Nebraska picked up their ninth commitment in the 2012-13 class this week from Kevin Gladney. Gladney, a 6-foot-2 and 185-pound wide receiver from Akron (Ohio) Firestone, is a three-star prospect and the No. 81 wide receiver in the nation according to Scout.com. Scout.com's Allen Trieu says that Nebraska got a solid prospect in Gladney.
"I saw him at an invitational not too long ago," Trieu said. "He's a very good route runner and has some polish to him. I would say above-average size, good hands and maybe not the fastest in the world, but does everything else well which allows him to create separation from the defenders."
Not being a burner might concern some people, but not Trieu. In fact, Trieu says that because Gladney isn't known for his speed the film on Gladney is that much more impressive because he is consistently beating faster, quicker defenders.
"He's smart because he knows how to create that separation through his other tools and I think that is more important than a guy that is a sprinter. There are a lot of wide receivers in the NFL and college that aren't speed guys, but are great receivers because they know the craft. They all catch the ball well and there are always places for guys like that."
Without a doubt Nebraska is having success on the recruiting trail this year. Seven of the 2013 commitments are from the Big Ten footprint with Gladney becoming the fourth from Ohio in the class. According to Trieu he thought Nebraska would eventually have success recruiting Big Ten country, but not like this and so quickly.
"I think that it's surprising and it's very, very positive for Nebraska not just in this class, but also in the future. When Nebraska joined the Big Ten I didn't think that they would be able to pull in this kind of class from the Midwest right away. I thought it was going to take some time to change their recruiting area.
"They've done a great job, they have obviously worked at it, and I think that it's going to pay dividends this year and in the future. Players from these schools that Nebraska is pulling from are schools that they will continue to recruit in coming years and they are beating out a lot Big Ten schools for these players. You look at the offer lists that some of these players have and it's impressive that Nebraska is beating all of those schools so quickly in the Midwest."
Nebraska has nine commitments and at this point last year there were two (Westerkamp technically committed in May last year). Trieu says that the new approach and aggressiveness by Bo Pelini and his staff on the recruiting trail is easy to see with results this year and will payoff down the road.
"They have certainly shown a new aggressiveness in their approach to recruiting and they have shown the ability to roll with the punches. Recruiting is something that is happening earlier now when it comes to the recruiting calendar. I think that these days, in order to compete, you really have to be able to pull in early commitments. If you want to build your class late then you are going to do with a lot of players being off your board. You have to work ahead nowadays not only in the current class but on next year's class too."