During the months of April, May and June, Big Red Report constructed an offensive and defensive wish list for the Huskers.
During July we will be taking it a step further – focusing every couple days on a new position, not just one side of the football.
With roughly 18 scholarship seniors leaving the program after the 2016 season, Nebraska’s class will likely push to 21 or 22 in February. Of course it’s early and the number is usually always higher the closer National Signing Day gets.
Today we look at the quarterback spot. After taking Patrick O’Brien’s commitment in 2016 and accepting Tulane quarterback transfer Tanner Lee, the Huskers are expected to take just one quarterback in the 2017 class.
For this exercise, there are a few guys who likely won’t sniff Nebraska – they won’t visit, but they do have an offer. On these lists, we also list any prospect who was already are a commitment.*** This list is not an official wish list, but the feeling of Big Red Report ***
In the last decade Nebraska hasn’t landed their top prospect often, but it was the case with Calabasas (Cali.) high school product Tristan Gebbia, who received an offer before even taking a snap his junior year.
Nebraska offered a handful of nationally recruited signal-callers in 2017, some ranked higher than Gebbia. But the Calabasas four-star prospect was always the quarterback offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf spent the most time recruiting in the ’17 class.
Gebbia, a teammate of Nebraska wide receiver commit Keyshawn Johnson Jr., picked the Huskers in early April, after narrowing his choices to Mississippi, Washington, Washington State and West Virginia. During the process he also had offers from Miami, Alabama, Arizona State and Louisville.
“I'm excited to be working with Coach Langsdorf,” said Gebbia at the time of his commitment. “He has produced a lot of NFL quarterbacks, some who are still playing in the League. It was a really tough decision for me but I feel really good about and I'm excited to be a Husker."
As a junior in 2015, Gebbia threw for 4,443 yards and 45 touchdowns, to just nine interceptions in 14 games. He completed nearly 63 percent of his throws.
Since the time of his commitment, Gebbia has visited Lincoln multiple times and become one of the Huskers’ biggest recruiting advocates – often a must for a quarterback in a class.
“As soon as you get up there, and meet the coaches, it becomes really apparent that it’s family atmosphere in Lincoln,” said Gebbia when talking about what he pitches to other recruits. “The coaches really treat the players well…you aren’t just another number to them.
“Nebraska isn’t necessarily the stereotype we see. It’s not just cornfields. It’s a beautiful city and a great place to play football. It is a place you can focus on both football and academics.”
Gebbia has plans to be an early enrollee, so Husker fans will get their first look at the quarterback in the spring of 2017. But, don’t expect Gebbia to be likely contending for the job right away as a true freshman. The soon to be senior, who has a big arm, will need a year or two to physically get ready for the Big Ten. Nebraska will be able to afford to redshirt the Cali prep with O’Brien and Lee in the mix to start in 2017.
Nebraska has already offered five known quarterbacks in the 2018 class. Four of the five rank inside the Scout.com Top 300, with one still waiting to be evaluated by analysts. Two of the five, Jacob Sirmon (Washington) and Jack West (Stanford), are already committed.
Cameron Rising was one of Nebraska’s early targets, but has indicated a commitment could come as early as this summer. He has announced plans to visit multiple schools, but Lincoln wasn’t an early destination announced.
Look for the Nebraska coaching staff, especially Langsdorf, closely evaluate a possible new batch of 2018 offers through the months of September and October.