Nebraska native Noah Vedral finds ‘special’ opportunity with Huskers after transferring from UCF

Nebraska native Noah Vedral finds ‘special’ opportunity with Huskers after transferring from UCF
Noah Vedral served as UCF's backup quarterback as a true freshman. (World-Herald News Service)

LINCOLN — Nebraska’s quarterback room got bigger Tuesday, and the addition is a name familiar to prep and Husker football fans.

Noah Vedral, the Wahoo Neumann two-sport star who spent his true freshman season at Central Florida, is transferring back to Nebraska, following coach Scott Frost, who just led UCF to an undefeated record and Peach Bowl title. Vedral was a backup for the Knights this season.

“The chance to play at home is a special thing,” Vedral told The World-Herald. “It would be special to be back home.”

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Vedral played in eight games for UCF this season, completing 22 of 29 passes for 276 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 77 yards and two touchdowns.

Vedral is already enrolled at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, according to school records. He plans on participating in spring practice. Vedral declined to say whether he’s joining the team as a scholarship player or a walk-on.

A source close to the situation confirmed to The World-Herald that UCF blocked Verdal from a scholarship transfer to Nebraska or any other American Athletic Conference school.

“It was very difficult to leave UCF,” Vedral said. “It’s a very special place and special university.”

Such scholarship transfer blocks have happened before; the best-known case was Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, who walked on at OU for one year after Texas Tech refused to release him. Athletes pay their own way for one year and go on scholarship after that.

The Huskers did not offer Vedral a scholarship out of high school after he accounted for 6,811 total yards and 77 career touchdowns during his Wahoo Neumann career. Frost did, and in limited action Vedral seemed a snug fit for UCF’s spread passing offense.

“I know the offense,” Vedral said, “and the offense suits my skill set the best. … What is best for me was to come and play at home.”

He’ll be the fourth Vedral to play at Nebraska. Noah’s dad, Mike, was a tight end in the early 1990s and two uncles — Jon and Mark — played after that as a tight end and linebacker, respectively. Noah Vedral’s maternal uncle is former Husker quarterback Matt Turman, who’s currently the head coach at Omaha Skutt. Matt’s dad, Tim, is Wahoo Neumann’s head coach and Noah’s grandfather.

Noah may have been the most decorated prep athlete of the entire family. He helped lead Wahoo Neumann to the Class C-1 state championship game in football as a senior and won three Class C-1 state titles in basketball. Vedral is Neumann’s school record holder in steals.

He made the 2016 All-Nebraska football team as a defensive back — he had three interceptions and a fumble recovery — and was also a member of The World-Herald’s Super Six entering his senior year. In basketball, he was third-team All-Nebraska as a senior.

Now, he’s coming home, as Vedral announced on Twitter.

“I’m really close with my family, and my brother is going to be entering his senior season, and I have younger siblings still at home,” Vedral said.

NCAA transfer rules generally require an athlete to sit out one season before playing, though the NCAA approves some waiver requests for immediate eligibility.

Nebraska has three scholarship quarterbacks on campus: Patrick O’Brien, Tristan Gebbia and Adrian Martinez, who is enrolling early. NU continues to pursue another quarterback for the 2018 recruiting class.

Huskers make last of football staff official, including Barrett Ruud as 10th assistant coach

LINCOLN — Nebraska has officially named Barrett Ruud as a full-time assistant coach in charge of inside linebackers as the final pieces of Scott Frost’s new football staff come into focus.

The move — anticipated since Frost was hired Dec. 2 — is in accordance with NCAA legislation passed last April that increases the number of full-time assistants on each team from nine to 10. An email released by the university Tuesday confirmed the hire of Ruud, who spent the past two seasons on Frost’s Central Florida staff as a defensive quality control administrator.

Ruud collected a school-record 432 tackles during his playing days at Nebraska from 2001-04 and was a three-time All-Big 12 choice and a 2004 third-team All-American. He went on to be a second-round pick in the 2005 NFL draft and played eight seasons, including six with Tampa Bay.

The Lincoln Southeast graduate joins offensive line coach Greg Austin and running backs coach Ryan Held — along with Frost — as former Husker players on the new coaching staff.

Nebraska also officially announced other members of its football staff Tuesday. The list includes Gerrod Lambrecht (chief of staff), Matt Davison (associate A.D. for football), Sean Dillon (director of player personnel), Ryan Callaghan (assistant director of player personnel), Mike Cassano (national high school relations), Trent Mossbrucker (assistant director of football operations), Frank Verducci (senior offensive analyst), Zach Crespo (special teams quality control), Jack Cooper (defensive quality control), Dustin Haines (offensive analyst), Steve DeMeo (offensive line graduate manager), Jasen Carlson (assistant football strength coach), Andrew Strop (assistant football strength coach) and Sean Beckton Jr. (performance intern).

Others who were part of former coach Mike Riley’s staff who will remain with Frost’s team are Kenny Wilhite (director of high school relations), Adam Clark (director of football operations), James Rodgers (director of player development), Tate Guillotte (director of video technology), Ryan Voecks (video coordinator), Nick Smith (graduate assistant coach), Cole Ashby (wide receivers graduate manager), Joni Duff (football staff secretary for the head coach/defense/special teams), Teri Riggins (football secretary for the offense/recruiting), Kevin Ashmos (recruiting intern) and Addison Morris (recruiting/operations intern).