NCAA FB

Analysts say they like Nebraska's lineman recruits

Share This Story

   
 

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP)

Nebraska made up for a lack of star power in its recruiting class with a bevy of beef up front.

Eight of the 24 players are offensive or defensive linemen, and some of them could play right away to help fill areas hit hard by graduation. The Cornhuskers also signed five defensive backs Wednesday in a class that includes players from 13 states.

Recruiting analysts said the class won't wow fans that put a lot of stock in star ratings. That didn't matter to coach Bo Pelini.

''Look at the rosters from the Super Bowl. There are very few five-stars, very few four-stars,'' Pelini said. ''There are lots of three-stars, lots of two-stars, lots of guys who were unranked. I feel good about the potential of this group. It's our job to develop them into what we saw when we recruited them in the first place.''

The class has four four-star players, according to Rivals.com. Among them are offensive lineman Tanner Farmer of Highland, Ill., and Nick Gates of Las Vegas. The others are running back Mikale Wilbon of Chicago and receiver Monte Harrison of Lee's Summit, Mo.

''Bo Pelini doesn't go out and chase stars, so they're not going to go out and sign a bunch of five-star guys just to sign them. We saw how that worked in the Bill Callahan days,'' ESPN.com analyst Jeremy Crabtree said. ''It's real important for Bo to find guys he can develop into quality players. With that context in mind, I think Nebraska fans have to be pretty pleased with how they've done considering the needs that needed to get filled.''

The major recruiting services had the Huskers ranked between Nos. 30 and 40 nationally and in the middle of the Big Ten. It's one of the lowest-rated of the seven classes signed by Pelini and well below the 2013 group that was pegged as high as No. 11 by one service.

In addition to big-name offensive linemen Farmer and Gates, Pelini signed the top in-state player in 6-foot-3, 310-pound lineman D.J. Foster of Lincoln. Junior-college transfer Joe Keels, who enrolled in January, probably is the most game-ready of the four defensive linemen who signed and can help immediately at end. The Huskers suffered an 11th-hour blow when defensive lineman Blake McClain of Jacksonville, Fla., backed out of his verbal commitment and signed with South Carolina.

---

NEBRASKA

National Rankings (Rivals 32; Scout 34).

Best in class: Monte Harrison, WR, Lee's Summit, Mo. He's a dynamic athlete who led his West High team to a state championship. The question is whether he'll show up in Lincoln or turn pro in baseball. A speedy and strong-armed outfielder, he's pegged as a top-50 MLB draft pick.

Best of the rest: Tanner Farmer, OL, Highland, Ill. He made an impressive showing at the Under Armour All-Star Game and is ranked among the best offensive line prospects in the country. He and fellow O-lineman D.J. Foster out of Lincoln will make bids for early playing time.

Late addition: Mikale Wilbon, RB, Chicago. He flipped from Vanderbilt after James Franklin took the Penn State coaching job. He's been injury prone but has the tools to be a great one.

One that got away: Blake McClain, DL, Jacksonville, Fla. He flipped twice down the stretch, de-committing from Florida State, pledging to Nebraska and signing with South Carolina.

NOTE: Nebraska secured verbal commitments from a half-dozen players in the two weeks before signing day, but the strong finish was mitigated by the loss of McClain and three others who went elsewhere.

Tagged: Kentucky, Nebraska, D.J. Foster

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash