There has been some action in the background since we last talked recruiting when Darius Slade gave his verbal to Nebraska. This isn't going to be anything, but there are things to share along with some other observations, both good and bad.
- The NCAA started their "Bowl Dead Period" on Monday the 16th, and it continues through Jan 16th. With only 20 days now from the end of that dead period to National Signing Day (Feb 5th, 2014), Nebraska had a lot of work to do the last week plus to get connections down.
- JUCO players could fax their LOI's starting today, per NCAA rules. That means some are Huskers now.
Terrell Clinkscales, for those of you fretting, is a February signee. Therefore, he won't be signing today.
- It seems like one of the staff's main concerns were JUCO DB's last weekend. Originally, Danzel McDaniel and Josh Keys were the two big names that were originally scheduled, but both in the end went on to Southern Miss for their OV's. McDaniel ended up with Kansas State, while Keys signed with Texas Tech. Word is McDaniel cooled on Nebraska for some reason, while Keys was a complete surprise in not becoming a Husker.
- The staff did get ASU verbal Coltin Gerhart to visit this weekend, and it sounds like he was happy with his visit. I have to believe that this is a insurance policy in case Zack Darlington doesn't play football again, which is a fantastic idea in my mind. Some have Gerhart now as a Nebraska lean, but I'm not completely sold on that.
- The staff also had Kalen Ballage in Lincoln the weekend, another ASU verbal. While he liked his visit, it sounds like it's either Boise or Oregon for Ballage. Some are confident Ballage will flip to Nebraska, but I'm not one of them.
- The third big visitor, Kweishi Brown of California, is interesting. He would be the best DB prospect Nebraska would get in this class by far, but it seems Nebraska has a lot to make up here. But, if they can get in, they have as good of a chance as any.
- Finally off this weekend, Eric Lauderdale is a four star stud WR also from California that Nebraska is trying to lure. Like Brown, unsure how popular Nebraska can become with Eric, but being wide open doesn't hurt.
- I always harp on having OV's during the season, so that the "Gameday Experience" is a big thing you can sell the kids on. With the permission of the folks at 247, I am going to share some quotes from last weekend. Tell me where I may bang my head please....
Ballage- "Oh man, that stadium is insane," Ballage said. "It seats 93,000 people? I’ve only played in high school stadiums that seat 2,000. Here there’s 91,000 more people cheering you on when you make a good play or something. That’s insane. Oh, my gosh, that’s just crazy."
Gerhart- "Memorial Stadium is pretty awesome," he said. "It’d be better to see it for a game, just for the ‘ooh and ahh’ factor. But I can imagine that."
Lauderdale- "I wish I would have caught a football game here,"
Now, granted, who knows how hard it would have been to get these kids in during the season, but it wouldn't have hurt to get them in front of a crowd now, wouldn't it?
- The coaching staff went to go see Vegas OL prospect Nick Gates last week. Word is up to half the staff went to see him in his home. There are a few reasons for this, primarily to try to flip Gates from his Texas A&M verbal, but to also get into having Bishop Gorman becoming a pipeline again to Nebraska. One thought on Gorman could be that, if Gerhart stays to Arizona State, you could use what inroads you've used on Gates to take a look at Randall Cunningham II, the Gorman QB who is still in his recruiting process.
- I've talked ad nauseum about Iowa Western CC to folks, and I've also openly wondered why Nebraska hasn't signed (or even offered) anyone out of there. I first saw this tweet last week, and didn't think much of it...
But then, the follow up one on that kinda floored me in a few ways.
@EdGaryN Honestly? Never.— Go Reivers (@GoReivers) December 16, 2013
Now, to make a fair point here, take a look at what IWCC had last year to sign, and there's not a lot that Nebraska could have used. Rodney Coe was a serviceable player for Iowa State, while Aaron Wimberly led the Cyclones in rushing. However, there was no need for Jake Waters at Nebraska (he started every game at QB for Kansas State), and Devon Nash, while in a position of usefulness for the Huskers, ended up leaving the Wildcats over not being able to start.
However, if you look at the 2014 list here, there are more than enough kids that could help out the Huskers next year. The issue here? NONE have Nebraska offers. Go ahead and click through the names listed, I'll wait.
Last year's NJCAA National Champions, who are #2 this year with an 11-1 record... and nothing from the school that had a HC (Osborne) who helped them start the program. No visits, no offers, nothing. Your guess is as good as mine.
The Huskers have 19 verbal/signees, and will probably take up to 24 this class. That number could fluctuate, however, when you take in account attrition and giving walk-on's scholarships.
Nebraska did well before the dead period, but still has some work to do. Corn Nation will be there to cover it for you folks. Also, keep an eye on the SBNation Recruiting page to check out everything going on as we ramp up to NSD.