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Nebraska’s Matt Rhule Appears to Lament NIL Costs of Transfer Quarterbacks

Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule, like other college coaches, understands the importance of finding a solid quarterback to lead a winning program.

Due to the newly developed marketplace established by NIL collectives, securing a ready-made quarterback out of the transfer portal now comes at steep price tag. On Wednesday, Rhule delivered a public service announcement to reporters as a reminder on how expensive an elite signal-caller can be.

“Make no mistake: a good quarterback in the portal costs $1 million to $1.5 million to $2 million right now,” Rhule told reporters, per The Athletic‘s Max Olson. “So just so we’re on the same page, right? Let’s make sure we all understand what’s happening. There are some teams that have $6-7 million players playing for them.”

Since NIL became official in the summer of 2021, the increasing prices for transfers have become the new norm for coaches and the recruiters in their program. Although Rhule is aware of the seven-figure salaries that players in the transfer portal are requesting, he said the most important attributes he seeks in players are their experience and if their skillsets are useful to the program immediately.

“The portal for me, I either want to get someone with multiple years, no matter the position, that’s on caliber with the guys we [Cornhuskers] have,” Rhule said. “Or someone who is an instant impact upgrade. Someone who can make a difference.”

Rhule started the season with former Georgia Tech transfer Jeff Sims at quarterback. However, after he struggled with turnovers and injuries in the first two games, Heinrich Haarberg started the final 10 as Nebraska (5-7) finished the ’23 campaign on a four-game losing streak after once sitting at 5-3 in late October.