Recruiting Round Table: You ask, we answer

Check out our next edition of the recruiting round table as we answer some of your most pressing questions about recruiting.

With the news about Franklin and Hunter; does this change how many receivers Nebraska takes this year?

Bryan: It shouldn't. Nebraska really loaded up at that position last year taking Brooks, Frantz, and Spain. I also think that the addition of Gilmore will start to get more out of what was already in Lincoln before this year. Gilmore will be the best friend that Swift, Nunn, Fluellen and the others could have received. I also look for Shamus McKoy to play a role this fall.

I would expect to see Nebraska take 3 wide receivers. I don't think that changes one iota because of Hunter and Franklin. I also think that because of the versatility of Lucky, Leon Jackson and Zach Bowman. We should be just fine at this position next year. I just want to get Hunter and Franklin back in two years!

Justin: I don't think there is anyway it won't change how many receivers Nebraska takes this season. I liked what both of these kids brought to the table for Nebraska and the coaching staff will surely look to replace their roles in the offense.

I am honestly very surprised on how many good receivers we are in on at this point in the game. We have a legit chance with around ten different guys. All of this is before the end of summer and once we start putting up good numbers in our offense that Coach Callahan really wants to run, kids will start showing even more interest in us.

Coach Gilmore will surely help bring in studs, so I think there is a strong possibility that Nebraska takes 4-5 receivers this season. We just have too many kids that it would be hard to turn down. This news definitely opens up the chance even more of Derrick Russell getting offered by the staff. He is a very raw receiver though, and they might want to see some game film from his senior season first.

I almost like the situation this brings up though, with us already having decent depth at the position for the 2005 season and having so many recruits like us, things could work out well. Franklin and Hunter will get the chance to shine, hopefully together at Butler Community College in a pass first offense. They both had things they needed to work on and if we still like what they bring in two years, they will probably be ours to take back.

This will also keep our numbers down enough that we can still sell playing time to WR recruits for the upcoming class. I wish both the kids the best, but I am not worried about play the this position for the 2005 season.

Brandon: It probably does. Hunter was going to play a vital role from his receiver slot that might be taken care of by getting Menelik Holt. Franklin had the ability to play both ways and while he is a solid athlete, I feel Nebraska can secure an even better one. That said, I think Nebraska sticks with their original plan and even if they did deviate from it, I would only anticipate them taking one more receiver than originally thought.

Steve: When you sign 31 kids, knowing full well that you can only take 28, some kids are going to have to not qualify for this not to become a rather embarrassing situation for the coaches.

With the obvious issues that both Franklin and Hunter had before they signed, there was probably a solid belief that it was a roll of the dice concerning academics.

This is a very proactive staff. I don't see them behind the eight-ball as it were, trying to play catch-up, at least not anymore. They anticipated this, so I don't believe that their loss will greatly affect recruiting. Nebraska got a hearty amount of guys that could play that position if necessary, Zack Bowman included. So, I think that while they will go after more receivers, it won't be two more than what they planned on, due to the loss of both Franklin and Hunter.

I know they can't take as many recruits this year, but do you think this staff can actually top last year's class?

Bryan: I have been pretty much astounded by this staff. I wasn't sure if the sales pitch that they were using last year would hold up considering their record, but it did. It frustrates me knowing so much time passed of taking marginal classes and what might have been, but I digress.

I still see 25 recruits in our future and I have said it before and I will say it again, this class is as important, if not more important, than last year's. Last year was not a fix-all, but it will stop some of the bleeding. The major bleeding now is the lack of quality depth.

Will they land as good of a class? I have no reason to think otherwise. I see a lot of offers out there, personally I am now counting over 190, and a lot of kids still on the board who haven't committed elsewhere or have Nebraska among their leaders. I am a believer.

Justin: I hate to be looking down on anything with Husker football, but it's going to be a tough pull to get that many truly dominate kids as we did the past recruiting class. We had a consensus top ten class by recruiting services across the country and local papers were calling the class the best ever.

