It’s been my amateur opinion that in the game of college football recruiting that barring a massively successful season commitments following a spring game are unlikely until summer camps begin. Shawn Bodtmann and Thaddeus Randle decided to prove me and several others wrong. Let’s see what we have with the two newest additions to the 2008-2009 Cornhusker Class.
Name: Shawn Bodtmann Projected position: Linebacker
Height: 6’0" Weight: 205 pounds
As a junior for West Scranton High School, Bodtmann played both sides of the football. As a running back he displayed a quick burst out of the backfield followed by an immediate trust in his line. This allowed him to crank things into full gear and speed towards the end zone ready to batter and bruise anyone who got in his way. Speed and power: two things you look for in a linebacker.
He has vision and uses it well to watch a quarterback’s eyes. I’ve seen several highly ranked prospects struggle significantly with that so +1 for Shawn. He clearly has no regard for his physical well-being or at least that’s what film would indicate. That’s a negative as he needs to both allow himself to grow and put on added muscle mass before bringing that mentality to the Big XII. Is Bodtmann quick, slippery and hard-hitting? Absolutely and I’m anxious to see what he’ll do during his senior season, however no doubt the Nebraska coaching staff is equally as excited to see what teammate and highly rated offensive tackle Eric Shrive does.
Name: Thaddeus Randle Projected position: Defensive Tackle
Height: 6’1" Weight: 255 pounds
We’ll address this up front: Don’t think for a second that Randle hasn’t been measured for the potential of growth. I’d wager an inch or two is still left in his frame and Glenn Dorsey didn’t seem to have much trouble at 6’2". I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’. Randle definitely has the "run stuffer" portion of his resume down. My chief complaint is that he locks up with his man far too much and dances with him in the event he can nab a tackle. Another year of camps and work will ideally change that up.
What most intrigues me about "Thad" is his frame. He’s got the tools to play defensive tackle. I’m not going to argue that. He has the frame, however, not to be Dorsey but be Dorsey-esque and I think that’s what Pelini saw in this young man. I do have concerns about Texas A&M with Tim Cassidy on their staff. Tim knows a thing or two about how to play this chess match and it’s going to be interesting to see if Pelini & Co. can keep Mr. Randle around. For any worrywarts, look at it this way: At one point David Whitmore was considered by some (myself included) as the least likely to sign with Nebraska. I was wrong. Don’t let me down, Thad.