The top five 2013 needs

With five defensive verbal commitments in the 2013 class, what are the Huskers biggest areas of need at the moment? Big Red Report examines...

Lincoln, NE - Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini and crew are expected to take a full recruiting class in 2013. With five total verbal commitments at the moment, the Huskers will need 20 more to give their pledge before next February – just over two recruits a month.

Currently all five commitments come on the defensive side of the football (2-OLB, 2-S, 1-DE), a trend not likely to continue after 65 percent of Nebraska's 2012 class was defense.

So where are the Huskers biggest needs at the moment? Big Red Report breaks down the top five.

Need: 2

Departing Scholarship Players: None

Reported Offers Extended: 15

Pictured: Kenny Lacy: (four-star and No. 15 OT in the country)

Notable: After not landing a true offensive tackle in the 2012 class, it's imperative Nebraska snags a couple future starters this year. The Huskers are likely to start a sophomore and junior at the position in the fall, but don't want to be put into a situation where they are forced to play true freshman in the future. Getting two tackles will allow Nebraska to redshirt both and have them ready to play in 2014.

Need: 2

Departing Scholarship Players: Ben Cotton (starter) & Kyler Reed (key-reserve)

Reported Offers Extended: 9

Pictured: Greg Hart: (three-star and No. 36 TE in the country)

Notable: The Huskers offered quite a few thought to be difference makers at the tight end position in 2012, but weren't able to land any down the stretch. Local product Sam Cotton (2012 signee) is a nice addition, but he's much like his brother Ben. He won't be a guy who stretches the field. With two departing seniors, Nebraska needs to bring two tight ends into the mix, possibly even a junior college product who would be ready to start year one.

Need: 2

Departing Scholarship Players: None

Reported Offers Extended: 5

Pictured: Tyler Cogswell: (three-star and No. 60 QB in the country)

Notable: It was debated just a month ago Nebraska only needed one quarterback in the 2013 class, but after failing to land their first four choices it appears the Huskers will not receive a commitment from one of the nation's top 15 players at the position. This means Nebraska is more likely to bring in two signal-callers, hoping competition makes everyone better. Nebraska would have taken two quarterbacks in the 2012 class, but didn't want to reach. In the end, Tommy Armstrong (4-star, No. 5 in the country) was the only quality quarterback who fit their system that committed. A total of three scholarship quarterbacks will be on campus heading into the fall. This means depth needs to be added.

Running Back
Need: 2

Departing Scholarship Players: Rex Burkhead (starter)

Reported Offers Extended: 6

Pictured: Terrell Newby: (three-star and No. 46 RB in the country)

Notable: Just three months ago the running back position seemed to be the deepest spot on the offensive side of the football. But with Braylon Heard's move to the secondary and former five-star prospect Aaron Green's decision to transfer, the Huskers are likely to take two for the backfield this year. Don't be surprised to see Nebraska target a thunder-and-lighting combo this year, two backs with two different styles working together to give the Nebraska offense different looks.

Need: 3

Departing Scholarship Players: Antonio Bell (possible starter)

Reported Offers Extended: 15

Pictured: Mackensie Alexander: (four-star and No. 3 QB in the country)

Notable: Nebraska recruited multiple athletes in the 2012 class who are likely to start their career at cornerback position, but the Huskers failed to land a true high school corner in February. Former four-star prospect Charles Jackson is qualified and should provide young depth at the position, but he has not played for a year and will likely be rusty. Pelini's defense is a challenge to understand and Nebraska loses four scholarship corners after the 2013 season. Unless the coaching staff is willing to have true freshman involved in 2014, the time is now to bring in young talent to develop.

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