As first reported by Scout.com's Jason Jewell, Trevor Brown High School's (Phoenix, AZ) Marcel Jones verbally committed to the Huskers.
Jones becomes the 27th player to declare for the big red and continues what has been a flurry of commits over the last four days. Since the 16th, including Jones, Nebraska has gotten nine commits, five from the prep level and four from junior colleges.
To track the nine previous commits, you have to go back to October 10th when the first of the previous nine pledged to NU.
The numbers are ballooning for Nebraska, but Jones is the first true offensive linemen for the class of 2007. This is how their positions break down and how many Nebraska has gotten of each as commitments thus far:
QB – 2 (Patrick Witt, Zach Lee)
RB – 3 (Quentin Castille, Marcus Mendoza, Roy Helu)
WR – 3 (Niles Paul, Eric Hagg (will probably play DB), Wallace Franklin)
TE – 1 (Ryan Hill)
OL – 1 (Marcel Jones)
DT – 4 (Joseph Townsend, Shukree Barfield, Terrance Moore, Dmetrious Davis)
DE – 2 (Jared Crick, William Yancy)
LB – 4 (Travis Lewis, Patrick Grant, Austin Stafford, Blake Lawrence)
DB – 6 (Latravis Washington, Larry Asante, Shawn Sullivan, Anthony Blue, Armando Murillo, David Ross)
K – 1 (Adi Kunalic)
At 27 the question begs as to just how many Nebraska can take. It's uncertain exactly how many scholarships Nebraska has left over from last year. If they were under the 25 scholarship limit for last year, the difference could be awarded to any of the four junior college prospects who signed their letter of intents yesterday.
There is also the possibility of signing and placing academic non-qualifiers in junior college, ala Brodrick Hunter and Wallace Franklin, who
OT, Jaivorio Burkes
As those are not set numbers, we have to evaluate this class on who is still out there, and of those, who has Nebraska tried to recruit the hardest:
Another prep offensive linemen out of Arizona is Jaivario Burkes, a top 10 offensive tackle, who will probably be deciding soon, between Oklahoma and Nebraska. A close friend of his, cornerback Prince Amukamara, is also expected to decide at the same time Burkes will, and one of his primary favorites is Nebraska, joined by Colorado, UNLV and Fresno State.
Central Senior High (Kansas City, MO) lineman and Scout.com's fifth best ranked center in the country, Donald Stephenson, recently told our own Bryan Munson that the visit to Nebraska was his favorite visit thus far. Stephenson is considering Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Oklahoma.
Staying with offense, two tight ends are still out there and both are heavily considering Nebraska. Joliet, Illinois' Coby Fleener appears to be down to Stanford and Nebraska has his main teams. Fleener is still waiting to hear from Stanford as far as being accepted, and Nebraska is filling up very quickly. Current Texas Tech commit, Lee High School's (Lee, Texas) Jacob Amie is also running out of time, and it's unsure if he's leaning towards changing his mind about the Red Raiders.
On the defensive side of the ball, Florida prep cornerback Moses Jenkins is expected to decide soon, and Nebraska sits on his current list of favorites with Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana-Lafayette and Marshall. One potentially important note on Jenkins is that he's a teammate of current Husker commit Patrick Grant.
Since former defensive line coach John Blake left for North Carolina Grant has been testing the waters to see if he likes any other team. One of the schools he's visited thus far is Louisville. Reports are now surfacing that Grant now has or will be scheduling a January visit to see Blake in Chapel Hill.
TE, Coby Fleener
Nebraska obviously can't take all of these players still out there, so you need only look at the positions where they seem to need the most help right now.
With the recent injection of talent at the interior spot on defense, defensive line isn't perfect, but it has gotten a considerable boost in the last few days. In the defensive backfield Nebraska has scored huge, especially with the recent commits David Ross, Armando Murillo and Larry Asante.
As Nebraska will only have Phillip Dillard, Nick Covey and Clayton Sievers as scholarship linebackers come 2008, Nebraska got a nice head start, especially with Travis Lewis, who could easily see time his first year.
The wide receiver position was never a must need, but Niles Paul is a huge pick up, because he could give Nebraska that invaluable slot receiver, something they really haven't had any consistency from since Bill Callahan arrived. Wallace Franklin is another, but his strengths come from his speed, which is boasted to be in the same neighborhood of former JUCO wideout Frantz Hardy. What Franklin has that Hardy doesn't, though, is size, Wallace standing 6 foot, 2 inches tall.
Defensive end might be the only position where Nebraska hasn't done especially good at, though, Jared Crick and William Yancy are both solid athletes. Yancy will be time to get physically bigger, though, and as for Crick, he still has some lingering qualification issues when it comes to getting through the NCAA Clearinghouse.
As odd as it may seem, Nebraska is in a tough spot right now as they most certainly can't have that many scholarships left, based on everyone committed thus far, qualifying. In a best case scenario, they will be able to push all of the junior college signees from yesterday to the class of 2006. That would put them at 23, with potentially the room for two, maybe three more players.
So, all in all, you could expect Nebraska to take up to 30 players for this class, a marked increase over the projected total from the beginning of the year, where we speculated that they would be right around the limit of 25.
Some look at the stars and figure how much a class is worth, but this staff is obviously looking at needs. They have addressed them very well, and if they can get one more offensive linemen, potentially one more at safety and one more at DE, you can call it good and look forward to next year.
Well, that is when signing day on February 7th has officially come and gone.
It's looking pretty good right now though.