A look inside the numbers

The size of the recruiting class for Nebraska is one that differs year to year depending on who you ask. You take the number of scholarships that are seniors, add in some attrition, maybe subtract one or two for walk-ons earning scholarships and there's your number. Even if you have your number though there are numbers inside the number by position. Here's my guess - lucky 13.

If you look at the roster and imagine the class of 2012 seniors are no longer a part of it the team is actually pretty young, particularly on offense. It seems like yesterday that Rex Burkhead was stepping on the field as a true freshman and next season it might be Rex and Ben Cotton you are looking at as offensive captains.

Still, there is going to be about 13 players in the class of 2012 that will be added to the roster as true freshman. This number could potentially increase if Charles Jackson and/or Daimion Stafford do not make it to Lincoln as part of the class of 2011.

Let's take 13 as the number though and look at the needs inside the class and figure out how it's all going to fit:

Nebraska will be Armstrong's first official

QUARTERBACK – The quarterback depth is paper thin and it only gets worse if Bubba Starling takes the money and runs to the Major Leagues. It's necessary for Nebraska to get one quarterback that fills the need of a dual-threat guy who can run the Nebraska offense the way Tim Beck envisions it.
Possible recruit - Tommy Armstrong: The Huskers will get the first official visit from Armstrong and Nebraska are in his top two. Only one at quarterback this year.

RUNNING BACK/FULL BACK – The running back position went from dangerously thin at the end of 2011 to young, deep and full of promise. It's going to be interesting to see how or if Nebraska decides to separate any of Green, Abdullah and Heard in eligibility by redshirting them in 11-12, but one thing is for sure and that is that there really isn't a need there for Nebraska at running back this year.
Possible recruit – none

WIDE RECEIVER - Nebraska has one commitment at wide receiver for 2012, Jordan Westerkamp, and this might be the only commitment at this position for 2012. That is unless Nebraska can get a player like either Kenny Lawler or Monty Madaris. The Huskers will at least get a visit from Lawler, who actually visited earlier this summer during camp and came away impressed, and Madaris will likely visit.
Possible recruits – Jordan Westerkamp and Kenny Lawler: Huskers haul in two here and probably push the signing class to 14. Can't turn away a guy like Lawler; Huskers get two here.

Thurston was a good get for the Huskers
OFFENSIVE LINE - Offensive line is another position that the Huskers have nailed down at least one commitment in Paul Thurston, but will likely take more. Nebraska will likely take two more players along the offensive line with one at tackle and another on the interior of the line that can play center with Thurston slated to play guard.
Possible recruits – Paul Thurston and Andrus Peat: Unless there is another guard out there that Nebraska looks good with then I am missing them. Outside shot with Evan Goodman, Ronnie Stanley and Brandon Hill, but all are tackles. Nebraska probably takes just two.

TIGHT END - Nebraska will have three Cotton's on the team starting in 2012 with the youngest, Sam Cotton, joining brothers Ben and Jake. Nebraska could take another here at tight end depending on the numbers at another position, like offensive line. There are still some targets at tight end that Nebraska will likely get visits from and Cotton could slide over as a defensive end recruit.
Possible recruits – Sam Cotton and Orlando David: Cotton is already in and a player like David is coming back from a serious knee injury and could play either as a tight end or a wide receiver possibly. Huskers likely take one.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE - It appears that the number here is one, but again there might be a spot or two that could be generated if certain players want in. Still, the solid need to get this year is just that one spot. The Huskers will likely host one of their top DT targets over the next week or so in Vincent Valentine.
Possible recruits – Vincent Valentine and Faith Ekaktie: Yes, a couple of players from Illinois are likely the top defensive tackles on Nebraska's board with a player like Ryan Watson there as well, but not as likely. Nebraska likely takes just one here.

Johnson will be visiting Washington weekend
DEFENSIVE END - Nebraska already has a big commitment for the class of 2012 and on the defensive side of the ball in Greg McMullen. McMullen is a class jewel and someone that you build around and compliment. Greg, more of a strong-side defensive end, needs a weak-side compliment in this class. That leads me to believe that the Huskers get two here. Possible recruits – Greg McMullen and Taiwan Johnson: Nebraska will get an official from Johnson and I have felt good about him coming to Nebraska since I spoke to him. There is also an outside chance on a player like Troy Hinds. Nebraska takes two.

LINEBACKER - The first commitment for the class of 2012 was Michael Rose and even though he's waivered to some extent on his commitment he has shored it up to Nebraska and is now helping build the class of 2012 by calling recruits. Nebraska will likely grab at least one more linebacker to compliment Rose in this class, but could take a couple more.
Possible recruits – Michael Rose and Joe Robinson: With the remaining targets that the Huskers have out there I just don't think that there are two more to take. If a guy like Quanzell Lambert or Deion Jones is there then sure, but I don't think that Nebraska takes a flyer on just anyone here this year. Huskers take two here.

Beaver is rated the No. 12 CB in the nation
CORNERBACK - Nebraska is looking for the next Alfonzo Dennard in 2012 and they are in on some very good ones. There aren't any commitments for Nebraska yet at the position and after a pair of recruits that I think are not only a good fit for Nebraska, but will also see a good opportunity at Nebraska, take a visit the Huskers will be in an even better position with both of them.
Possible recruits – Brandon Beaver and Tyreece Giles: I think that Nebraska will try and get two cornerbacks in this class and Beaver and Giles seem like the most likely candidates at this point. There are players like Jermaine Edmondson, who may or may not have a Nebraska offer, and other athletes like Kevon Seymour (not a very likely target) and a player like Alonzo Moore who could play WR, CB or S possibly. The second spot here might be based on whether or not Charles Jackson qualifies.

SAFETY - So, count up what I have said before and you get to 13. Yes, I think that Nebraska will find room for one more and get a safety to cap it all off. There will be a player like previously mentioned Moore or a Ghierry Vanderkup that fit. There are also true safeties that Nebraska is high on that the Huskers could get. Remember, a player like Moore or Vanderkup could play multiple positions.
Possible recruits – Ghierry Vanderkup, Jordan Diggs and D.J. Singleton: Nebraska is going to try and get a top flight safety like either Diggs or Singleton, both of which were supposed to visit but their plans fell through, or they will get that player that can do multiple things (likely receiver or safety) and slot them to the best position once they get to Lincoln.

For a class that will be so small, there is some flexibility. If Nebraska gets three offensive lineman, great. If not, there is a spot that you can roll to linebacker or tight end. That's where you will find guys like Moore or Vanderkup or even a Fred Tiller come up because they can play a number of positions, even Singleton could possibly play wide receiver. There is some value there, but like I said before you can have too many of these guys and try to put them just anywhere and miss on real naturals at positions as opposed to great athletes that can play just about anywhere.

So there it is. I am even saying 14 now folks. This class isn't big, but the quality is there. I think that the Huskers average stars per commitment could be extremely high. The quality will help the team get where they need to get to, but the lack of quantity will not allow this class to crack the top 25. It will be a shame too. If the Huskers come away with a Peat, Valentine, Armstrong, etc. it would be, in my opinion, Nebraska's strongest recruiting class under Bo Pelini.

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