If you draw a radius from Lincoln that is 500 miles you would hit Chicago to Denver, you basically get all of Minnesota and the majority of North Dakota all the way to Dallas. It’s an area that Coach Mike Riley mentioned in his signing day press conference. There is a need to not only be relevant in the radius, but get the players that you need from it.
Early estimates have Nebraska taking 25 players in the 2016 class – maybe oversigning by a few. We will begin a by position breakdown of the radius and the players that Nebraska could consider from within the radius to be part of their 2016 class.
John Raridon, C, 6’4”/270, West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley - Take it for what it’s worth, but I think that Nebraska has one of the best offensive lineman in the nation with Raridon. His highlights from his junior year were laughable at times with a Michael Oher/Blindside-esque type of block running a man all the way down the field. Raridon isn’t a natural at center, but playing with the offhand should be something that he can easily pick up with some real work. It’s a position that as soon as he can pick it up he factors in to the game plan. That should add some motivation for Raridon.
Bryan Brokop, OG, 6’5”/273, New Lenox (Ill.) Lincoln-Way West - Brokop committed to Nebraska the same day as Raridon giving the Huskers two, Top 300 players in the 2016 class on the same day. That was to Bo Pelini and while still a Nebraska commitment Brokop has taken at least one trip to see another school and has been getting more interest and offers from schools as time goes. Brokop is a bit of a man-child. In fact, Nebraska was ready to offer him a year ago when they thought he just finished his senior season and he had just wrapped up his sophomore year. It will be interesting to see if the Huskers hold onto Brokop throughout the process.
Jake Heinrich, OG, 6’4”/275, Urbandale (Iowa) - If Nebraska could just justify one more guard in the class or on the team that Heinrich likely would have an offer by now. Another Top 300 player, Heinrich really shined last summer at camp in Lincoln and might have been in a position later this summer or early this fall to get an offer from the Huskers. It’s possible that Nebraska could still find a way to take another interior lineman and if Nebraska does then a player like Heinrich would likely respond favorably from a late offer from the Huskers.
Urbandale (Iowa) is a top program in the state of Iowa and this year they will have two future DI offensive lineman in Heinrich and Caleb Bright. Bright also visited Nebraska last fall and has since picked up his first DI offers. While I would say that if Nebraska takes another lineman it’s more than likely not going to be an inside guy, but if Ben Bredeson from Hartland (Wisc.) Arrowhead wanted in he would be tough for Nebraska to deny. No. 21 on Scout.com’s Top 300 list and rated the No. 1 OG in the nation; Bredeson is holding offers from all over the country including Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford, Tennessee, Wisconsin and of course Nebraska among others.