The quarterback, in an offense or a recruiting class, is a centerpiece. It shows the direction of the team and the offense. When a heralded quarterback commits, it usually brings with it a message to other recruits and ultimately to more commitments.
Every Nebraska fan knows the last name "Gabbert." Of course there was Blaine who opted to go to Missouri after a change in the coaching staff at Nebraska. However, while Tyler's six-foot frame doesn't match his brother who stands around 6-4, the younger Gabbert is hardly a shadow of big brother.
|Cody Green had a significant impact on his own class last year
Tyler has been talked about in recruiting circles for well over a year now. The heir apparent after his brother at the same high school, Ballwin (Mo.) Parkway West, Tyler Gabbert threw for 1,850 yards on 55 attempts with 18 touchdowns to just five interceptions.
What Tyler does is exactly what Nebraska is looking for in their quarterbacks. He has the big arm, sound technique operating under center as well as out of the gun and also adds the possibility of tucking it and running with a sub-4.7 40-yard dash time.
And while we all talk about Gabbert, who is in Lincoln right now, there is another quarterback coming to Lincoln this week for a visit, as well. Sean Robinson, a native of Rochester, Illinois, brings with him similar skills and stats throwing for 1,523 yards last season with 16 touchdowns while adding another 1,000-plus yards rushing, adding another eight scores.
Both quarterbacks look the part and fit the bill. This further cements the idea of what has come to be the Nebraska quarterback; that being a blue collar guy in a white collar offense and also a player that knows about the management of the game, but is also a creator in his own right.
When you look at the Nebraska commitment list right now, it's filled with stars, but it's also filled with uncertainty. Ask anyone about the commitments sticking on a couple of players on Nebraska's list and the words "possibly" and "maybe" are thrown around.
However, a quarterback puts some of those recruiting tensions to ease. Things have a way of "working out" when you get a quarterback into the fold. There is direction and there is solidarity that is almost transitive to the other commitments.
With Gabbert and Robinson there is something else. With Nebraska recruiting there is always a blanket that is thrown around the 500 mile radius of Lincoln trying to get each and every player in that area that the staff views as a need. In the 90's, this was Nebraska's bread and butter.
In recent years this has changed with the emergence of teams like Missouri and Kansas, which has kept players in-state and more importantly away from Nebraska. A fear of any coaching staff has to face is the possibility of a player going to another school and ultimately having to face them.
Gabbert is holding offers from Missouri and from Kansas. Robinson also holds an offer from Jayhawks, and the significance of getting a signal -caller away from a divisional opponent can't be understated. There are also the winds of change that other recruits will exhibit when it comes to needing to look more closely at a school because of a recent quarterback commitment.
The state of Missouri was significant to the success of the National Championship teams for Nebraska in the 90's. Players like Grant Wistrom and Mike Rucker come to mind immediately, both of whom had a huge impact with their respective teams.
While it is a bit of an overstatement, this year and going forward could be just as significant. Nebraska needs to be able to get the players out of Missouri, Kansas and the rest of the Big 12 North like they used to, and a commitment like this could send a signal that this one-time trend is returning.
Getting the players that you want is definitely the goal. Keeping those players off of opposing rosters that you see every year is also significant. Nebraska needs a commitment from one of these two players to really get the ball rolling.
With Blaine Gabbert in 2008, his impact to the recruiting class, both positively and negatively for Nebraska, is well documented. He had an effect over the other players in the class. Cody Green last year had a similar effect allowing Nebraska to secure three offensive-line commits in the following month and a half and five more commits before the season started.
A commitment from a quarterback in early June is just what the doctor ordered for Nebraska in more ways than one.