LINCOLN, Neb. - With the month of June fast approaching and Nebraska's commitment list stuck at just two verbals, Husker recruiting analysts are fielding the same question these days.
“Is it panic time yet when comparing Nebraska's class at this point to schools like Michigan, Ohio State, or even Northwestern?”
The answer is no. Don't worry, I will tell you why in a second. But first....
Here is where Nebraska was the last four years on May 31 regarding commitments.
2013 class: 4 (Banderas, Natter, Love, and Hart) *** 5 if you count Marcus McWilson ***
2012 class: 2 (Westerkamp and Rose)
2011 class: 6 (Reeves, Moore, Turner, Klachko, Williams, and Stafford)
2010 class: 2 (Rodriguez and Moudy)
Now here is why I'm not worried – skip ahead a few paragraphs if you feel that you have already read this a few weeks ago.
Harvey talks with 93.7 The Ticket
about recruiting in May
The state of Nebraska and the surrounding areas doesn't produce enough D-1 talent on a normal basis to field a BCS level school that can compete for a conference title. Because of this, the Nebraska coaching staff is forced to recruit places like Texas, Ohio, California, and Florida – making it harder for recruits in those areas to visit Lincoln unofficially (on their own dime) because of the money and distance factor.
With the process speeding up, schools in those hotbed states or very close to it, can have a prospect check out the university not only during the recruit's junior year, but also during the summer at a much cheaper rate. It's also easier to convince a high school coach to load up a few of his players in a van and drive them to campus.
What I'm trying to say for those who maybe don't follow recruiting on a normal basis – stop worrying about the number of commitments in May. Nothing can be done about it at this point. The Huskers' geographical location isn't kind, it's a recruiting challenge the staff has to deal with.
Take for instance Ohio State's 2014 class, with nine commitments at the moment, six are from inside the state's borders.
It's likely these kids grew up cheering for the Buckeyes and probably dreamed about playing for them one day – it was unlikely Nebraska was going to land these kids anyway.
Unless there are rules changes regarding official visits or the state of Nebraska decides to all of a sudden produce 10 BCS caliber Division I prospects, Nebraska will likely always be behind other Big Ten schools in May when it comes to the number of commitments in the class.
Big Red Weekend shaping up
Big Red Weekend is scheduled for June 15th and currently Big Red Report has confirmed 13 prospects for the event, with two more additional recruits visiting the week before. Please note, the number of confirmed visitors can change at any given point. More can be added to the list, with many more dropping off the list as the event gets closer. To stay up to date, it's best to subscribe to Big Red Report by clicking on the banner to the right.
TE.) Freedom Akinmoladun – Grandview (MO)
WR.) Demornay Pierson-El – West Potomac (VA)
OL.) Taven Bryan – Casper (WY)
OL.) D.J. Foster – Lincoln Southeast (NE)
DB.) Jason Hall – Grand Prarie (TX)
DB.) Luke Gifford – Lincoln Southeast (NE)
RB.) Tony James – Gainesville (FL)
DB.) Josh Kalu – Taylor (TX)
DT.) Abu Lamin – Fort Scott C.C. (KS)
DT.) Peyton Newell – Hiawatha (KS)
WR.) T.V. Williams – McKinney (TX)
DL.) Adam McLean – Gaithersburg Quince Orchard (MD) *** 2015 recruit ***
GUYS SLOTTED FOR THE WEEKEND BEFORE:
QB.) Zach Darlington – Apopka (FL)
WR.) Kendrick Doss - Florence (AL)
It's hard to pick one player as the most important for Nebraska to impress during the two-week period, but it's likely to be Darlington, James, or Newell.
Darlington appears to be one of the top Nebraska quarterback targets at the moment, if not the top guy. After his visit to Nerbaska, he will follow it up with a visit to Ohio State, another school who's made a strong impression. While the Huskers appear to be set at quarterback in the future with Tommy Armstrong and Johnny Stanton, it's always nice to land your quarterback commitment in the class before the start of fall. Darlington is a coach's son in Florida and could be the type of player who could attract others kids from the state to head to the Midwest.
James is only a three-star prospect, but has offers from Florida, Florida State, Oregon, UCLA, Ohio State, and Georgia Tech to name a few. Last season, he rushed for 1,130 yards on 111 attempts. In early May, he told FOX Sports NEXT Nebraska was one of his five schools standing out at the moment. With the Huskers likely only taking one running back in the 2014 class (this could change), James could be the speed back that compliments a guy like incoming freshman Adam Taylor – James' game is similar to Terrell Newby. In addition, if they land James, Nebraska's changes with his teammate Kenric Young go up. He also has a Nebraska offer and has the Huskers in his top three.
Newell is a prospect who has visited Nebraska several times during the recruiting process. With an offer list of nearly 30 schools, he will according to sources narrow his list this weekend to six. The Huskers are expected to make the cut. Newell is a “500-mile radius” prospect and a guy the Huskers have invested a lot of time in. If they can't convince him to head north, it will be a disappointment.
Jason Hall now ranked on FOX Sports NEXT
When Texas prep standout Jason Hall committed to Nebraska in early May, he was a commodity finally starting to get noticed by college programs. At the time, he had not been ranked by FOX.
After his commitment, the powers at be immediately pulled his film to start the evaluation process.
It's over now and Hall has been ranked a three-star prospect and the No. 50 cornerback in the state of Texas. More evaluations, including 7-on-7s and his 2013 season, are in store for the soon to be senior, but it's a good starter for the 6-foot-2, 195 pound prospect.
“Hall is a versatile defender in the backfield. Based off of film, he could be a big corner or a safety in college and he played both positions in 2012 for SGP,” said FOX Sports NEXT Midlands Manager Greg Powers. “He uses his size and length to get off of blocks, but could add some more strength. Seeing him in person he has a nice frame and he will get bigger physically once he gets to college and add the necessary power. Runs to the football. Not afraid to hit, but needs to wrap more consistently.”
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