With the most recently addition to Nebraska’s recruiting class of 2008 being Omaha Nebraska Gross Catholic Fullback C.J. Zimmerer and a recent offer to Creighton Prep Offensive Lineman Jon Lechner, a number of recruitniks including myself have been wondering why Nebraska has been offering so many local kids scholarships instead of walk-on opportunities or at least waited later in the year.
Talk of T.O. having some say in the process has been bandied about, however as much as I have questioned Osborne’s methods as of late, I think I can actually see the method behind this madness. I’ve personally used a rule of thumb that Nebraska produces about one to five Division 1-A caliber athletes yearly. If Pelini and his staff believe these guys to be amongst that list, great, no problem. The issue is expanding beyond the borders of the Cornhusker State and that appears to be what is happening now.
Names like Denton, Texas’ Yahshua Williams (Safety), Tampa, Florida’s Jarvis Giles (Running Back), Cincinnati, Ohio’s Pat Muldoon and Jenks, Oklahoma’s Gabe Lynn are only four prospects that are beginning to surface as legitimate potential Cornhuskers. Honestly, this news couldn’t have come at a better time. There were a few positive impact players in the Solich recruiting years such as Demorrio Williams, Fabian Washington and Dane Todd, but the ratio of contributing players to "busts" was far too high. These classes were not necessarily littered with Nebraska kids on scholarship, but rather athletes with skills not appropriate for this level of play.
The crop from Nebraska so far has shown potential and flashes, but nothing that makes my eyes pop. With time, a redshirt year and working with S&C head man James Dobson, this could change, but with guys like the aforementioned four 2008 recruits, there is a chance for immediate impact. Tim Beck and Shawn Watson both have tremendous connections in the Texas region, Marvin Sanders has a charm about him with defensive backs that may work wonders with Lynn and any other secondary members he goes after and finally Ron Brown brings a unique perspective in his extraordinarily kind personality that is truly one of a kind. This is before mentioning the staff’s connections in Big 10 country specifically Ohio, of course.
While much of the current class is corn-fed, the remainder should be of the out-of-state nature or at least I hope it is. If we begin seeing classes that pass that five Nebraska player threshold barring an absolutely insane amount of players being in that mold (hey, it could happen), color me worried. The good news is that it’s only May. There’s a long time until February and camps are coming up soon.