Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Nebraska got some elite talent in the Big Ten's third-best class, but the loss of Texas as a pipeline continues to hamper the Huskers. Full class here and more below.
Bo Pelini brought in some top talents to Nebraska, but it was still only good enough for third-best in the Big Ten in the eyes of most scouts.
Nebraska had a class with a lot of talent, which got it a pretty high ranking: with several four-star recruits, the Huskers ranked No. 23 according to 247's composite ratings. However, as Bud Elliott wrote when breaking down the team's class earlier in the year, the Huskers just didn't have the force to be considered elite:
Nebraska hasn't exactly been lighting up the recruiting trail of late. It's not that the 'Huskers commitments are untalented. Just the opposite, in fact, as four of Nebraska's commitments are rated four stars or better. Granted, that's not enough talent to contend for the Big Ten crown with Michigan and Ohio State tearing it up, but it's enough to hold one's own in the conference.
The problem is numbers. As in, Nebraska needs more players than it is currently bringing in. But they do have a chance to close strong and make this class a success.
That sort of happened, as Nebraska's finish to recruiting was mostly a positive one.
On the one hand, they landed a lot of the targets they were going for: of the four recruits Corn Nation put on the site's Big Board featuring potential uncommitted recruits a week before signing day, the top three - offensive linemen Dwayne Johnson and Chongo Kondolo, as well as athlete Drake Martinez, younger brother of Nebraska QB Taylor - all went with the Huskers. On the other hand, they had some decommits: Bo Pelini had a supposedly angry phone call with wide receiver prospect Dominic Walker, and safety Marcus McWilson decommitted as well.
That wasn't optimal, nor was Wednesday's news of two more transfer losses.
The good news for a Nebraska team that prides itself in size up front and power in the trenches is a few powerful linemen and two four-star running backs.
Bud Elliott’s grade
B-. The Huskers have the third-best class in the B1G. All the usual caveats of the state being devoid of talent apply (only two four-stars and just three kids signing with BCS schools). The move to the B1G hurts Nebraska's ability to recruit Texas. Still, this is Nebraska, and Big Red should expect better than to bring in twice as many three-stars as fours. The Huskers lost battles to lesser SEC schools down the stretch.
Top three players
5'10 and 180 pounds, Newby figures to be featured prominently in Nebraska's balanced offensive attack. Newby isn't as elite as many of the running backs on the board, but he possesses great acceleration and cutback ability.
Healthy after tearing an ACL in the first game of the 2011 season, 2013 Katy (TX) running back Adam Taylor put together a comeback that included almost 1,600 yards this season and 25 touchdowns for the consensus three-star prospect with four-star upside.
Woo.... Hoo.... Randy Gregory, the top JUCO weakside Defensive End in America this year (according to 247 sports) and the third overall JUCO prospect in the nation has committed to Nebraska. Gregory had just visited Lincoln for Nebraska's game versus Michigan, and just so happened to de-commit from Purdue earlier this week.
Top three rival classes
Nebraska did well for themselves, but just couldn't compete with Ohio State and Michigan in the Big Ten, as Michael Bird of SB Nation wrote about the next 10-year war between two schools head and shoulder above the rest of their conference in recruiting. That said, they're still likely third, as Patrick Vint wrote.
Biggest National Signing Day drama
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