The amazing thing is the Huskers were prepared to sign 26 or 27, if the right players were available.
Examining numbers in recruiting can be fun. Let's dig a little deeper and look at the latest batch of newcomers on their way to join the Huskers in this "by-the-numbers" analysis.
4 – The number of All-Americans Nebraska landed in the 2014 class. Three are on the offensive line: Tanner Farmer (Under Armour), D.J. Foster (Semper Fi), and Nick Gates (Semper Fi). The other was quarterback Zack Darlington, who attended Semper Fi practices, but did not play in the game due to a season-ending injury. Cornerback commit Trai Mosley also participated in the USA International Bowl. "We're going to want them to come in and work hard," said Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini. "That's what we want out of each and every one of them, to develop. I know everybody wants to talk about these guys like they're ready to be All-Pros. They're not. They're young men that, really across the country, have potential and have a lot of work ahead of them."
33 – The number of sacks Peyton Newell racked up over four years at Hiawatha (KS) High School. The four-star product was named to the 2013 Topeka Capital Journal and Wichita Eagle Top 11 all-state teams, and was named the all-class defensive lineman of the year by both publications. "He has a mentality and a maturity and, in my opinion, the type of work ethic that will allow him to maybe come in and make an impact quickly," said Pelini.
7 – The number of positions played by Gretna prep Mick Stoltenberg at Nebraska's camp last summer. The Husker coaching staff watched him at all five offensive line spots, defensive end, and tight end. It's likely the three-star product will start at offensive tackle, but he has the versatility to play anywhere. "A guy I know who can be a heckuva offensive lineman, but also has the potential to be a tremendous defensive lineman if we go that route," said Pelini. "Mick, a kid who's that big and can run the way he can, can do a lot of different things for us."
186 – The total number of extra points Drew Brown kicked during his junior and senior years. He only missed ONE. Brown, a three-star prospect, also went 18-of-21 on field goals attempts during the span, with his long coming from 51 yards. "It's a great opportunity with a kicker leaving," said Brown on coming to Nebraska. "I am ready to compete and do everything that I can do to get a spot on the field."
ZERO – The number of commits Nebraska landed on National Signing Day. It was the first time Nebraska didn't land a player on LOI day since the 2010 class. In 2013, the Huskers received a pledge and letter of intent from Trevell Dixon. In 2012, there were multiple players: defensive tackle Aaron Curry, defensive tackle Vincent Valentine, and athlete Alonzo Moore. In 2011, Arizona product Todd Peat signed his paperwork that day.
32 – Where the Huskers finished in the Scout.com team recruiting rankings by average star rating. Nebraska finished No. 34 overall, but their 3.04 star average per recruit pushed them up two spots when it comes to quality. NU's ranking trailed Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Penn State in the Big Ten.
2 – The number of state-championship-winning quarterbacks the coaching staff took in the class. Darlington won a Florida State title his junior year, leading Apopka High to a 13-2 record. A.J. Bush won Georgia's 6-A state championship in 2013 at Norcross High, his first year at the school. The two preps will join Tommy Armstrong (Texas HS) and Johnny Stanton (CA) as quarterbacks on the roster who have won a state title.
$1,500,000+ - The amount of dollars Monte Harrison could earn, possibly more, if he chooses to play baseball when he's drafted later this spring. A three-sport standout, Harrison is likely to be drafted in the first or second round. "I think he has every intention of coming here and playing football and also baseball," Pelini said on signing day. "If that changes, who knows? I know one thing: it would have to be something pretty significant to keep him from doing it, because I know in his mind he sees himself as football player. He likes to play the game and is excited about coming here. If something out of the ordinary gets thrown his way where he has to make a decision, at that point we'll sit down and talk about it."
9 – The number of kickoff and punt-return touchdowns Glenn Irons recorded during his senior year in 2013. He was named a first-team 4A all-state selection as a return man in the state of Louisiana.
34,000 – The number of tweets attached to Trai Mosley's Twitter profile when this story went to print. To put that in perspective, I get paid to use Twitter in my job, and he's got about 3.3 times the number of posts as I do.
3 – The number of early enrollees in Nebraska's 2014 class who entered school in January and will be able to participate in spring practices. Two are junior college transfers: defensive end Joe Keels and defensive back Byerson Cockrell. The other is Darlington, who tweeted on National Signing Day that he was cleared by doctors to participate this spring.
4 – The number of commits in the 2015 class. Three of the four are four-star players, as Nebraska looks to capitalize on the quality of players within a 500-mile radius of Lincoln being strong. "There is some good talent that is drivable. I feel great about where the 2015 class is headed," said Pelini. "There is a long ways to go."