football Edit

Gage Stenger commit: What does it mean for Nebraska?

The Nebraska football team added a surprise commitment from Omaha (Neb.) Millard South linebacker Gage Stenger.

The 6-foot-2, 205 pound Stenger was originally committed to K-State and can play a number of different positions. Here are some quick takes and thoughts on what his commitment means for Nebraska.

1. 2022 is a deeper year in-state than most on the outside probably give it credit for. The bottom line is Nebraska has kept tabs on Stenger ever since his private workout in June and he's putting up one of the best all-around seasons in Class A.

2. This offer almost reminds me of the Cole Payton one that never officially came a year ago. Just like Payton, Stenger is the top overall athlete on the No. 1 team in Class A. Stenger plays quarterback for the Patriots, but projects at a number of different positions - the same as Payton if he chose to go Power Five. At KSU's camp this summer, Stenger ran 4.61 in the 40-yard dash and weighed in at 205 pounds.

3. This season Stenger has completed 55-of-80 passes for 1,095 yards and 11 touchdowns to no interceptions. On the ground he's rushed for 507 yards on 53 carries for 10 touchdowns. Defensively, he's made 10 total tackles and is also a starter. A year ago, he also played wide receiver and made 51 total tackles. He took over the QB job for the top-ranked Patriots once T.J. Urban moved on to Air Force after a stellar career for Andy Means.

“He starts both ways. He pretty much plays every snap and we rotate him in. We have had games where we’ve gotten ahead of teams and we take him out, but against Bellevue West and those type of teams he’ll play pretty much the whole game."
— Millard South head coach Andy Means

4. You have to wonder if players on the current NU roster like linebacker Luke Reimer have given Barrett Ruud and the Husker coaching staff a whole new appreciation for all-around guys like Stenger. There are good athletes in this state that you have to make projections on. North Platte's Vince Genatone, Westside's Dominic Rezac and Fremont Bergan's Koa McIntyre would also be in that same boat.

5. So where will Stenger play? That's a great question. He's played linebacker, running back, receiver and quarterback in high school. I think he's one of those guys you just get here and let the chips fall where they do. My guess is he fits more of an inside linebacker type or a hybrid role depending on what he does with his body.

6. When you take away the Valen Erickson commit then de-commit, Stenger is the Husker's first commitment since defensive lineman Hayden Schwartz on July 12. That has been one heck of a drought.

7. The lack of official visitor targets since June followed by the commitment of Stenger really adds to the mystery of this 2022 Husker recruiting class and the approach. We've never seen a year like this before, but NU's lack of overall numbers is why. The Huskers still plan to only sign no more than 13 recruits in 2022.

"I think Nebraska did a great job with him when they brought him down. He was really wowed by them. He liked Kansas State. It was going to take a lot to get him to change. Whatever Scott (Frost), Barrett (Ruud) and Coach (Erik) Chinander did, they wowed him and got him to change. It’s a pretty big deal.”
— Millard South head coach Andy Means

8. 2022 commit breakdown 

1. 3/7/2021 - Ernest Hausmann- LB - 6-foot-3, 210 - Columbus, NE - 3 Stars

2. 4/1/2021 - Victor Jones- WR - 6-foot-2, 190 - Orlando, FL - 3 Stars

3. 6/7/2021 - Chase Androff- TE - 6-foot-6, 230 - Southlake, MN - 3 Stars

4. 6/14/2021 - Richard Torres- QB - 6-foot-6, 211 - San Antonio, TX - 3 Stars

5. 6/17/2021 - Ashton Hayes- RB - 5-foot-11, 180 - Reno, NV - 3 Stars

6. 6/20/2021 - Grant Page- WR - 6-foot-3, 185 - Boulder, CO - 3-Stars

7. 6/20/2021 - Jake Appleget- OLB/TE - 6-foot-4, 210 - Lincoln, NE - 3-Stars

8. 7/14/2021 - Hayden Schwartz- DE - 6-foot-4, 250 - Jacksonville, FL - 3-Star

9. 10/12/2021 - Gage Stenger - ATH - 6-foot-2, 195 - Omaha, NE - 3-Star

9. 2022 commit breakdown by position 

1 - Quarterback

1 - Running back

2 - Wide receiver

1 - Tight end

0 - Offensive linemen

0 - Defensive tackle

1 - Defensive end

1 - Outside linebacker

1 - Inside linebacker

0 - Safety

0 - Cornerback

1 - Athlete

0 - Special teams

10. Where are they from? 

3 - Nebraska

2 - Florida

1 - Colorado

1 - Minnesota

1 - Nevada

1 - Texas