Peat, who visited Nebraska for the Colorado game, had narrowed things down to Arizona State, Oregon State and Nebraska for about the past three weeks or so. Peat continued to push off a commitment date until finally saying he would decide on signing day. This morning, it was a decision for Nebraska.
"I went back and forth between Arizona State and Nebraska," Peat said. "I was at a basketball game tonight and I really felt like I was going to go to ASU. Then when I was driving home, the car in front of me had a Nebraska license plate and it just hit me that Nebraska was where I wanted to go."
Peat brought the class to a total of 20 players; 12 on offense, 7 on defense and one special teams; and added some much needed depth across the defensive line.
Let's take a real good look at the class by position, listing out the players, and ranking them based on the need and the players that Nebraska got:
QUARTERBACK – (Need 1-2) Bubba Starling and Jamal Turner: B+
I am sure that a few of you can't believe the grade I am giving here, but it's this way for a couple of reasons and I will explain. Let's start with Starling who is a fine prospect for Nebraska and could challenge for some time this fall. However, that's if he's in Nebraska this fall. Starling is rated by some as the #1 high school baseball player in America and is likely a first round draft pick. There are some that believe he will be a top pick and the money will be too great for him to pass up. And Turner is talented as well, but in the UnderArmour All-American game Turner saw time at wide receiver and not quarterback. While Turner is willing to do whatever the Nebraska coaching staff asks him to do and while Turner came in as a quarterback it's possible that Turner could be working out at another position this spring, summer or fall.
RUNNING BACK – (Need 2) Aaron Green and Ameer Abdullah: A
I also like both of the players at the running back position, but I can't give them the best grade on the team. I think that Green is an exceptional running back that will get to play immediately at Nebraska. I think that Green has the speed, vision and athleticism that Nebraska needs at the running back position. There is also a need to get another body behind Rex Burkhead for this fall. Then with Abdullah he's another player that I think could get on the field at Nebraska this fall. Built a little differently than Green, Abdullah also has good mobility, vision and speed, but is a little more of a bowling ball. Abdullah has an uncanny ability to pick up good yards after contact. I am still interested in the fate of Braylon Heard and if he ever makes it to Lincoln.
WIDE RECEIVER – (Need 2-3) Daniel Davie and Taariq Allen: C+
Davie and Allen could play wide receiver at Nebraska or could end up in the defensive secondary somewhere. The official release though states two wide receivers and Davie and Allen seem to be it. Davie has good speed and could be valuable out of the slot position. Davie also figures into the special teams as a returner more than likely. Allen is probably more of an "x" receiver and you will see him outside. Allen is a longer, more athletic frame that can add 15 pounds or so to his frame. He will likely need to adjust his game to the physical nature of college football. Allen shows the ability that you look for in an outside receiver to be able to go up and get the ball at the highest point.
TIGHT END – (Need 1) David Sutton: D+
Sutton is a gray shirt that could find his way onto the 105 for fall camp and onto the 85 scholarship list as a result of Nebraska not hitting all of their numbers in the 2011 recruiting class and also if there is an injury at the tight end spot and another body is needed. The grade here isn't a knock necessarily on Sutton who could turn out to be a fine player, but Nebraska has failed to bring in a tight end, as a recruit, since 2008 that has seen meaningful time on the field (Ben Cotton). The Huskers have missed on two junior college players (Chase Harper and Tyson Hetzer) and there is a high school player that has yet to see the field so far (J.T. Kerr) in the past three classes. Nebraska could have used an "instant help here" with health issues surrounding Dreu Young and Ryan Hill.
OFFENSIVE LINE – (Need 4-5) Ryne Reeves, Tyler Moore, Ryan Klachko, Zach Sterup and Givens Price: A+
I absolutely love what the Nebraska staff was able to do along the offensive line. I believe that Nebraska has gotten players this year that figure into the mix immediately in Lincoln with guys like Reeves, Moore and Klachko. However, it's the possibilities that you have to love when it comes to guys like Sterup and Price. Reeves, Moore and Klachko will come in and have the build, the seasoning and are maybe just a little more ready to play than the other two, but when you talk about the potential and some time in the system with Sterup and Price you might be talking about the two players in the class that turn out to be two of the best. There are short and long term answers. Nebraska got size. Nebraska got attitude. Nebraska got better along the offensive line. Easily the best group in the Nebraska recruiting class by position.
DEFENSIVE LINE – (Need 4 (2 – DTs and 2 – DEs)) DT: Kevin Williams and Todd Peat, DE: Max Pirman and Joe Carter: A-
The group on the defensive line looks a lot like the offensive line, just not as highly rated. Nebraska needed some guys that figured into the equation immediately, they needed some real stars and they needed some guys that they can build up because of potential. I think that Nebraska got their immediate contributor in Carter. Carter will push for time opposite Cameron Meredith this year. Behind him, Pirman has a long frame that can hold more weight. He will have a year or two to season himself and build up that body. At DT, Nebraska got Peat who is an excellent prospect because of quick hands, aggressiveness and the ability to get through blocks. Williams on the other hand has had an athletic advantage over opposing lineman that will require him to adjust his game a bit. It's comparable to Thad Randle in a way, but we all saw Randle take some huge strides this year on the field.
LINEBACKER – (Need 2) David Santos: D
Santos is a solid player. I was really impressed by his film and his ability to step up and play gap responsibility at linebacker, his ability to go sideline to sideline and he also has the ability to drop in coverage. However, adding Santos to the current situation at linebacker just isn't enough. Nebraska needs to get ready to replace Lavonte David next year and start developing some WILL LBs. More than that, when Nebraska adds Santos there will be just five linebackers on scholarship in comparison to the seven that are on scholarship at DT/NT. The numbers just don't add up. Nebraska needed another player here and didn't get one. More than that, there was really a time from September through maybe the end of October to November that any other linebackers even appeared on Nebraska's recruiting radar.
DEFENSIVE BACKS – (Need 2-3 (1 – S and 1-2 CBs) Daimion Stafford and Charles Jackson: B+
Yes, Nebraska came away a little short of the ideal numbers. Add Wayne Lyons or Tevin Mitchel or Frankie Williams and the rating here is easily an A. But, the DB positions are basically the short story for the class. The class was short on overall numbers, but the numbers that were inside it were overall good. Numbers poor and stars rich. Stafford and Jackson immediately figure into the equation in the secondary rotations at Nebraska. Stafford looks a lot like Dejon Gomes to me on film, literally almost identical, and the report card on Jackson was that he was the most physical cornerback in San Antonio for the U.S. Army All-American game. Jackson was critical to keep as part of this class. Both should find their way on the field next year.
KICKER – (Need 1) Mauro Bondi: A
The name here changed a lot throughout the year, but in the end Nebraska might have gotten better because of it. Niklas Sade was the longtime commitment to come in and kick for Nebraska. That was until he decided to commit to the in-state school and Nebraska was left to scramble. Other names popped up, but Bondi was interested enough to take a trip and eventually commit. Bondi has a live leg, particularly when it comes to punting and kick offs. I think that Bondi will have to work on his field goal accuracy, but Bondi figures into the picture at a couple of different spots in the Nebraska kicking game next year.
Overall, this is a class that is pretty solid from top to bottom. There really aren't the head scratchers on the commit list that have needed to be justified with words like there have been in the past. It's short a player or two, despite what anyone has to say about keeping a spot or two open for walk-ons. This class needed a tight end and it needed another linebacker at the very least. It could have used that true safety. Still, the names that are in it and the immediate help at quarterback, running back, offensive line, defensive line and in the secondary are evident. Nebraska needed to re-load and they went out and got the guys that will help them do just that.