It's always hard to beat the best, but I feel this year we can come close still. As Bryan has mentioned before, this class is extremely important because this will be the middle class and we need to find playmakers, but more importantly those who can add depth. We will take the full 25 allowed but even with 25 amazing players, it would be hard to match the talent of any 6 recruits from the 31 we signed last season. The numbers game dictates that are class simply won't be as amazing. What it doesn't mean is that we can't bring in 25 kids the staff feels are high class athletes from across the country.

I think we will still have a top 15 recruiting class, just maybe not as many dominant players. Things can change in recruiting, and in fact its better to think the opposite of what you expect, so who knows from here on out. We are in on a lot of top 100 players and now it is up to the staff to pull those kids away from powerhouses such as USC, OU, and Miami. Getting 8-9 wins this year might change everything I just said. The second year kids don't give you a break on learning anything new.

Brandon: I think it's very possible. While last year's class certainly had quantity and quality, this class could very well end up being better overall in terms of total talent quality. Nebraska has already started strong with commits from some very enticing prospects that are all probably going to be three stars or above and are in on several excellent prospects across the country.

Steve: Just when you think it can't get any better, it just might. I'm not going to say that this staff can nail a class down the likes of which they had last year for a couple of reasons:

One, they can't take as many, though they should still be able to hit the 25 scholarships allowed.

Two, they got some awfully big names. At quarterback, they got a top ten guy. At running back, they got a top ten guy. At defensive tackle, they got a top ten guy and they got a host of others that were ranked in the top 20.

I'm not about to underestimate this staff, but I'll temper my own expectations, because they did simply a fantastic job last year.

How big of an impact will the amazing facilities that are being put in place be to incoming recruits?

Bryan: It's a big, big impact on the recruits last year and this year. Some of these kids come to Nebraska as their first school to see. That is a huge advantage just given the facilities that Nebraska has now. Then they see the improvements and the attention being given to help out the football team and it is not ignorable.

Nebraska was state of the art when it came to facilities through the 80s and into the 90s, then we were middle of the pack or worse. The attention given to the locker room especially is long overdue. When the kids come to see the toys at their disposal in Lincoln next year it will be overwhelming.

Justin: I believe it will have a much bigger impact than even we can believe. Kids are going to get sold on the same things at every big time school. Nebraska is at a disadvantage for a lot of those things, but we do have great fans and we sell it well to recruits. I think this staff will do a fantastic job of selling facilities to all recruits. We have already seen it with this year's recruiting class and even with the newest commits for the 2005 class.

They all enjoyed what the facilities are going to look to like it. That is the great thing about this, as the official visits start coming in during September and through January, kids will have to have less of an imagination to see that Nebraska will have the best facilities in the entire country. We will have a 100 foot high definition big screen that will be the only one of its kind in the world with that size. Everything related to football will be within 100 feet for kids and I think kids who don't consider Nebraska as a great location will start to give us more consideration.

Once the recruits visit campus and begin to see what is taking place as far as love for football players, more and more kids we would never get will begin to seriously consider us. I honestly think that for this upcoming class we will get 2-3 commits we might not have otherwise because of our facilities. That number might go up even more once everything is truly finished for even future classes. This is an exciting time for all Husker fans.

Brandon: Facilities are like a really deluxe homemade icing. They can make a fantastic cake even better and that's precisely what the new facilities will do. While they typically will not be able to secure commitments on their own, they will definitely help recruits to know that while they're at Nebraska, they are going to be getting the best equipment and facilities available to them, some of the best in the nation.

Steve: The facilities go hand-in-hand with recruiting and nowadays, especially when you can't give the recruits the dog and pony show on official visits, the better your facilities look on their own, the better it is for you.

Now, you don't want them TOO nice, because Oregon has had to deal with the fact that there are two rooms that they have constructed that recruits can't even go into on official visits, because they are just so over the top and considered unnecessarily extravagant, hence the fact that they can't display them on official visits.

But what the University has planned is perfection and very efficient.

An instant messenger system as opposed to an electronic board that is at the front of the locker room. This messenger system will allow a player to stay up to date with any requests by the coaches to be seen, interviews, scores on various tests or drills, plus the messenger system makes each player actually press a receipt button to read it.

On the current board, there's nothing to say that someone read their note, but with this, the staff will know if they have seen it.

