Jake Appleget has been waiting for more than a year to show college football coaches what he can do in person.
He made quite an impression on literally the first day he was allowed to.
The Lincoln Southeast standout and first-team Super-State selection by the Journal Star in 2020 performed well enough in a private workout in front of Nebraska coaches Tuesday — the first day of a quiet period after a 14½-month dead period caused by the coronavirus pandemic — that the Huskers offered him a scholarship on the spot.
“I’m not real surprised,” Southeast head coach Ryan Gottula said Tuesday. “I just know Jake, I know he’s going to be a guy that’s going to test extremely well. He’s a great player, high character, very strong academics. He checks a lot of boxes. I’m just really happy for him and his family to get another offer.”
The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder compiled 67 tackles and three interceptions on defense in 2020 for the Knights. He also caught 17 passes for 280 yards and five scores. In college, he’s primarily viewed as linebacker — one that could end up either in the middle of the field or on the edge — but he could also end up at tight end.
The Nebraska coaching staff has been telling Appleget for months that they like his film and that they’re excited about his future, but that they also wanted to see him in person. That became possible for the first time on Tuesday thanks to an NCAA rule adjustment that allows unofficial visitors to campuses to work out for up to an hour in front of coaches. Appleget was the first of many to go through the workout in Lincoln, and he came away with an offer.
It’s his first from a Power Five school, though he’s got other offers from places like Northern Illinois and several FCS teams.
“For the 2022 kids, it’s certainly been pretty rough circumstances for them just in terms of the contact that they haven’t been able to have throughout the spring, so I’m just really excited for him and all of those 2022 kids to have the opportunity to show what they can do,” Gottlua said. “Jake, I knew he was going to do extremely well when he got the opportunity to work out and go through the testing for schools.”
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