The new face of Nebraska Recruiting

There's a lot to be said for what is deemed the "typical" Nebraska recruiting class. Most of the best in-state talent, a few marquee names and the rest, solid players from throughout the country that are eager to be Nebraska Cornhuskers. That has been the formula for NU success for most of it's winning years and this year looks like no exception. The question is, with so many new, energetic, young and reputable coaches just coming in, can they have an impact even now?

Your present recruiting class for Nebraska looks like this and I will go down by position:

QB

Joe Dailey

RB

Antwon Guidry

WR

Andy Birkel

TE

Josh Mueller

Trevor Neeman

OL

Brett Byford

Darin DeLone

Greg Austin

DL

Brandon Teamer

Wali Muhammad

LB

Steve Craver

Bo Ruud

Corey McKeon

Safety

Kade Pittman

CB

Adrain Turner

 

That's 15 pledges to NU an in that class, some of the best in-state talent (Ruud, Neeman, Teamer, Mueller and Birkel), a couple of marquee names (Wali Muhammad, Joe Dailey) and the rest, guys that are solid and want to be Huskers.

It's easy for Nebraska fans that don't really get into recruiting to look at this class and look at it as, if a QB leaves, we need one, if a couple of tight ends are gone, we need two, and so on and so forth.

For the die-hard recruitnik though, they wonder about rankings, stars, forty times, vertical, stats and of course, their interest in NU if they haven't already committed.

They also wonder if this brand new staff can yet have an effect in a recruiting season that is but three weeks away from it's finale.

Coaches for Nebraska are given regions. Those regions indicate what parts of the country each is designated to recruit. Following are the regions of some of the current and former regime for the University of Nebraska.

Nelson Barnes - East Coast/Southeast

Craig Bohl - none

Ron Brown - Southwest

George Darlington - Far West

Turner Gill - South

Dave Gillepsie - Midwest/Northern California

Jeff Jamrog - Illinois/Texas/Florida/Georgia

Milt Tenopir - Oklahoma

Dan Young - Nebraska/Midwest

Though you might expect each coach to take over the regions vacated by those holding the positions prior to them, coach Frank Solich said that now especially and possibly in the future, the divisions of who goes where isn't quite that cut and dry. "We will have a lot of conversations about whether there will be any areas that we want specific coaches to recruit." Solich stated. "But, for right now, we are looking more along the lines of position recruiting, but still will have some area coaches working their area."

With so many new faces having just arrived, Solich's plan seems the most reasonable as to put Sanders immediately in the Far West region replacing Darlington when there's a DB recruit in South Carolina, well, you can see where that wouldn't make much sense. Coach Solich did say that the direction would be to find those regions for each eventually, so that a similar system as to the one seen above can be utilized.

With so many new coaches, literally the face of coaching at NU has changed, but so has the face of recruiting. Coach Bohl didn't recruit off-campus, Dan Young was local and Tenopir only covered one state. With the huge influx of youth into this new staff, you would be logical in your belief that, that's going to change dramatically.

Though the NCAA allows only seven coaches on the road at any one time during this recruiting period, rather than Nebraska having to pull together seven that can go, they will be deciding who has to stay home. That's not just a benefit, that's a major impact on what NU can do with certain players across various regions of the country.

The other advantage is that NU has finally followed the way of many major programs in now utilizing an in-house recruiting coordinator. Their duties will be to prioritize recruiting efforts, making the overall coverage as efficient as it can be. That not only saves the University a lot of money as recruiting costs in the tens of millions of dollars per year, but it saves the coaches considerable time in personal evaluations, time sending letters, phone calls and just about anything else you can imagine.

For a state that has the reputation of being permanently stuck in the past, Frank Solich has done something significant not just in coaching changes, but bringing about a recruiting philosophy that takes Nebraska square into present day.

The immediate dividends though are what people concern themselves with most. Can NU close the deal on recruits that for whatever reasons, were waffling between them and other candidates? Does the new staff have what it takes to make the difference?

It really does depend on the position you play in high school, but let's take a look at some of the new recruiting power NU has just hired.

Bo Pelini: He just came from the NFL, was a linebackers' coach, was on a successful team and even has the endorsement of one of the better defensive minds in the NFL, Monte Kiffen. While Kiffen isn't going to ring familiar in the ears of recruits, the first two examples most certainly will. He knows defense, has a direct and honest way of dealing with people and with his recent job, he's got some serious star power. Some kids have NFL stars in their eyes and Bo Pelini can tell them exactly what it takes to get there, because he just came from there. His immediate impact should be felt, but next year is when you should see Pelini's presence really take over.

Marvin Sanders: He turned down the St. Louis Rams for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Hello "edge". This right here is enough to sell recruits for this year and another year or so to come, because like Pelini, he's got an NFL connection now and that's never going to hurt you in recruiting. You might not get the four-year kids, but someone like Sanders has the youth, experience and now, reputation of being good enough to do his job in the big leagues. Plus, Sanders has a noted reputation for his ability to recruit in Florida, something any team could use.

Scott Downing: His reputation in recruiting stems not just from his personality, but his ability to recruit successfully out of the JayHawk Conference, a junior college league in Kansas. Home to some of the best junior college tea


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