The beloved recruiting class that the Nebraska coaching staff worked diligently to assemble isn't what it once was. In fact, in the past three weeks or so the names of Blaine Gabbert and Jonas Gray are completely off the list of commitments.
More than that, the names of Darius Parish, D.J. Woods and Shaun Mohler have moved from solid commitments to soft verbals on the list of commits on Scout.com. In fact, some might say that there are more soft verbals than there are solid.
Little is really known about where this recruiting class is actually at, and when it comes to who will remain part of this class and who ultimately will not. After talking to four or five "commitments" last night I was able to confirm this thought and put to rest some rumors.
First of all, let's put to bed some rumors. Recently, there have been stories that have been published about recruits not being in contact with the Nebraska coaches. After speaking with some recruits last night, they said that this was definitely not the case.
The commitments that I spoke to were from the offensive and defensive side of the ball, and all said that they have been in touch with the coaching staff throughout the process. In fact, in one conversation last night, the position coach for one player was calling as we spoke.
By the way, do you want to know why I am playing the pronoun game? Because recruiting stories like this aren't my cup of tea, in fact, I don't like them. It's relevant news and I will report it this way as this recruiting story is more than just about recruiting. It's about retention.
More than retention, the futures of these recruits and the coaches that they are recruited by, committed to and continue to speak with all lie in doubt. Doubt that people speculate about. Speculate about the speculation. There are no answers, only questions.
The names are changed somewhat to protect the innocent. Also, because most of the stories are the same with their own little spin on things or their own little intricacies. I hope that you don't mind.
The idea of this article is to tell you what I know, maybe reiterate what is already thought, but to at least explain where things are still at and don't seem to be going anywhere.
Another of the rumors that was said to be floating around was a demand by the athletic department for the current staff to stop calling recruits. As you can tell from the previous rumor that proved false, that this is also false.
What I can tell you is that the recruits are being told to have a Plan B. That is, if something was to change with the current situation at Nebraska enough to influence the current commitments to decommit that they have some idea about where else they could potentially go.
Again, the majority of the commitments are still either totally solid or at least going to wait this out to see what might happen. From the words of Tom Osborne, the evaluation of the current coaching staff will be concluded following the final game of the season.
The time between here and then isn't months, but it isn't exactly just a few days either. It's actually a few weeks. Really, it's a few games and actually a bye week. Limbo will continue to at least the day after Thanksgiving.
Without answers, the coaches can really only focus on one thing and that is the recruit. In the simplest terms the Nebraska season becomes somewhat insignificant because it's really become the hinderence since it delays the conclusion.
I can't believe that I even said that the season has become insignificant. It really hasn't, there's a lot at stake. To put it in the correct context is that the season that the coach and the recruit/commit should have to talk about isn't really relevent.
It again limits what the coaches and the recruit/commit have to talk about. Not only are there not answers from the coaches to the recruits, but talking about the current season at Nebraska isn't a real hot topic of conversation.
Recruits are hanging onto the way things at least were when they initially committed to Nebraska. The staff that they committed to are all there, for now, it seems.
Honestly though, the list of commitments is subject to change even more as the current staff may or may not be around to coach these current commits. That, to most of the commits, seems to be the determining factor that will lead them to change their minds about their current commitment status to Nebraska.
Most of this isn't Earth shattering. The story to most won't say a lot that isn't already known, but it seems like it needs to be said again in one place locally, or at least, reiterated.
For me personally, this has been one of the most depressing times to be involved with covering Nebraska recruiting. While some won't agree with the staff changes that might happen, to me, it will probably bring closure. Closure to one of the darkest and most confusing times of Nebraska football.