Matt Rhule is entering his first spring practices as the head coach of Nebraska. While a lot will be learned about Rhule’s squad in these sessions, the team has already been participating in offseason workouts and conditioning.

One player that has caught the attention of Rhule and his staff already is running back Gabe Ervin Jr. A 3-star prospect in the 2021 recruiting class, Rhule called Ervin “one of the stars of the offseason.”

We’ll see if that continues throughout the spring, but that’s a great first impression for Ervin with his new head coach.

Ervin had 124 yards and 2 touchdowns as a true freshman before a season-ending injury. He appeared in 8 games during the 2022 season with 94 yards while battling off-and-on injury issues.

“Matt Rhule practice — this whole staff under Matt Rhule — they’re kind of detail-oriented,” said Ervin of his impressions of the new-look Huskers. “They kind of remind me of my staff from high school. Lot of detail-oriented, kind of focused on the details, and, like, willing to win. They’re really focused on that winning culture and trying to find the details.”

Outlook for 2023

When healthy, Ervin has shown an ability to make plays. Unfortunately, his injury struggles and the emergence of Anthony Grant as a workhorse back in 2022 have limited Ervin’s productivity during his time with the Huskers.

With Grant suspended to begin the spring, Ervin will get another chance to keep impressing Rhule and his staff leading into the 2023 season. Even if Grant does return as expected, Ervin can showcase he deserves to have a role in the offense moving forward.