If you’re a Nebraska football fan, you’re headed towards the bare bones part of the offseason. Fortunately, there’s always recruiting to turn to.
Yesterday, the Huskers earned the commitment of four-star athlete Chase Williams bringing the total number of commitments in the 2018 class to eight. As mentioned previously, this class is going to be a very interesting one to watch in terms of size.
As of right now, head coach Mike Riley feels 15 scholarship players are available to secure.
That ain’t many.
Let’s say that Nebraska holds true to that number. It’d honestly be a bit of a surprise considering how many recruits out there love the Huskers right now and there are guys that you simply find room for one way or another if they want in. Hint hint.
One way to pass the time when it comes to recruiting — and a rather fun one — is using 247Sports’ Recruiting Calculator. In essence, you can add or subtract any recruit to the current class to find out what a new overall team ranking would be.
For the sake of argument, let’s stick with that hard 15 number and see how we can fill out the class best keeping both the Huskers’ current needs in mind and that we have all of seven spots left to work with.
There is also apparently another silent commitment, so for all we know, I may name the remaining hush-hush recruit.
With Nebraska’s current commit list, they have an overall ranking of 150.78 according to 247Sports’ algorithm. That places the Huskers at No. 10 nationally and No. 4 in the Big Ten.
Here are some recommendations for additions for the Big Red to get the most out of the remaining spots:
Quarterback Tyler Shough: Michigan appears to be the trendy pick for Shough’s eventual destination, but I never count Danny Langsdorf out. I’ve also been impressed with how well he’s planned quarterback recruiting during his time at Nebraska.
While Shough is projected as a slightly above average three-star prospect by the 247Sports Composite Index, he hits all of the necessary “must-haves” of the modern day Nebraska signal-caller.
He’s already worked with the screen game as part of the Hamilton High School offense. He has also worked under center and in the shotgun, goes through his progressions very quickly and has an excellent touch on his passes that would work well with the elite wide receivers Nebraska is bringing in.
This appears to be one position that, while the Big Red should reel in a quality prospect, they can afford to wait a bit and be picky with.
Running Back Asa Martin: The Huskers haven’t really pulled in a big-time running back commitment in a couple of cycles which isn’t only odd, it’s concerning considering the need to establish the running game.
Enter Martin, a four-star prospect out of Decatur, Ala. He’s ranked as the No. 8 overall running back in the nation and is about the best shot that Nebraska currently has at landing a difference maker this cycle that could surpass any of the backs on the current roster.
If plans fall through with Martin, it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Big Red pick up Grahm Roberts (brother of current Nebraska linebacker Avery Roberts) as a power back to work with some of the quicker athletes at the position after Devine Ozigbo leaves following the 2018 campaign.
Wide Receiver Joshua Moore: Nebraska gained the pledge of former USC commitment Manuel Allen prior to this year’s Spring Game and fellow four-star prospect Eric Fuller could have a future on either side of the ball.
Moore recently released a top seven that included the Cornhuskers and reportedly has the Big Red high up his list. Another four-star get, Moore would be the second commitment from IMG Academy (Bookie Radley-Hiles being the other).
As a junior at Yoakum High School, he caught 25 passes for 516 yards and eight touchdowns as a multi-purpose athlete. He also had 35 carries for 323 yards and four touchdowns. While his abilities would likely keep him primarily a part of Nebraska’s passing game, his athleticism shows a perfect fit for a Mike Riley offense that hits the defense from all angles.
Offensive Tackle Chris Bleich: Ranked as the No. 35 offensive tackle in the country, this 6-6, 305-pound mammoth is what Mike Cavanaugh is looking for in an offensive tackle.
Bleich was committed to Penn State before visiting Nebraska for the Red-White Spring Game. After that point, it seems all bets are off as he de-committed shortly thereafter.
Courting the Plymouth, Pa. native might be somewhat difficult as the Huskers would be reaching to the other end of Big Ten country.
However, since he already shrugged off a Penn State pledge and apparently enjoys both Lincoln and coach Cavanaugh, getting a commitment might not have the usual hurdles.
Defensive Tackle Calvin Avery: How Mick Stoltenberg does as the first starting nose tackle under Bob Diaco at Nebraska has yet to be seen. Plugging Avery in after he’s graduated in two years (if not moved to another position) isn’t the worst idea in the world.
At 6-1.5 and 320 pounds, Avery fits the mold of what Diaco’s going to want in a standard nose tackle moving forward. Better yet, there’s already a pipeline from his high school (Bishop Dunne in Dallas, Tex.) to Nebraska.
Bishop Dunne is already represented well in Lincoln with defensive tackle Damion Daniels and athlete Marquez Beason representing a current Husker and a 2019 commitment, respectively.
Once Aggie fans saw that tweet, some were very excited while others became concerned.
Considering that his brother is a big fan of Nebraska and wide receivers coach Keith Williams, the Texas A&M staff may want to brace itself for a de-commitment from Jordan Moore prior to his brother’s June announcement.
For the Huskers, it’d be another elite four-star pickup for their secondary.
Kicker Barret Pickering: This commitment wouldn’t do anything for Nebraska’s overall score as he’s yet to be ranked by 247Sports.
That said, he is ranked as the No. 2 overall kicker and No. 29 overall punter by Kohl’s Professional Camps.
Believe it or not, Drew Brown is already a senior (don’t they grow up so fast?). It’s not a shock that the Huskers would want to invest in a scholarship kicker considering how often Big Ten games can be won or lost on a leg.
In total, these additions to Nebraska’s class would bring its 247Sports point total to 222.5 before Pickering’s points are assigned.
That would give the Huskers the nation’s No. 4 recruiting class and the Big Ten’s No. 2 class as of today. Not bad for 15 commits.
Will Mike Riley sign only that many prospects for the class of 2018? It’s hard to say. Honestly, I doubt it.
At least we see that even with so few commitments, the Nebraska football staff can secure a pretty impressive haul.