It's been a wild year for Nebraska fans. From the first commitment of Ryne Reeves almost 19 months ago to the last known commitments of Mauro Bondi and David Sutton two to three days ago. It's a long process and after Wednesday these names go back into the long term memory and a whole new list of new names will take over for 2011-2012.
But first, many wonder how the class for Nebraska will wrap up. So, the experts at Big Red Report will give you their predictions on five remaining targets/recruits for Nebraska and where they will end up or is one will get a Nebraska offer. Then, we will talk about any other surprises tomorrow that we are expecting, the strengths and weaknesses of the class as it is and our overall thoughts on this group as a class.
The final recruits that could be part of the Nebraska class:
Darien Bryant: TE, 6-foot-4, 205-pounds, Pickerington (Ohio)
Steve says: Hawaii
Bryan says: Hawaii
Kevin says: Hawaii
Todd Peat: DT, 6-foot-3, 270-pounds, Tempe (Ariz.) Corona Del Sol
Steve says: Arizona State
Bryan says: Nebraska
Kevin says: Nebraska
Kent Turene: LB, 6-foot-3, 225-pounds, Lauderdale Lakes (Flor.) Boyd H. Anderson
Steve says: Georgia
Bryan says: Georgia
Kevin says: Georgia
Keeon Virgile: LB, 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, Miami (Flor.) North Miami Beach
Steve says: North Carolina
Bryan says: North Carolina
Kevin says: North Carolina
Dion Bass: CB, 5-foot-11, 185-pounds, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Steve says: No offer
Bryan says: No offer
Kevin says: No offer
Besides the aforementioned players, can Nebraska expect any other surprises tomorrow?
Steve says: Depending on how Peat goes, Nebraska could offer Brandon Yost, an in-state defensive tackle who finished first-team super state this year, as awarded by the Lincoln Journal Star. The Millard West standout could even get a grayshirt offer even if Peat commits, considering Nebraska doesn't seem to have really gained much ground back on a couple of losses due to decommit earlier on in the recruiting season. As for shockers, I don't see any. The biggest one might be tight end Darien Bryant might be changing his mind and going back to Nebraska. But at this point I'd say he is Hawaii bound.
Bryan says: I don't foresee any other surprises besides calling Peat as a Nebraska commitment(and that is going out on enough of a limb). I have heard some things recently about Nebraska trying to flip Josh Turner, but I don't think that is possible. Nebraska might, they just might, reach out to Brandon Yost on Wednesday with gray shirt spot. That would be it.
Kevin says: None this year in my opinion. I think Todd Peat would be a huge bonus to this class, and would be a nice player o finish off with, but you couldn't call him a surprise. The NU staff has spent countless hours recruiting the big man from Arizona. However, most of the locals that have followed his recruitment think he'll sign with ASU, so a commit to the Big Red tomorrow could still be a mild surprise for some.
If this class finishes the way that it is on paper what are the strengths and what are the weaknesses?
Steve says: The big strength is the offensive line, both figuratively and literally. I think Nebraska did a fine job in not just getting guys, but getting those who you could see make an impact by their redshirt freshman year. Just from the fact that they got more than one for the first time in years, quarterback was addressed well. But with Starling almost certainly going to the major leagues, that gives Nebraska one quarterback for the class. But Turner should be a good one. Charles Jackson does a world of good for that secondary, and along with Stafford that could be a standout group. Jackson could see the field as a freshman. If Ciante Evans could do it, as small as he was when compared to the competition, I don't see why Jackson couldn't, outside of the notion that Nebraska probably won't be in nearly as many dime packages in the Big Ten as they were in the Big 12. The weakness was on the defensive line. I say this with the belief that Peat will end up at Arizona State. And Nebraska did help their cause adding Joe Carter at defensive end. But you just came off a season where Nebraska had the most decorated defensive tackle in college football history, and they get exactly one this year. I doubt that's all Nebraska was going after for this class. '
Bryan says: The strengths to me are along the offensive line and in the offensive backfield. I think that the combination of Jamal Turner, Bubba Starling, Aaron Green and Ameer Abdullah is flat out scary behind guys like Tyler Moore, Ryne Reeves, Ryan Klachko, Zach Sterup and Givens Price. I do like the guys in the secondary too with Daimion Stafford and Charles Jackson. I expect Stafford to play next year, but wouldn't be surprised at all if Jackson found his way onto the field.
