Nebraska Football Recruiting: Comparing the 2016 and 2017 Recruiting Classes

The 2017 Nebraska football recruiting class has officially been wrapped up. National Signing Day is in the books. However, before we look too far ahead, let’s take a minute to look back.

How does the 2017 class stack up against the 2016 class? Let’s take a look and keep score for fun.

Final Rankings

2017:

  • 247 Sports Composite Ranking
    • National: 23
    • Big Ten Rank: 5
    • Big Ten West: 1
    • Average Rating: 0.8758

2016:

  • 247 Sports Composite Ranking
    • National: 24
    • Big Ten Rank: 5
    • Big Ten West: 1
    • Average Rating: 0.8558

One point will be awarded to the 2017 class. Finishing one spot higher in the national ranking and ending with a higher average rating gives the edge to this year’s class.

Star Power

2017:

  • Total Commits: 20
    • 4 Stars: 5
    • 3 Stars: 15
    • Highest Rated Commit: 0.9756 (Tyjon Lindsey)

2016:

  • Total Commits: 23
    • 4 Stars: 5
    • 3 Stars: 16
    • Unrated: 2
    • Highest Rated Commit: 0.9582 (Lamar Jackson)

This one is close. The stars line up pretty well as both classes have the same number of four-star recruits and almost the same number of three-star prospects. The 2016 class does have three more commits, but because this category is based on star power, the point will go to 2017.

The two unranked players don’t help boost the star power of the 2016 class. As a result. having a higher rated top commit in Tyjon Lindsey helps the 2017 class get out to a 2-0 lead.

Early Enrollees

2017:

2016:

Players who enroll early are more important than some people may think. These recruits get a jump-start on all other incoming freshmen.

They get to compete in spring drills and practices, begin learning the playbook and start building a relationship with the team and coaches. Having players enroll early gives the entire class a boost.

It is pretty obvious which class gets the point on this one. Not only did the 2016 class only have only two early enrollees, but one (Grim) transferred out before the season even started. A 3-0 lead for the 2017 class so far.

Top Five Commits

2017:

  • Tyjon Lindsey: 0.9756
    • 4* WR National: 50 Position: 7 State: 1
  • Elijah Blades: 0.9351
    • 4* DB National: 138 Position: 16 State: 18
  • Avery Roberts: 0.9248
    • 4* ILB National: 172 Position: 7 State: 1
  • Tristan Gebbia: 0.9184
    • 4* QB National: 202 Position: 9 State: 22
  • Jaevon McQuitty: 0.8944
    • 4* WR National: 303 Position: 41 State: 3

Combined: 0.9297

2016:

  • Lamar Jackson: 0.9582
    • 4* DB National: 81 Postion: 5 State: 13
  • John Raridon: 0.9435
    • 4* OG National: 118 Position: 5 State: 1
  • Patrick O’Brien: 0.9189
    • 4* QB National: 204 Position: 11 State: 27
  • Marquel Dismuke: 0.9064
    • 4* S National: 259 Position: 9 State: 27
  • Matt Farniok: 0.9049
    • 4* OT National: 265 Position: 25 State: 1

Combined: 0.9264

Again, the 2017 class has a slight edge. Both years have the same number of four-star commitments, but the combined average rating in 2017 is slightly better.

The average national rating for 2017 is slightly lower at 173 as the average ranking in 2016 was 185.4. Of course, the lower score in this situation is the better one.

Final Score

2017

4

2016

0

Overall, the two classes were actually quite comparable to one another. Even though it had a clean sweep, the 2017 class was only slightly better than the 2016 according to the numbers.

The little improvement in the ratings for head coach Mike Riley’s second full class might be a disappointing to Husker fans. However, you cannot just rely on the numbers.

The biggest difference between the two was that the Huskers were in the spotlight a bit more with the 2017 class. They competed for many big name recruits, made their final lists and gained national attention.

Had the coaches gained a few more commitments on National Signing Day, the class numbers and ratings would not have looked anywhere near as close. It may only look like a small step forward, but a big leap could be coming in Big Red recruiting in the upcoming class.

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