This year's class won't get that type of attention in terms of ranking accolades. The class itself is very solid and was put in place to get Nebraska back in the conference championships and BCS bowl games. How did Nebraska do in meeting their recruiting needs?
QUARTERBACK - None: D+* A quarterback should be a fixture in each class. Nebraska had Josh Freeman as their #1 recruit at quarterback and as a commit for nearly 9 months until committing to Kansas State. Nebraska then turned their attention to Garrett Green, but it seems he wasn't going to go too far from home. Nebraska will have to get a solid quarterback next year.
*The reason I gave Nebraska a D+ is because they had their #1 guy up until the end of the year.
RUNNING BACK - Kenny Wilson and Corey Young: A Nebraska has one of the biggest holes to fill from last year to next year at running back losing Cory Ross. Enter Kenny Wilson who is a down-to-down running back who is big (like Bill Callahan seems to like) and very fast (10.1 100m speed). After seeing Corey Young's film too you have to like what he could bring to the table at running back.
WIDE RECEIVER - Menelik Holt, Maurice Purify, Will Henry, Tyrell Spain and Keith Eloi (walk-on): A+ Who wouldn't be happy with that haul? Eloi is the shortest of the five (only 5-foot-9) and Henry is the tallest at about 6-foot-6. Nebraska went out and got big play potential and a lot of tall receivers for Zac Taylor to distribute the ball to.
TIGHT END - Mike McNeil: B- This is not a knock on McNeil, who I might call the sleeper of this class, but you would have thought with the real lack of talent at that position that another tight end might have been an idea. Instead, you get a Matt Herian-like tight end that can flex out and cause big-time match-up problems.
OFFENSIVE LINE - Ricky Henry, D.J. Jones, Cruz Barrett, Victory Haines, Carl Nicks, Keith Williams, Ben Martin, Jacob Hickman (greyshirt) and Matt Slauson, A Nebraska failed to land a top-flight offensive tackle from the high school level like a Carl Johnson, Steve Schilling or Matt Carufel. However, they did bring in two of the top junior college tackles in the nation, a couple of very solid offensive tackles from high school and a couple of powerful interior lineman. Hickman and Slauson will count against this year's group and get lumped into here. Solid group and borderline spectacular. Needed a headlining high school commit though.
DEFENSIVE LINE - Seth Jensen, Brandon Johnson, Mike Smith, and Pierre Allen: C+ With Jensen projected to play end, Nebraska really missed on a high school tackle here. Johnson will come in and add immediate depth and should challenge to be a starters. Smith might grow out of being an end and play offensive tackle some day, but for now he is a DE. Allen is an athletic specimen that could play DE, TE or even WR. Still, you would have liked to keep Rulon Davis and a high school (or another DT), but fell short.
LINEBACKER - Steve Allen: A Nebraska's year at linebacker had to be atypical. I mean, you lose Steve Octavien in the first game, lose another starter in Stewart Bradley and then lose Octavien's replacement in Bo Ruud before the bowl game. Corey McKeon was a star on defense this year, but the depth there is paper thin. Allen could play any of the linebacker positions and should allow Barry Turner to remain as a devastating pass rusher at DE. Allen has good size and great speed.
SECONDARY - Andre Jones, Anthony West, Ashlee Palmer, Major Culbert and Ricky Thenarse: A- This was a position that really bothered me all the way up to Christmas and a little bit after the New Year, but it ended strong. The benefit of having guys like Thenarse, Culbert, West, and Corey Young is because they are plug and play and can play numerous positions. Jones was the #1 corner on the board and so was Ashlee Palmer at safety.
OVERALL - A- There are few positions that were just absolute misses. Quarterback wouldn't have been, but Nebraska had satisfied that goal for most of the year. The positions that I am really critical of are quarterback, defensive line and tight end. There isn't a enough there in Lincoln to feel great about the kids being added by this class, in my opinion. On the offensive line you would have liked a top-flight tackle, but it is only a matter of time before Nebraska can get those types of players. A solid class overall. Satisfied the needs at nearly all the positions, but not enough immediate impact high school players. Rated a little low by the national standards. Should be a top 15 class.