JD Spielman

JD Spielman (10) catches the ball during the game against Iowa at Memorial Stadium on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The JD Spielman saga at Nebraska has concluded.

The senior wide receiver officially entered the NCAA transfer portal on Monday. Spielman did not participate in any spring workouts with the Huskers before COVID-19 shut down institutions nationwide, as he returned home to Minnesota to deal with “a personal health matter,” according to a press release in March.

“JD Spielman is dealing with a personal health matter currently, and at this time is not expected to participate in spring practices,” Nebraska head coach Scott Frost said in the release. “Everyone’s focus right now is on JD’s well-being and providing him with the appropriate support. We anticipate JD returning to the team in time for summer conditioning.”

Spielman, the Huskers’ leading receiver last season with 898 yards, is one of the most decorated pass-catchers in Nebraska history. His 2,546 career receiving yards rank fourth in program history, and he was just over 200 yards away from claiming the top spot from Stanley Morgan Jr. 

Spielman was the most notable missing face when the Huskers returned to campus last week to begin unorganized workouts. He had returned to the state of Nebraska multiple times since he took his leave of absence from the program, but had not been in contact with the current coaching staff during any of those visits, according to HuskerOnline

“All I can say about JD is, we continue to hope for the best for him, and we are anxious to have resolution on everything,” Frost said last week.

The situation’s resolution brings more pressure on a largely unproven wide receiver group heading into 2020-21. Sophomore wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson returns after a breakout freshman campaign that saw him finish as the team’s second-leading receiver with 453 yards. Junior wide receiver Kade Warner also figures to see more action after only appearing in seven games last season due to injury.

Prized junior college recruit Omar Manning could also fill Spielman’s production level in some capacity. Manning, a junior wide receiver, enters Nebraska as the No. 2 JUCO recruit in the country and the No. 1 JUCO wide receiver, according to 247 Sports. He began his college career at TCU before transferring to Kilgore College in Texas. 

Spielman has not publicly spoken about the situation as of yet. He will need a waiver to compete next season, as he has not yet graduated and did not complete last semester’s academic term.

He is the 14th scholarship player to leave the program since the end of last season.

sports@dailynebraskan.com