About half done?

At the end of May the 2014 class for Nebraska had two known commitments. The class now sits at 11 and should be slightly more than half-way done. What's left for the class based on what's in the class and the standing needs?

Just six weeks ago there were many questions about when will there be another Nebraska commitment? A year ago there were four commitments by the end of May, but people forget that in 2012 there was only one commitment by that deadline.

There may have been some questions back in 2012 when that class was going to get going, but it doesn't seem like it was this year. But then again, the 2013 class happened and that was arguably the best recruiting class that Bo Pelini had hauled in as a head coach at Nebraska.

With success comes the hope and the urgency. And as the end of the summer approaches that sense of urgency may appear once again. The past two years, based on when the recruit has chosen to go public about committing to Nebraska, there have only been four commitments that have taken place during the actual football season.

If you look at the commitment list you can assume that Tim Beck must be smiling from ear to ear. There are definitely some players in the class already like Zack Darlington, Monte Harrison, Demornay Pierson-El and Freedom Akinmoladun that can be weapons with the right development and guidance in Beck's offense.

You also see an offensive line taking shape with a pair of talented guards, Tanner Farmer and D.J. Foster, as well as a player like Mick Stoltenberg that will likely start out his career as an offensive tackle under Coach Barney Cotton and John Garrison.

So what's left on offense? Lorenzo Stewart now fills the spot at running back, but there is likely still a need at wide receiver. Yes, I said wide receiver and I will continue to say it as long as there is any uncertainty with Harrison foregoing his collegiate career to try out Major League Baseball.

There seems to at least be another spot on the offensive line, possibly a center, and then again it could be a tackle that is a little more ready to go than Stoltenberg. Then again Stoltenberg could also be that bigger, blocking style tight end like Ben Cotton was while he is in Lincoln.

On offense the holes are few and far between. There is also some flexibility when you get to looking at a couple players on the commitment list and where they could play that could be as fluid as Nebraska getting other commitments and then moving their position again in the class.

It's a luxury, but it's also something that you can't build a class around. You must have players that translate to a specific position for the vast majority of the class. But in a larger class, 20+ players or so, the luxury does at least present itself. Nebraska must limit it though.

On defense there is less of a luxury at this point based on the lack of commitments and really based on where the numbers will be in this class. Nebraska has three players committed that should be slotted to play defense with all three probably starting out in the defensive secondary.

If you look at the past two classes for Nebraska they have loaded up on young linebackers. There likely won't be a lot of names in the 2014 class slotted to play linebacker and a player like Luke Gifford could end up there eventually anyway. I could see Nebraska wanting to get a true free safety though in this class to go along with a lot of bigger safeties that Bo Pelini seems to be stockpiling.

For now slide Gifford to safety though with Trai Mosley at cornerback. The cornerback position is a big part of the 2014 class with four, graduating seniors on the team right now at the position and now Nebraska must replace Jason Hall in this class.

Sliding up to the defensive line I think that here is where there could be the most question marks. I am a big fan of both of the defensive tackles that Nebraska got last year. I could see Nebraska only taking one high school defensive tackle and then making a push again for another junior college player to join him.

I would say that at defensive end the mentality might be the same as it is at defensive tackle. Nebraska went out and grabbed the top, junior college defensive ends last year and may only take one more at this position. This thought may or may not be affected by the recent dismissal of Ernest Suttles.

If you look at that list you could see two more on the offensive line and one at wide receiver on offense. Then on the defensive line you can see two or three between the two positions, just one at linebacker and probably four more in the secondary to go along with Drew Brown who is a committed kicking specialist.

Those numbers get you to that 20-22 range that I think Nebraska will end up getting to when everything is said and done in February. Nebraska's staff makes their money in November, December and January by hauling in typically half of their class in those months for the year. After players like T.V. Williams, Harrison Phillips and Peyton Newell make their announcements it might be quiet on the recruiting front for a few months. Thankfully for Nebraska fans the season will be here to distract them.

Bryan Munson has worked with Big Red Report for 10 years covering recruiting and football and has covered Nebraska recruiting for 12 years.
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