As Harvey Sees It: Late recruiting months
This story originally published on BigRedReport.com
Bo Pelini (Stewart Photography)
Bo Pelini (Stewart Photography)
Publisher
Posted Dec 12, 2012


There is a perception the Nebraska coaching staff doesn't always finish strong when it comes to recruiting classes. BRR's Josh Harvey says it's not true.

LINCOLN, Neb. - Sometimes negativity is justified. But as internet message boards and social media grow, with more and more generations spouting off their opinions, often negativity is unwarranted and downright ill-informed.

Take for instance the topic of Nebraska's 2013 recruiting class. Doubters of the direction of the Nebraska program will say the class is lacking true star power, and once again the Huskers are needing to fill many spots over the last two months.

Their views and opinions are then snowballed into “the class is mediocre.”

I'm saying that is far from the truth.

The Huskers currently sit No. 18 in the country in the latest FOX Sports NEXT team rankings. Their rank is even higher when breaking down the quality of recruits they are bringing in.

As things stand right now, the Huskers have nine more spots left to fill after the commitment of Ohio defensive tackle Antoine Miles last week.

When looking at the class, Nebraska only has one high school player not ranked at their position and below a three-star rating. But can you really count a long snapper? A long snapper who is often regarded as one of the best two in American in the 2013 class.

I'm going to just flat out say it. Nebraska fans need to be excited about this year's crop of talent currently committed to the program. It's on pace to be Bo Pelini's highest rated class.

Pundits would argue with two months left in the recruiting calendar, it's still too early to judge the class. Maybe they are right. But let's get one thing cleared up. There is a perception, especially on the message boards, Pelini and crew never finish strong when it comes to their recruiting classes. I'm telling you it's just not true.


Most fans didn't even know who Imani Cross was a year ago
(Stewart Photography)

Nebraska might have nine spots left to fill, but it wasn't by any accident. Big Red Report was told by a source earlier this summer, Nebraska hoped they had scholarships late in the year, because the coaching staff anticipated possible late commitments from high-caliber players with a stellar season. The flood gates could have really opened up with a Big Ten Championship, but while the Huskers came up short, a ten win season regular season and conference championship appearance is nothing to sneeze at. The general perception right now among most recruits is Nebraska is a program back on the rise under Pelini.

Now back to the coaching staff never finishing strong. It's a topic that usually has me scratching my head?

At this point last year, Nebraska only had eight commitments (seven counting Jordan Westerkamp's soft verbal). It was a scary time for recruitniks. But over the last two months, Pelini and crew added: two high school All-Americans (Avery Moss and Jared Afalava), running back Imani Cross - who scored seven touchdowns this year, a junior college cornerback named Mohammed Seisay, defensive tackles Aaron Curry (No. 22 in the country) and Vincent Valentine (offers from Florida, Michigan, and Wisconsin), and Alonzo Moore (SEC offers).

Yes, the Huskers might have taken a flyer on Corey Whitaker and LeRoy Alexander last January, but I trust this staff's judgement with under the radar prospects.

The 2011 finish was similar, adding a high school All-American defensive tackle, running back Ameer Abdullah, junior college defensive end Joe Carter – who was coveted by many schools, and one of the best kicker/punter combos in the country.

Over the course of Pelini's five years in Lincoln, some of his best players committed in December or January: Rex Burkhead, Alfonzo Dennard, Will Compton, Eric Martin, Lavonte David, and Kenny Bell.

Who might be a guy we add to the list down the road? Could it be four-star junior college tight end Beau Sandland? How about four-star running back Terrell Newby? Maybe it will be five-star safety Priest Willis?

There are way too many prospects still left on the board, considering Nebraska, to say this year's 2013 class will be “mediocre.”

If a few things fall right, Nebraska will have a Top 15 class when it's all said and done. You can win conference championships with classes like that.

Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & Scout.com since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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