As Big Red Weekend Comes, Nebraska's Recruiting Needs A Spark To August

Minnesota. A team ranked above Nebraska right now. - Eric Francis

Big Red Weekend approaches, and Nebraska needs to do well before the 2014 season starts, for the numbers are not very good right now.

Sometimes, when I talk about recruiting, I get the same words being said to me by people about what Nebraska is doing. "Patience" and "the coaches know what they're doing" seem to be said to me more times than not.

Now, I get the patience thing, and I would like to hope that the staff in North Stadium is indeed in control of what's going on. Plus, this isn't a piece to say they aren't so for those that are thinking this, step off the keyboards now.

However, there's a long way to go and a short time to get there. Fall camp starts in roughly 60 days, and Nebraska has a bunch of offers out there, probably in the neighborhood of 340-350 offers. By June 2nd. Is that a lot? Well, Ole Miss had about the same last year in their whole cycle.

I'm not going to tell you that's a bad thing, because Nebraska should be spreading the offers wide and all over America to get the idea of who is interested. But, with only two verbals (more on those in a minute), there's something missing from all those offers. It's easy to say closing skills, but we all know Nebraska isn't going to give a hard close, that's just the staff's way of doing it (and not necessary in June).

However, with Big Red Weekend coming up in 2 weeks, things could definitely change. The TEMPORARY list for BRW (and I emphasize temporary because, as we have all seen before, things can will change) include the following kids visiting:

Luke Gifford
Jason Hall
Peyton Newell
DJ Foster
Abu Lamin
Taven Bryan
Demornay Pierson-El
Trevon Lee
TV Williams
Adam McLean (2015 cycle kid)

That's a lot of kids, and the first two are 2014 cycle commitments (the only ones). One name that I am not sure on would be Monte Harrison, the KC area Wideout that really likes Nebraska and vice versa.

So, a lot of kids, and a big weekend to get commitments. Who pulls the trigger? Well... if you want a prediction, I say Harrison does if he visits. MAYBE, maybe Newell and another kid, lets say.. TV Williams. After that, your guess is as good as mine.

And, of course, right before the weekend, I'll have a updated list on visitors and such. Lets hope Harrison is on that, because I can't see Harrison leaving Lincoln without committing to the Huskers.

Of course, with the news is going to come the facts of the class so far. YES I KNOW PATIENCE but numbers never lie. Especially right now.

A lot of people last year in the media and fandom loved, LOVED to tell you about Nebraska's recruiting rankings last year in how great they were. This year? There's not a lot to love, as the class is ranked 69th by Rivals and 74th by 247.

Current teams in front of Nebraska at this time in both lists include:

Bowling Green
Minnesota
Syracuse
Kansas
SMU
Central Michigan
BYU
San Diego State
Western Michigan
Rice
Iowa
Iowa State
Duke
Ohio (The Fighting Frankies even!)

So, okay, Nebraska just has to be third to fourth in the Big 10, right? RIGHT? Well, currently, there are TWO schools behind Nebraska in the Big 10. That, my friends, is Purdue and Indiana.

It could be just me, but being tied with UCLA, Cincinnati and Colorado in recruiting rankings isn't sitting well. At least, with the resources available to Nebraska that maybe Jim Mora Jr's staff has with them.

The two commits to Nebraska, Luke Gifford (5.6) and Jason Hall (5.5) are both three stars, Hall just now being ranked in the state of Texas (and having more eyes view him). Does this mean Hall and Gifford aren't good players? Of course not, we don't know that, and in the case of Hall, he should have a higher ceiling the more people see him. However, the more people see him and offer him, the bigger decommit chance he is come this fall and winter. Especially in the state of Texas, where Baylor has offered and where more will come when the season arises.

Now, this is honestly where I say that things should be fine come the end of the summer and Nebraska will be good when the Fall Camp news starts coming down the wire. However, knowing how the staff tends to back down when camp and games start becoming the news, this "could" become a make/break time for the cycle.

Not only does the staff tend to back off recruiting at the begging of camp, the fact that Nebraska's starting game time conundrum doesn't really help the cause, given the fact that Bo's staff isn't fans of official visits for 11am or 2:30 kickoffs when it comes to getting kids and parents to Lincoln. This is another reason that BRW and July has to be full of #BOOM for the staff.

At only 20-ish spots available for this cycle, every LOI has to be a hit. Nebraska isn't in the mindframe to miss on a lot of kids the next couple of years, as the next three years won't have many spots (unless Saban-esque things are done, and that isn't happening) to have kids to sign. As the size of each class gets smaller, the margin for error gets narrower.

This is where people start to say "have patience" or "get off Bo's back GBR" and such. Even a "they'll be fine" here and there. I'm not on anyone's back, I'm just merely pointing out where the program is right now. Along with a vast majority of you, I like to hope there will be bigger and better news about good players coming to Lincoln.

If Nebraska gets to 6-7-8 verbals before August 15th, that's going to be a fairly large victory for the staff. With the number of offers out there, it shouldn't be hard to get spots filled and quality kids in Lincoln. One could even make an argument that you could have as few as 5 verbals, as long as these kids are higher end 3 stars to 4 stars in that list.

Hope for the best, because these next 60 days matter.

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