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Matt Rhule ‘so glad’ for NCAA in-helmet communication debut

In-helmet communication will debut in college football this season, but Nebraska has been preparing for the change for the past year. NU practiced with microphones in helmets during spring practices in 2023 and 2024, and coach Matt Rhule has already seen potential benefits.

The Huskers scrimmaged Saturday, and all three scholarship quarterbacks could hear play calls and instruction relayed down to the line of scrimmage, regardless of who was in the game. It allowed Daniel Kaelin, Dylan Raiola and Heinrich Haarberg — two freshmen and a junior with one year of starting experience — to stay more mentally engaged on the sideline and see the action play out with a more informed perspective.

“They’re getting all these mental reps, and I’m hearing it now, so I can hear what’s being said,” Rhule said. “I think they’re adjusting really well. It’s gonna be a tool for a lot of people, but I think it will be a really good tool for us.”

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Rhule still expects some teams to use hand signals on offense, and all teams to use hand signals on defense, even though that unit can have one “green dot” helmet on the field, as well. 

College football offenses will go “even faster,” Rhule said, to negate any of the advantages a defense might gain through in-helmet communication. 

“They know the defense has to signal,” Rhule said. “One guy can’t get the playcall and tell it to 10 other guys when (the offenses) are going in 12 seconds. It’s impossible.” 

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