Mike Riley posted a losing record in his first season at Nebraska, but his first full-year recruiting class is the highest-rated in Lincoln since 2013.
He found a highly regarded quarterback and hit California hard while also pulling in recruits from the East Coast and Florida.
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Scout.com national class ranking: 28
Big Ten ranking: 6
Top-rated prospect: John Raridon, a four-star offensive lineman from West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley High was Scout.com’s No. 54 overall prospect and Nebraska’s only top 100 signee.
Biggest area of need potentially addressed: Secondary
Best long-term buy: With Tommy Armstrong returning for his third season as a starter, four-star quarterback Patrick O’Brien of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., will not have to rush to be ready to play.
This is generally a key area of talent acquisition for every school even though some live in different neighborhoods than others. Nebraska was not home to any Scout.com four-star recruits in 2016, and Riley only signed one from a trio of three-stars: Ben Stille, a tight end from Ashland-Greenwood.
The state’s top prospect, Omaha South tight end Noah Fant, went to Iowa while Jared Bubak, a tight end from Lincoln Christian, signed with Arizona State.
Ranking trend: The Cornhuskers dropped a spot in the Big Ten after signing the No. 5 class in the conference last year, but it was ranked higher than the last two classes nationally.
Thanks largely to to an 11th-ranked class under Bo Pelini in 2013, Nebraska’s four-year national recruiting average is 26.5. The average Big Ten ranking is 5.0.