Refinement to the process

I am an armchair recruiting specialist. Much like an armchair quarterback during a football game, the armchair recruiting specialist is just over a longer duration of the recruiting year. Nebraska seems to be trying to do a lot of different things this year. Have you taken a look and noticed the same things?

Last year was a very good year for Nebraska, recruiting-wise. It brought in a lot of good talent and from a variety of different areas nationally. The one area where you continued to see improvement was in California.

Nebraska actually received nine commitments from players in California either from the prep or the high school ranks. This was a state that was emphasized in recruiting. However, while Nebraska flourished in California, offering well over 50 recruits, they only landed one player in Texas.

Texas was a state that just the year before had had a more significant role in Nebraska's success with three players as part of the 2005 class. More than though, it seems that Nebraska was very close that year making it down to the last weekends of the recruiting year as a player's top three only to lose out.

This year there is an emphasis again in Texas. More coaches. More offers. More of a reaction of the recruits. Nebraska could be in a position this year to have numbers comparable to those of California last year in terms of commits.

More than Texas though, there was a complaint last year of too much time and too many offers to players from areas of the nation where Nebraska hasn't had any success. Areas like in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and to some areas in the south with the exclusion of Florida.

This year, you don't see those offers. Now, there are offers to players in those areas like Pat Lazear in Maryland, Greg Little and Kerry Neal in North Carolina, Mike Paulus in New York, and J.R. Hemingway from South Carolina. Those five offers this year in comparison to offers to New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Georgia and states in those areas last year with well over 70 offers.

The heavy hitters out of those 70+ offers were states like Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The other part of those 70+ offers were the time and effort necessary to cover that ground, make those evaluations all along the east coast, but Nebraska failed to receive and commitments from that area of the country.

Now, the 70+ number is an end of the year number, but the current number would need to grow to ten times that of the current number. That just doesn't seem likely and now you also have Coach Phil Elmassian with a very large, very fruitful area of Texas that he is responsible for in recruiting.

The areas of concentration seem to be again in California, Texas and Florida, but more than that attention seems to be concentrated to areas immediately surrounding Nebraska. Areas that Nebraska, in the past, could cherry pick like these players were almost in-state kids for the Huskers.

Not all of the noticeable trends this year come from just different areas that Nebraska is recruiting. There has been adaptation in the middle of the year to offer more players because targets for one reason or another. The past couple of years, especially at quarterback, the complaint has been not to offer enough players at that position.

Surprisingly, Nebraska only offered about 10 quarterbacks last year. Then again, they did have a quarterback commit for about 75% of the recruiting year. This year though, there have been offers extended to over 10 quarterback recruits, but most have pulled the trigger committing elsewhere driving Nebraska to need to offer other players.

What you are seeing though is an adaptation to not just their top prospects, but to all of their offers. There seems to be more focus on the big picture of the players at that position as opposed to a top prospect. Up to about a week ago Jarrett Lee seemed to be a top guy, but there was a recent offer to Logan Gray despite a good standing with Lee.

However, you saw players like Mike Paulus, Aaron Corp, Chris Forcier, Phillip Bates, Charlie Russell, and Ryan Mallett all commit to other schools and G.J. Kinne all but rule out coming to Nebraska. Expect this list to grow again as more and more rumors continue to swirl that Lyle Moevao will more than likely leave Nebraska uncommitted this weekend.

This year is a long year from over. One poster took the time to compare this year from a commit number perspective to time of the year this year looks just like the past two on the surface. However, if you take the time to look at the concentrated efforts and the ability to adapt by this staff to refine and broaden their search it looks much, much different.

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