Setting the scene:
For the third time since 2009, Nebraska (9-3) will play in the Holiday Bowl on Saturday. Their opponent...the USC Trojans (8-4), under the direction of new head coach Steve Sarkisian. While new Nebraska head coach Mike Riley won't be coaching in the game, he will have plenty of interest in seeing the Huskers pull an upset. Riley and his staff recruited heavily on the West Coast while at Oregon State and a win over an elite Pac 12 opponent could go a long way in recruiting for years to come.
The previous Nebraska coaching staff wasn't afraid to extend an offer to high-end talent on the west coast - often earlier in the recruiting process than most schools in the Pac 12. Looking at the USC two-deep, at least a double-digit number of players received a Nebraska offer during the process.
Recruiting in the other's backyard:
- USC currently has no players from the state of Nebraska on their roster. While they do recruit nationwide, they very rarely find themselves in the Midwest with their talent base in California.
- Nebraska currently has four scholarship players from the state of California [CB.) Josh Mitchell, QB.) Johnny Stanton, RB.) Terrell Newby, OL.) Corey Whitaker]. Of the four, none were offered by the Trojans.
- Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory hasn’t had the season he would have probably liked, getting hurt early in the year, but it likely won’t affect his draft status down the road. Teams will look at his raw potential as a selling point. Gregory was Scout.com's Jamie Newberg’s No. 4 player selected in Scout.com’s 2015 NFL Mock Draft 3.0.
- For the most part, USC is pretty young on both sides of the football, but will likely see junior defensive lineman Leonard Williams leave. According to Newberg, Williams is the best player in the draft not a quarterback.
DEPTH CHARTS (With recruiting rating)
*Years = years out of high school, not with the team.
**Ratings are the newest available rating, so in the case a player went to JUCO, it is their JUCO rating, not HS rating.
|USC OFFENSE||NEBRASKA DEFENSE|
|QB||Cody Kessler||4||DE||Greg McMullen||3|
|RB||Javorius Allen||4||DT||Vincent Valentine||3|
|WR||JuJu Smith||1||DT||Maliek Collins||2|
|WR||Nelson Agholor||3||DE||Randy Gregory||4|
|WR||George Farmer||4||WILL||Zaire Anderson||5|
|LT||Toa Lobendahn||1||MIKE||Josh Banderas||2|
|LG||Damien Mama||1||BUCK||David Santos||4|
|C||Max Tuerk||4||CB||Josh Mitchell||5|
|RG||Viane Talamaivao||1||CB||Daniel Davie||4|
|RT||Zack Banner||3||S||Corey Cooper||5|
|TE||Randal Telfer||5||S||Nate Gerry||2|
|USC DEFENSE||NEBRASKA OFFENSE|
|DE||Leonard Williams||3||QB||Tommy Armstrong||3|
|NT||Delvon Simmons||4||RB||Ameer Abdullah||4|
|DT||Claude Pelon||4||WR||Kenny Bell||5|
|SOLB||Su'a Cravens||2||WR||Demornay Pierson-El||1|
|RUSH||J.R. Tavai||4||WR||Jordan Westerkamp||3|
|MLB||Hayes Pullard||4||LT||Alex Lewis||4|
|WILB||Anthony Sarao||4||LG||Jake Cotton||5|
|CB||Kevon Seymour||4||C||Paul Thurston||3|
|CB||Adoree’ Jackson||1||RG||Mike Mouldy||5|
|S||John Plattenburg||1||RT||Matt Finnin||5|
|S||Gerald Bowman||4||TE||Cethan Carter||2|