LINCOLN, Neb. - As the Nebraska Cornhuskers get closer to their bowl game and enter the new dead period, recruiting coordinator Ross Els says he feels the 2014 class is coming together well.
“I think we are in pretty good shape, although you never know until National Signing Day. I like where we are right now with the guys we have committed,” said Els. “It’s different when you tell a kid, ‘I know I have been around the last two weeks and been calling you constantly, but now I’m down to one phone call and can’t see you for a month.’ It is different, but I think people will adjust well. I don’t think it’s going to be a problem for us.”
Els was asked if the extra time is being spent on bowl preparation?
“I don’t know if we are focusing more or less on a bowl game than we normally do. I think it’s pretty much the same,” said Els. “We are still watching film, still evaluating kids, we are working on the 2015 class, we are doing the same things, the biggest difference is that first week in January, not being able to go out on the road like we normally do.”
The new dead period, which extends all the way to Jan. 15, will allow kids to not only have a quieter holiday season, but also spend more time focusing semester finals.
“I think for the majority of them it will be good,” said Els. “They don’t have to worry about five coaches coming into their house each week and getting pulled out of class to talk to them. I think it’s good for recruits.”
For just the second time in five years, Nebraska wasn’t playing on conference championship Saturday. The coaches instead used the time during the week to hit the road recruiting. While it’s hard to find a silver lining in not playing for a conference championship, the extra time paid off. Since Dec. 1, the Huskers have four commitments, a number likely not as big without the extra time out of Lincoln.
“It stunk, because we weren’t playing. I still say the best thing to do in recruiting is win every week,” said Els. “That was a hard week on us that we weren’t in the championship game. There is no question that we made some headway with some recruits, because we were able to get out there and see them in person. We would have not been able to do that if we were playing in the Big Ten Championship game, but we would have loved to had it the other way around. We just didn’t get it done.”
With currently 19 commitments and likely a class of 23 to 25 recruits when it’s all said and done, Nebraska will have a little work to do in January, with a lot of flexibility.
“There is not a position where we say, ‘oh no, we are in real trouble here because we don’t have anybody.’ We have stayed pretty balanced with the commitments we have,” said Els. “We certainly have target numbers at positions, but if we find great athletes or get great athletes to commitment regardless of the position, we are okay at the positions and can take the great ones.”
Discuss this topic on our premium message board: CLICK HERE. To become a subscriber to the BigRedReport web site or magazine, CLICK HERE.