The weakness to me is overall numbers and on defense. Nebraska could likely miss on another defensive tackle and at linebacker. The scholarship numbers at the linebacker position is flat out scary. Santos will be just the fifth player on campus who is on scholarship that plays the linebacker position. In contrast, Nebraska will probably go back to a 4-3 base putting as much as 60% of their scholarships at those positions on the field at one time. At DT and NT, there are two at most on the field and sometimes less. Yet, Nebraska will be carrying six scholarships here. Something just doesn't add up.
Kevin says: It's hard to argue with the O-line being the strength of the class, but I'm going with the secondary players, even with the loss of Tevin Mitchel. Charles Jackson and Daimion Stafford were both the top players on the board for Nebraska at their position, so landing those two was a major homerun for the staff. Stafford will contribute next year, and could push for starting time by mid-season. He is as physically gifted as any secondary player already on the Nebraska roster. Charles Jackson is a clone of Alfonzo Dennard, and could also push for playing time his freshman year. During the practices for the US Army All-American game, Jackson put on a show against the top WR's in the nation and more than held his own. He'll be the next great corner in the Pelini system.
The weakness for me would be the wide receiver position. That is the one position Nebraska continues to struggle with in recruiting elite talent and player development. And I truly believe the Huskers will never get over the hump until this changes. Having a great running game will only take you so far, as Husker fans have seen over the last two years.
Early thoughts of the 2010-2011 recruiting class for Nebraska:
says: It's a good thing that Nebraska had some solid blood connections this year
in the form of Aaron Green whose brother is at Nebraska and Tyler Moore, whose
dad played at Nebraska. Not to say
they were the only big dogs, but this class is looking decidedly different if they don't get those two. I like the class overall, especially on the offensive line. And that brings me to the question which I can't answer.
How come is it that Nebraska's defense ranks among the best every year since Pelini arrived, and they have defensive players who certainly get a lot of hype and high rankings when projecting them to the NFL, but when you are talking about the "stars" Nebraska gets in each class, most of them seem to be on the offensive side of the ball? I don't get that. I know that it's not for a lack of effort, at least for a couple of coaches on that side of the ball. So, it baffles me to no end. They had some needs, but I think they came up short at linebacker, which is a position I think they will need a lot more of now that they are going to see more power running offenses in the Big Ten. They essentially got one, because Max Pirman will be a defensive end. And no tight end? They tried like crazy to get one, but struck out all along the way. The closest they got was David Sutton, who may be good down the road. But is he the field stretcher that Darien Bryant would have been? It's a hit and miss class, basically. In some areas they hit it well. In some, they missed it by a mile. But the good thing is, at least on the defensive side, we know these guys can coach. So, there's that.
Bryan says: The class is stars rich and quantity poor. Nebraska has 18 commitments (19 if you include the gray shirt to David Sutton) and is rated as the 23rd best class in the nation the night before LOI day. However, if you do a sort based on the average stars per recruit you will see Nebraska move up to the 16th best class. This class has power. Where is lacks nationally when it comes to being a top 20 class, or better, is what you get with another four, five or six players in the class.
Kevin says: I think the offensive side of the ball was a success any way you look at it. Other than Tight End, Nebraska got the top guys they were after. But on defense I would have liked to have seen the staff nab another corner to fill the void Mitchel left, and another quality pass rushing DE from the high school ranks would have been a nice addition as well. But if I was giving this class a letter grade, I'd go with a B+.