Matt Rhule settles on QB1, updates plans for freshman WR Malachi Coleman
Matt Rhule and Nebraska are preparing to hit the second half of the season, resuming play after being on the sideline for a Week 7 bye. He addressed the media at a Monday press conference and had an update on the starting quarterback.
Jeff Sims started the season as Nebraska’s starter but was injured in the loss to Colorado and has struggled with turnovers. Heinrich Haarberg stepped in during Sims’ injury and has shown flashes with the offense.
Coming out of the bye, Rhule confirmed Haarberg is the team’s starting QB though he would not be against playing a 2-QB system at times.
“I think we’re working hard for Jeff to get the best he can be… We’ll play with Heinrich for now. Jeff gets ready to go on a moment’s notice, we mix him in with the 1’s a lot in practice. I would have no problem having a package to play 2. Not saying we would do that, but I have no problem with the way he works,” said Rhule. “But to me, Heinrich’s played well. Heinrich’s done some good things, so he’ll be the starter.”
As for a target for Haarberg, Rhule also revealed Malachi Coleman is a starting wide receiver moving forward. Coleman has just 1 catch on the season but was a 4-star recruit and the top in-state player from Nebraska for the class of 2023.
“Malachi’s a starter. He’ll start. The good thing about Malachi is he didn’t have much time to think about it,” said Rhule. “Unfortunately, Marcus went down, and Malachi had to run out there and play. He played well. He’s got things that he does differently that we’ve got to adjust to. We have to factor some of that in.”
Through the first 6 games of the season, Haarberg has completed 52.1% of his passes for 631 yards and 4 touchdowns with 2 interceptions. He’s also the team’s leading rusher with 352 yards on the year and 3 touchdowns.
We’ll see how Haarberg and the offense look coming out of the bye week in the game against Northwestern.