The sand volleyball pit, I think the only one of its kind to go into a division 1-A university, seems like an awfully frivolous thing. And, it shouldn't be considered ironic that the top volleyball player in the country is a 14 year old girl that lives, eats and breaths sand volleyball.

What the purpose of this sand volleyball court is for groin muscles as the groin is worked in several areas not exercised as much on a hard court, due to the muscle movement differences with shifting sand.

The frilly stuff is nice, i.e. pool tables in the weight rooms like Texas, X-boxes in the lockers like Oregon. But what does it all amount to and what is it for? Are recruits impressed by video game machines in their lockers? I am sure some are, but do you want that kind of player on your team?

These facilities will set yet another standard for Nebraska that everyone will have to try and reach, but it's not one of window dressing pieces, meant only to impress player rather than improve them. This will be the model of efficiency and state of the art technology and I think that recruits will be profoundly more impressed with that after they have taken the time to really look at just what everything does.

Did you know that once this is all completed, if you are a football player, you will be able to stand at a spot in the center of the Tom and Nancy Osborne facility and nothing necessary for your sport will be more than a hundred feet away.

THAT'S impressive.


How is the secondary situation looking as far as recruits for 2005-2006?

Bryan: Now these are some positions that Nebraska must hit home runs in this year: DB and S. You got a couple of real good corners in Wilson and Bowman and then you have a nickel man/returner in Rands, but you have to get the big, physical defensive backs from the high school level to really bring them up through the system.

Safety's depth is a concern this year and with what happened with Reggie Smith last year and missing on a couple of others it means that there are some serious needs there this year. You have to take 2-3 cornerbacks and you need 2-3 safeties. That is up to nearly 25% of your class is the defensive backfield!

We are in on some good defensive backs like Greg Davis, Jai Eugene, Dominique Franks and a few stud safeties like Taylor Mays, Anthony Houston and Anthony Summers, but ask me how good do I feel about all of the above. Not very good.

Nebraska will need to extend their search again to some defensive backs and may have to explore the junior college search for at least one defensive back and one safety to offset a barrage of high school talent being taken in one year and the need for at least a player or two at those positions to step up and play next year.

Justin: I think that the secondary is probably my biggest concern right now for recruiting. We have a bit more of need honestly at offensive lineman, but with Callahan and Wagner, I feel we can recruits kids a little easier at that position. Nothing against Coach Busch and Coach Elmaissan, but they appear to have a little more of an uphill battle. I do have an optimistic outlook on our secondary recruiting though for the upcoming class.

I think we have a serious chance of landing Devin Ross, A.J. Wallace, Major Culbert, and Dominque Franks at CB. All four of those guys are studs and just 50% accuracy would assure two future starters at the all important cornerback position. As for safety, I can see us getting Greg Davis, Jonas Mouton, Sergio Brown, and Anthony West. Again, you have 4 guys who you only need to really haul in two of them. Landing 2 of these 4 studs would give us 4 in the secondary and I think we can see the staff taking 4 secondary guys or possibly loading up to the number of six.

It all depends on how certain things work out. Recruits like to play a man to man style of defense, and that will certainly help draw in more playmakers that have speed.

Brandon: I still believe that we're looking solid for prospects like Greg Davis, Jonas Mouton and A.J. Wallace, plus I believe there will be some names that weren't being discussed with the likelihood of our shots with those prospects. In the end, this staff knows that they need excellent talent at all secondary positions for both starters and depth. Look for them to get the job done come February.

Steve: That's a great question and you have a variety of names that are easily amongst the most coveted secondary players in the country:

Jonas Mouton, A.J. Wallace, Shareece Wright, along with other notables that aren't quite as notable in Dominique Franks and the recent camper and proven athlete, Anthony West. I think thus far, the recruiting looks very good as I see Nebraska having a solid chance of all those mentioned above.

How Nebraska ends up there, though, is going to greatly hinge on just what they do during the season. After going from one of the best secondaries around to one of the worst, all while having two NFL draft picks playing, people will want to know whether that was an aberration or legit.

They will all want to know if they are going to be coached and well, so I think that much of their success in recruiting secondary players will hinge greatly on just what the secondary does this year.

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