Brodie Cunningham, Jackson Benge, James AckermanBrodie Cunningham, Jackson Benge, James Ackerman
Men's Golf

Husker Men Sign Trio of Talented Golfers

Lincoln - The Nebraska men’s golf team will add a trio of talented golfers to the mix next season, after Head Coach Judd Cornell announced the signing of the three newest Huskers on Thursday.

Jackson Benge (Omaha, Nebraska), James Ackerman (Leawood, Kansas) and Brodie Cunningham (Glasgow, Scotland) signed their letters of intent to join the Nebraska men’s golf program on Nov. 8.

“I’m extremely excited to have Jackson, James and Brodie join our program,” Cornell said. “They have proven they can play at the highest level of college golf. All three bring plenty of experience and are well in tune with their golf games, so I expect them to make immediate impacts. All three are outstanding students and come from great families. We have a great culture in our program and these three will add to that. I’m really excited for them. They will have a great experience at Nebraska”

Benge makes the short journey from Omaha to Lincoln to continue a rich family tradition as a Husker. The senior at Omaha Westside owns the best scoring average in school history (70.9) for the Warriors. The two-time district champion also owns a pair of top-five individual finishes at the Class A state tournament heading into his senior season in the spring of 2024.

The two-time all-state selection led Omaha Westside to the Class A state team title in 2023, after helping the Warriors to a runner-up finish at the state tournament in 2022. He also helped Omaha Westside to back-to-back district titles in 2022 and 2023, a conference title in 2023 and a top-10 finish at nationals in 2023.

The 2022 Nebraska Junior Match Play champion, Benge is the son of former Husker women’s golfer Amy Roux, who helped Nebraska earn its first-ever team appearance at the NCAA Championship in 2000. Benge is also a cousin to Husker baseball All-American (2003-05) and Major League Gold Glove winner and World Series champion Alex Gordon, along with being the nephew of Husker men’s gymnastics All-American Ted Harris (1994-97).

Benge, who is a three-year honor roll member at Omaha Westside, plans to major in business administration at Nebraska. He chose the Huskers over Iowa, Kansas, Clemson, Minnesota, Grand Canyon, Creighton, Kansas State and Michigan State.

“I chose Nebraska because it has always been home to me,” Benge said. “I have been a Husker since Day 1, and I wanted to keep my talents with my home school. Being a legacy is awesome, and I can’t wait to create my own legacy. I felt like Nebraska was the place where I could get better and get my game ready for the next level with all of the resources they have to offer. I also have a great relationship with both Coach Cornell and Coach Minzel, and I feel like they are going to get the program back to where it once was.”

Ackerman will come to Nebraska from Leawood, Kan., after finishing up an outstanding high school and junior golf career. The 2023 Kansas Class 6A Player of the Year as a junior at Blue Valley High School, Ackerman took third at the Kansas Class 6A state tournament as a sophomore in 2022, after tying for sixth as a freshman in 2021. He added a tie for eighth at the state tournament as a junior after winning the 2023 Eastern Kansas League individual title. He helped the Tigers to state team championships in 2021 and 2022.

Ackerman, who chose Nebraska over Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa and Iowa State, also qualified for the 2022 U.S. Junior Amateur and the 2022 Notah Begay III National Championship.

A high-performing student, Ackerman was a 2023 AJGA Rolex Scholastic Honor Roll selection and owns better than a 4.2 weighted GPA at Blue Valley High School. He plans to major in accounting and finance at Nebraska.

“I chose Nebraska because I felt a family environment with the Husker Athletic Department and developed a great relationship with both Coach Cornell and Coach Minzel right from the beginning,” Ackerman said. “There was also a strong sense of camaraderie on the Nebraska golf team, and the other athletes immediately made me feel like part of the team. I am excited about the opportunity to help grow the program into a top tier Big Ten team competing at the national level.”

Cunningham will make the longest journey of the newcomers to Nebraska for the 2024-25 season. The 16-year-old from Scotland posted a pair of wins in international events during a three-week span this summer. In early June, he won the Barrie Douglas Scottish Junior Masters with a three-round total of 207 that included a second-round 63 at the Strathmore Golf Centre in Scotland. Less than three weeks later, he added a victory at The Foundations Trophy at Blairgowrie Golf Club in Scotland with a four-round total of 285 that included a third-round 67.

He added a fourth-place individual finish at the European Boys Team Championships in Slovakia, while also finishing sixth at the ProDreamUSA Junior Masters at Pollock Golf Club in Scotland in early July. Overall, he produced seven top-10 individual finishes in 16 European tournaments from April to October of 2023.

Cunningham, who enjoys playing the bagpipes, plans to major in economics and finance at Nebraska.  

“I chose Nebraska because of how well they treat their student-athletes in regards to helping them within the classroom, gym, nutrition and much more,” Cunningham said. “Along with that is how nice the people are at Nebraska. They are constantly investing in their academic and athletic departments, which means they are always improving.”