The head of the class. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
As my "debut" for CornNation and SB Nation, I would like to bring out something that I noticed after the departure of Tyler Moore and Ryan Klachko in a matter of 8 or so days from the Nebraska football team.
Now, I get that there is worry about Moore's departure and the depth of the group in whole after Moore and Klachko have left. However, there's another issue that has been a constant since Bo Pelini has taken over the team, and that is the somewhat shocking way that players Nebraska has gotten commitments from with 4 and 5 stars have developed as they have come along in the program.
Is is terrible? No... but it's not the best...
Now, to preface, this info doesn't include any 2012 recruits who were 4 stars (Zaire Anderson, Greg McMullen, Alonzo Moore, Mohammed Seisay, Paul Thurston, and Jordan Westerkamp). Obviously a week and half into their first fall camp in Lincoln isn't a way to say they've succeeded or failed.
2011 (10 players):
Aaron Green - Transferred to TCU after spring practice in '12. Had 24 carries for 105 yards for the season.
Charles Jackson - Did not academically qualify for the 2010 class. Word is, will be a big contributor for the secondary this year.
Ryan Klachko - Redshirted in 2011, transferring to (last we heard) Illinois.
Tyler Moore - Has gone home to Florida after one year in Lincoln to think it all out.
Todd Peat, Jr - Not on the 105 man roster due to his back and "other issues".
Ryne Reeves - Redshirted in 2011
David Santos - Redshirted in 2011
Bubba Starling - Participated in Fan Day for Nebraska, then was signed by the Kansas City Royals less than 20 minutes before the MLB entry level draft in August 2011.
Zach Sterup - Redshirted in 2011
Jamal Turner - After being moved to WR from QB, had a good start to the season but wasn't heard from much after the Wisconsin game. Finished with 15 receptions for 243 yards.
2010 (5 players)
Brion Carnes - Redshirted in '10, has appeared in a few mop-up roles for Nebraska. 2 rushes and 2 completed passes in 3 games.
Corey Cooper - Limited action last year, but did play in 11 games with 9 tackles on the season. Redshirted in '10
Braylon Heard - Didn't qualify out of HS and spent 2010 getting good with the grades. After rushing for 114 yards in '11, was moved to DB in spring practice, only to return to RB with the transfer of Aaron Green
Andrew Rodriguez - Should be a solid contributor at Tackle in '12. Played as a Guard his sophomore season where he started 7 games. Sparingly used during his freshman year.
Chase Rome - Redshirted in 2010, played through injury in 2011 finishing with 13 tackles and one sack.
2009 (5 players)
Jason Ankrah - Started 9 games in '11, finished the year with 17 tackles and 1 sack. Played in 10 games and had 2 tackles on the season his redshirt Freshman year after sitting out 2009
Rex Burkhead - The Senior leader of the team, the preseason All-American had over 1500 yards on 305 total touches for Nebraska last year while being first team All Big Ten.
Cody Green - Appeared in 17 games for Nebraska, starting in 4 of those games. Had a 54% completion rate while in Lincoln, but transferred before the 2011 season. Expected to compete for the starting job at Tulsa.
Dijon Washington - Redshirted in '09, appeared in one game in '10, had 5 tackles as primarily a special teams player in '11. Transferred to Sacramento State.
Chris Williams - Redshirted in '09, transferred to McMurray University after that season
2008 (Two players)
Baker Steinkuhler - The only 5 star player in this entire, Steinkuhler has had a solid career as a Defensive Lineman, with over 100 total tackles and 5 1/2 sacks in three years of service, while starting 26 of 27 games the last 2 seasons. Even with the success Baker has had, one has to wonder what the Offensive Line could be if he hadn't been switched when he arrived at North Stadium.
Will Compton - Redshirting in '08, Compton has had a serviceable career in Lincoln and figures to be the leader on Defense for Nebraska in 2012. in '09, started 8 games and had 40 tackles and 1/2 a sack. Missed the first half of the season in '10 and only had 15 tackles and 1 sack, but came back last year for 82 tackles and 1 sack, earning him All-Big Ten Honorable Mention.
That's a long list of players. 22 to be exact. Again, all players were four stars or better. Of those 22 players..
- Five of them are current starters.
- Seven are no longer in the 105 man roster, six of those completely out of the program. (3 alone in the '11 cycle)
- One (Cody Green) is considered a "starter" on any other FBS program.
- One (Burkhead) is on any All-Conference team.
Think about that second bullet point for a moment. Nearly a third of this list are not with the current program anymore. Considering that, at best, 40% of your recruits will reach their potential during their eligibility, and that's an uneasy way to look at who is doing well as far as your standouts go on the first Tuesday of February.
Now, considering that the '12 cycle has brought in playmakers that can contribute immediately to the cause at North Stadium along with the list of potential that the '13 cycle can muster, Nebraska can really only go up with their hit/miss ratio when it comes to these type of kids.