State of Recruiting: Offense

This is a year unlike any other for Nebraska recruiting enthusiasts. The success that Nebraska has had in terms of quality and quantity this early in the year is almost dreamlike. The spoils of success shouldn't allow people to take their eyes off of the remaining recruits that Nebraska could still, potentially reel in.

The Nebraska coaching staff has been working hard on the recruiting trail. This summer, Nebraska had one of the most successful rounds of leading talented players into their summer camps that eventually led to some offers, like John Levorson and Keenan Smith, and commitments, D.J. Woods, Levorson and Smith come to mind.

The other thing that Nebraska was able to do was to get players like Jonas Gray, Will Compton, Doug Rippy and others to travel to Lincoln, on their dime and see the facilities and the campus. Nebraska was also able to bring in Shaun Mohler and Tyson Hetzer, junior college players, for official visits during the summer.

As it stands now, by Big Red Report or Scout.com count, Nebraska is currently sitting on 19 commitments of a class that could potentially hit 27 or so when things end on national letter of intent signing day. A current look at the breakdown of commitments on the offense, and some targets by position, should help trying to see how the rest of the puzzle might look on signing day.

QUARTERBACK - Nebraska targeted only a few quarterbacks and really sold the value of the offer to the targets that got the offers. Some came off the board early, like Dayne Crist and Tommy Dorman who received Nebraska offers, but Blaine Gabbert seemed to be the staff's top choice, falling in the 500 mile blanket that the coaches want to be able to pull commitments from, and has become a key part of the 2008 class. There was one spot in this year's class at quarterback and it is filled by Mr. Gabbert.

RUNNING BACK - The Huskers were able to take advantage of an in-state target in Collins Okafor and he was actually the second commitment for the class. Nebraska then went out and offered a variety of high school and junior college talent, but the scope of the search really refined on all-purpose running back, Jonas Gray. Gray with Okafor look to be the only two running backs that will be part of this class for Nebraska.

WIDE RECEIVER - There are three wide receivers that will be graduating after this fall for Nebraska, so the idea is to bring in three in this class. The Huskers needed to get immediate help, speed and probably a player that compares as much as he can to Maurice Purify. The Huskers got immediate help from Adrian Hilburn, a JUCO receiver that can play outside or inside for Nebraska and speed in D.J. Woods who can also light up the special teams. The Huskers are looking for a bigger receiver and have their sights set on Carl Moore, D.L. Moore, Deion Walker, Raevon Samuel, Sedrick Johnson and LaRon Byrd. The Huskers will take at least one more at the wide receiver position.

TIGHT END - At the tight end position, the Huskers had been looking for a taller, more athletic tight end to potentially try and stretch the field as well as be a big, physical target. Tyson Hetzer joined the class early and satisfies the tall, athletic part of the need at the tight end position. He will need to add some weight to become a down to down tight end. Nebraska is still looking to bring in at least one other tight end and are considering players like Dion Jordan (also a potential defensive end recruit), Aldon Smith and Tyler Edwards.

OFFENSIVE LINE - Sort of the core of the class has been the offensive line commits. Baker Steinkuhler was the first commitment to the class of 2008 and arguably one of the biggest and most significant gets of the class. Dan Hoch and Bryce Givens are also very important pieces to the class and should not be over-shadowed. Initially, the Huskers received the commitment from Trevor Robinson who recently re-opened his recruitment and is down to Michigan, Notre Dame and Nebraska. The Huskers also have a commitment in place from Ricky Henry if he is able to get out of junior college and join the Huskers in May. If one or both of Robinson and Henry, which seem to be the frontrunners to complete the offensive line class, don't end up Huskers then you could see Nebraska make a push for David Young, David Grant, Allen Carroll, maybe a Jimmy Miller or even a junior college player.

All in all, the slots on the offensive side of the football are about gone. I can see two more along the offensive line, one tight end and one wide receiver. Look for Nebraska to be very choosy with the last of their spots that they have remaining in this class. Bottom line, the nucleus is there for a very solid class of offensive prospects in the class of 2008.


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