Evaluate and Re-evaluate

It's a bit of a misconception. The dead period doesn't mean that work isn't happening. In fact, I will venture a guess that the Nebraska staff is in overdrive either preparing the LSU Tigers for the national title game, moving or doing recruiting work. Recruiting has been busy and Nebraska has had to come up with a game plan.

The Nebraska staff has had to sit back, take a look at their commitment list and make up a whole new board. The recruiting world that they know now is a lot different than how they have known it before.

What Nebraska needs to do is, by position, break down the numbers for the class and who the players are that are on the board. There have been some interesting names as of late that have come up.

QUARTERBACK - Nebraska has recently taken interest in a couple of quarterbacks. The first, Sean Renfree, recently decommitted from Georgia Tech and is interested in Nebraska among other schools. Kody Spano has recently hit the open market too after decommitting from Oklahoma State. Both will be in for official visits the first two weekends in January. If both fall through, a name to remember is Kyle Henricks. Nebraska will take just one at this position.

RUNNING BACK - With Marlon Lucky reportedly staying put, Cody Glenn and Kenny Wilson will hopefully be back in the spring and healthy to go along with two, true sophomores in Quentin Castille and Roy Helu and redshirt freshman Marcus Mendoza; the number here is one or two. Nebraska might back off all of the other running backs and try and get Collins Okafor to firm up his commitment, but if there is one intriguing enough to bring in with Okafor it might be LaMichael James.

TIGHT END/H-BACK - Nebraska will add a tight end to its' spring roster in Tyson Hetzer. Hetzer will need some time to add some weight to his frame and get into an offense that can feature the tight end at times. At H-Back, Nebraska will add vastly under-rated Kyler Reed who will work that H-Back/tight end position like Matt Herian could as more of a true H-Back to almost playing like a U like Michael McNeil did this year with a lot of motion. Nebraska will also add Ben Cotton into the mix at tight end. Nebraska should be done here with the 3 recruits. If they do look at another one, look at Eric Lair from Houston.

OFFENSIVE LINE - This may be the position that allows Nebraska to be the most flexible, but is also the most concerning. Nebraska has fallen from a class of potentially having Baker Steinkuhler, Brandon Thompson, Trevor Robinson, Bryce Givens and Dan Hoch to now maybe only landing Steinkuhler and Thompson. Nebraska might convince Josh Jenkins to come in for a visit, as well as David Grant, but this class on the offensive line needs to only be about four or so players. If Illinois loses some coaches, like there are rumors they are about to, Nebraska might consider Tyler Sands again. Some other names to remember might be Vaughn Dotsy, David Young and Allen Carroll.

WIDE RECEIVER - Nebraska can sell the depth problems and graduation of four wide receivers this year to recruits. Look for Nebraska to make a hard push for Adrian Bushell (could play CB as well), Khiry Cooper, LaRon Byrd and Nelson Rosario. This list, out of all on the offensive positions, will be the most fluid. Expect Nebraska to try and get some players that are committed to other schools to really think about making a trip to Nebraska.

DEFENSIVE END - Much like the offensive line, the defensive end position has gone from Cameron Meredith, Josh Williams, Riley Reiff, Simi Kuli and Eric Harper to just Meredith. To be honest, there are also some teams that are pushing for Meredith now and Nebraska needs to find some alternatives. Look for Nebraska to try and get some players out of Texas. John Youboty is a player that Nebraska immediately contacted after the defections and Nebraska will more than likely gain interest in a player like Jacquies Smith from Dallas. Another name to remember might be K.J. Williams since he has decided to look around.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE - Darius Parish is officially off of Nebraska's list and this isn't as much of a loss as some might perceive it to be. The Huskers though are looking for some suitable replacements along the defensive line. Bo Tillman is a name that has recently emerged for Nebraska at defensive tackle. Quentin Toailoa is a player that is still considering Nebraska, heavily. Don't be surprised if you hear Rod Davis' or Eddie Brown's names come up here as well. One other Texas player to consider might be Kendrick Payne. A sleeper here is Kyrhi Thornton, but he has some pretty nice offers.

LINEBACKER - This recruiting class could be considered successful if Nebraska hangs onto just Will Compton. As a MIKE, Compton is perfect for Pelini's defense. Nebraska will still have Sean Fisher and Micah Kreikemeier here as well, but expect Nebraska to still be looking around a bit. Zach Domicone recently picked up a Nebraska offer and could play linebacker. Steve Gardiner has to be high on Nebraska's boards as well. Anthony Lewis, Greg Burks, Brian Moore and Alonzo Whaley could all play linebacker or even at safety. In Pelini's defense though, you might look for Larry Asante to move to WILL potentially.

DEFENSIVE BACKS - David Whitmore and John Levorson are both still committed, but I think that some things could happen at the safety and cornerback positions on the current roster more than at any other position. It's possibly that you could see Eric Hagg and Prince Amukamura move from defense to offense where they are most comfortable, widening an already impressive hole in the secondary. The Huskers are in on some good ones though. Nebraska is in the running for P.J. Smith, Charles Mitchell, Leonard Johnson, Victor Johnson and could even try to get Ugo Okpara to consider visiting after a recent change of coaches at Arkansas. I wouldn't throw the towel in entirely, yet, with Shaun Prater and Shane Prater. There might be some pressure there to still consider Nebraska and this new staff.

All in all, Nebraska probably won't emerge from the other side of the defections to signing day being better than what the class could have been. Given some of the names that have been thrown out though in this story, Nebraska might be in a very good position to land a solid class that can come in and get in the system immediately under Bo Pelini and Nebraska.


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