking, a weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies. He’s also the No. 12 player in Arizona.