Recruiting: Weighing heavy on our minds

Recruiting under a new staff is always interesting to follow. You can pick up changes from one staff to the next. You also can maybe see trends with the numbers of players taken at one position or the types of players taken at a particular position. Bo Pelini and his staff had to finish up the 2007-08 class and did so strongly, how is their first class coming together?

While the season tends to be a popular topic from about late July to January, there is always recruiting to talk about and I think that is why recruiting services and sites are so popular. There is a want to talk and follow a team year round and recruiting does just that.

Nebraska last year was left with what was left of a class, trying to hold it together and fill in the holes up to signing day. Against some pretty big odds in some cases, the Nebraska staff did a commendable job. Looking at how their first class is coming together is interesting.

Bryan Munson and Kevin Seely follow up the team article from yesterday with today's recruiting article discussing three views of the class at this point and how it could fill up.


Excited about:

Bryan says…The easy answer here is Cody Green. I mean, Green is widely considered on of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation. He is a five-star player at his position and enrolls at semester. I think that Green falls into what I am excited about, but it's about more than just Green. I think that Nebraska has made quite an effort to get back into Texas and get some players out of the Lone Star State and into the program in Lincoln. The Huskers are currently sitting on nine commitments of which six are from Texas including the last five commitments. You also have to consider some of the other players that Nebraska is in on from Texas like Brady Brown, Rex Burkhead, Knile Davis, Joshua Brown, Cordarius Golston, Randall Dent, Yashua Williams, Roderick Goodlow and Siosaia Tuipulotu. Nebraska could conceivably receive commitments from over 10 players from Texas and potentially half of their class. It will be interesting to see how the rest of this year shakes out and to see maybe what recruits who are currently committed to other schools Nebraska could possibly entice to take a visit after some games this season.

Kevin says…It's been really encouraging to hear some of the positive comments coming from recruits about the hiring of Bo Pelini. Many of the recruits that I have spoken with talk about the "realness" Bo exudes and they like the fact there is no gray area with him. This no-nonsense approach really seems to be something players gravitate to. If Nebraska has a successful season on the field in '08 it will have a ripple effect on the recruiting front. A lot of players are sitting back to see what kind of product Nebraska puts on the field, offensively and defensively. If Bo is able to get the defensive side of the ball headed in the right direction and turn the proud Blackshirt defense around this year you will start to see more and more "big name" defensive recruits considering Nebraska. The offensive recruits should be reassured of Nebraska's dedication to the West Coast Offense under Shawn Watson as well as it seems the Huskers will have the potential to put a lot of points on the board.

Concerned with:

Bryan says…The Huskers have gone out and gotten commitments from a pair of offensive lineman from Texas, Nick Ash and Jesse Coffey, and a player like Cole Pensick could potentially play somewhere in the interior part of the line, but who else can Nebraska get to close out this class? I think that the chances are best with a player like Brent Qvale who Nebraska offered after summer camp this fall. Qvale and Coffey could potentially be the tackles of the class, Ash the guard and Pensick the guard or the center if he plays offense, but I think that Nebraska should be more interested in getting a solid player who they can develop behind Jacob Hickman as a center. The depth at center is not good with the leading candidate to either replace or relieve Hickman as Mike Caputo a walk-on from Omaha (Nebr.) Millard North or junior college transfer Ricky Henry. Don't get me wrong, I like walk on stories, I think that Caputo is a very good player and I respect Henry's journey to get back to Lincoln (and he might not play offense either), but I also appreciate balanced recruiting and there is a need to carry at least two to three scholarship players at each position along the line. I don't think that Nebraska has a chance with Joey Fontana who will likely stay closer to home with his decision. The other player that comes to mind that could end up with a Nebraska offer is Omaha (Nebr.) North product James Davis who could either play guard or center.

Kevin says…The one thing I have a little apprehension about is the tight end situation. J.T. Kerr looks to be the top guy on the board and Nebraska is in good shape with him at this time. But Beyond Kerr, I can't think of another guy Nebraska has offered that they have a realistic shot at. I could see the staff making a concerted effort to get a commitment from Kerr on his unofficial visit August 8th. If Kerr commits it would be a huge get for Coach Ron Brown. Kerr is a solid tight end prospect that can play every facet of the game, has the big body that Nebraska is looking for at tight end along with the ability to stretch the field and would be a welcomed addition to this class.

Still up in the air about:

Bryan says…I am interested to see what the model and the idea is around potentially having a defensive line that averages less that 6-foot-3 across. I understand leverage is a big thing when it comes to playing the position and that the football term, "pad level", will immediately be lower across the board with shorter players. However, I am wondering if this was based on the fact that Glenn Dorsey was a shorter player along the defensive line at 6-foot-2, as was Sedrick Ellis at 6-foot-1, and their success at the collegiate level? If so, do Ellis and Dorsey as high school players really resemble recent commits Thaddeus Randle and Cole Pensick who could also play that position at Nebraska? How about even shorter defensive end, Emerson Evans, who could potentially be a Tyrell Suggs or a Dwight Freeney body-type of a player? Evans is a two-star recruit, Pensick and Randle are both three, but then you have to go back and see that Ellis was a four-star and the #9 rated DT, Dorsey was a five-star and the #2 rated DT and the information for Suggs and Freeney is no longer available. On paper, today, they don't seem to be equal, but they definitely fit that mold and Nebraska may have the new direction in which they want to head that could be leading them down this path. And I will add, while stars aren't everything and I don't necessarily give a great deal of weight to them, it is about the only measuring stick that one has to compare current and past prospects.

Kevin says…Nebraska still needs to add speed to their wide receiver unit. Last year they missed out on wide receiver Kendal Thompkins (signed with Miami) who would have been a true deep weapon for Nebraska's offense. Nebraska needs to go out and get a player who can stretch the field and force opponents to respect a down-the-field threat in their offense. Chance Casey could fit that mold and would accomplish those things. It seems he will take some time with his recruitment and is no lock for Nebraska. Even with Nebraska looking good to receive a possible commitment of wide receiver Brady Brown; Nebraska still needs to attract a dynamic play maker with speed at that position. I would expect to see more offers coming out to players with those skill sets in the near future, but it will probably take place two or three games into the season after game film is evaluated.

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