The Missouri option

If Nebraska indeed wants to snag the best players in a 250 to 500 mile radius from Lincoln, recruiting Missouri could be a huge challenge.

When Nebraska assistant offensive line coach John Garrison came out of Blue Springs High School to Nebraska, it wasn't uncommon for the top players in the state of Missouri to go elsewhere. Schools like Kansas State, Oklahoma, Illinois, and Nebraska capitalized.

But now things have changed, and pulling players from the state of Missouri is a little harder these days.

"Missouri has done a great job in the last ten years of keeping Missouri kids in Missouri," said Garrison. "We have won a couple of those battles, one of them last year, and that's what I'm trying to do."

It's not likely to get any easier. The Huskers did land linebacker Michael Rose in February, the No. 8 player in the state. But were not able to reel in guys like Durron Neal (No. 4), Evan Boehm (No. 5), Donavin Newsom (No. 6), or Michael Scherer (No. 11). The Tigers landed six of the top ten products in their state last year, building off momentum from a switch to the SEC.

"Last year Missouri did a great job locking down the in-state kids, I think that was in-part to them moving to the SEC and the excitement around it," said Greg Powers, National Recruiting Analyst for Fox Sports Next. "At the end of the day, I think it's going to come down to wins and losses. Will Missouri be able to compete. If so, it's going to help them.

"When kids pick a school to play at, they either want a place where they can have a chance to play or have their friends and family be able to see them."

2013 Missouri products Nebraska has offered

RB.) Ezekiel Elliott: John Burroughs HS (4-stars) Ohio State COMMIT

MLB.) Nick Ramirez: Lee's Summit West HS (4-stars)

OLB.) Chase Abbington: Fort Zumwalt South (4-stars) MISSOURI COMMIT

OT.) Zach Hannon: Rockhurst HS (3-stars)

DE.) Donnie White: De Smet Jesuit (not ranked at this time)

MLB.) Eric Beisel: Rockwood Summit HS (not ranked at this time)

Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & Scout.com since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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