Last Sunday, the Nebraska football staff got some good news as St. Louis, Mo. wide receiver Cameron Brown committed to the Huskers. On the surface, the commitment appears to just be another addition to the Savage Professionalism corps.
Perhaps Brown’s addition to the class says a bit more, though. There was no question heading into this cycle that the state of Missouri is rich in FBS-level talent. Nebraska identified this early and we’re starting to see the results of casting that wide net.
Brown is the first commit from the Show Me State, but other prospects have shown legit interest. Fellow St. Louis native Ronnie Perkins would make a bullish pass rusher in Bob Diaco’s 3-4 defense. Lee’s Summit boundary corner recruit Mario Goodrich had a fantastic time at the Red-White Spring Game and still holds the Huskers in high regard even though he’s decided to take a few trips.
Few seem to be able to surmise just how many recruits will be a part of this class with the numbers ranging from 15 (that coming straight from Mike Riley himself) to what seems like an improbable 21 considering scholarship numbers. The happy medium seems to be 18 which would be Riley’s 15 plus the Big Ten’s allowed oversigning limit of three prospects.
It’s been assumed that Danny Langsdorf will be scouting and eventually snagging a quarterback commitment as he’s done in two classes prior to this. So far, that hasn’t happened but there doesn’t seem to be any sense of hurry.
Tyler Shough‘s name came up early on, but the thought was that even if he did get a Husker offer, the Big Red would be fighting Michigan for his services. Well, four-star quarterback Joe Milton committed to the Wolverines this past Sunday which really raises question marks around Langsdorf’s interest in Shough.
The last name to surface in terms of a signal-caller to be offered during the 2018 cycle is Spencer Petras, a 6-5 207-pound prospect out of California.
Petras currently has several offers, but one from Nebraska would easily be at the top in terms of high profile schools. The longer we go without seeing Petras offered (and one has to think he’d commit nearly on the spot if that happens), the more we must consider a separate question:
Is Nebraska opting to not take a quarterback in the 2018 class?
It’s a gamble, but it might be safer than you think thanks to how the staff has arranged current quarterback depth.
After the upcoming season, Nebraska will have a senior in Tanner Lee, a redshirt sophomore in Patrick O’Brien and a redshirt freshman in Tristian Gebbia (barring emergency, of course). Now take into account that the Huskers appear to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to locking up one of the best quarterbacks in the 2019 class in Grant Gunnell.
The Big Red also has a contingency plan in Andrew Bunch, an incoming sophomore JUCO transfer taken as a walk-on.
Many are expecting Lee to light up the scoreboard and have a terrific year in an offense that’s been lacking a true pro-style quarterback. There’s already plenty of speculation that he may consider jumping to the NFL if that’s the case.
However, it should be noted that the Big Red staff fought hard to get Lee an extra year of eligibility. Should Nebraska not sign a quarterback in this class, one has to wonder how that would play into Lee’s decision if he does have an NFL draft-friendly year.
What do Langsdorf and Nebraska have to gain by focusing on the future and Gunnell while shrugging off a 2018 quarterback? That’s one more scholarship in a small class for a highly-talented Missourian.
Bringing Brown aboard may very well clear the way for the likes of Perkins, Goodrich and on a fantastic day maybe another amazing wide receiver in Kamryn Babb.
Wouldn’t it be a coup to see those dice rolled and another elite talent plucked from Missouri while maintaining a robust quarterback depth chart?