Santa's coming to town

Christmas is only two days away and Big Red Report examines what Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini might be asking for from Santa.

A win over Georgia:

It goes without saying, but a win over the Bulldogs is needed to avoid what could be a pretty toxic offseason. At 8-4 on the year, Nebraska has always reached at least the nine-win mark under Pelini. Georgia's been hampered with injuries and probably isn't as good as what most experts thought coming into the preseason, but it still would be a win over a SEC squad on Jan 1. A loss, especially the blowout kind, would put a sour taste in most fans mouths until next season.

Nate Gates:

With three commitments on the offensive line, Nebraska is looking for one more to fill out the class. Simeon Vocational high school (IL) offensive lineman Denzel Ward appears to be the most likely at this point, but the Huskers are still chasing after Bishop Gorman high school (NV) offensive tackle Nick Gates, a three-star prospect by with offers from Alabama, Arizona St, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oregon State, San Diego St, etc. He's visited Lincoln twice and would an extremely good get this late in the game. Nebraska always seems to be in it for Bishop Gorman kids, but never seal the deal. It only takes one to possibly change that in the future.

Ameer Abdullah and Randy Gregory:

It appears likely both of the underclassmen will return next season, but nothing is final until the deadline for underclassman to declare. Neither are first round projections at this point, which makes it silly to leave early. Still, it doesn't mean Pelini's not asking Santa for his best offensive and defensive player to return next year.

Flowers or Gerhart:

Honestly it appears Nebraska feels they are okay going into the offseason at quarterback, but that doesn't mean they won't be trying to secure one more signal-caller in January. The top two targets are Quinton Flowers (South Florida commitment) and Coltin Gerhart (Arizona State soft verbal). Both are athletes that can project at other positions. Both have been told they can be seen as a QB in Nebraska's system. The Huskers have a better chance with Gerhart. Entering the spring, the Huskers will only have three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster: sophomore Tommy Armstrong, redshirt freshman Johnny Stanton, and freshman Zack Darlington (enrolling in January).

A top 25 recruiting class in February:

Nebraska needs to finish strong on the recruiting front – one of the biggest reasons is similar to why a win over Georgia is huge. But even more because of the way it could set up the future. Nebraska had a legit Top 12 recruiting class last season, it showed with guys like: Josh Banderas, Nate Gerry, Terrell Newby, Maliek Collins, and Kevin Maurice all contributing as true freshman. When looking at the class right now, they appear to have gotten most of their needs (need one more OL and two more DBs). Now it's mostly about recruiting the best guys on the board. With likely four to six more spots left to fill, Nebraska should get into the top 25 again. Currently they sit No. 35 overall and No. 27 when breaking it down by just talent alone. Top 25 recruiting classes are important for perception, not only for the fans, but next year's recruiting class.

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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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