HUSKER RECRUITING UNDER BO, A REVIEW: CLASS OF 2010

He may not have arrived as a 5-star player, but he sure as hell left as one. - Tom Pennington

The last in a look backwards to see how Bo's first three classes played out. I use lots of stars and percentages, so despite my extreme subjectivity, it all looks very, very official. Sort if like Officer Obie in "Alice's Restaurant" with his 27 8x10 COLOR GLOSSY PHOTOS WITH THE CIRCLES & ARROWS AND A PARAGRAPH ON THE BACK- Well, you get the picture.

THE 2010 RECRUITING CLASS – A REVIEW

This was a class that had me thinking BOOM & BUST as I went down the list. There were some pretty solid citizens, some high ranked busts, a few absolute wastes of scholarships and maybe the best Husker JC recruit ever not named Rozier.

It was ranked #22 by Rivals and failed to crack ESPN’s top 25 for the second straight year. Lavonte David was the crown jewel of this group, but when it came to 4-star signees, this class was best known for how many of them ended up as busts or transfers (and for the ranking purposes of this little study, those are generally considered to be the same thing)

Carnes - barely saw field, transferred. Harper-academics. Heard - transferred. Rome - transferred. A-Rod - didn't quite perform to that level. (Cooper has a very good chance to finish his career up there)

Whatever the reasons may be, coming up short on five out of seven high level recruits is never a good thing, especially when you add in four additional misses on the defensive line and two more on local kids.

Here's the breakdown (I added an RS+1 for players coming back for one more year):

Walker Ashburn - *** - 2 games total, left team on a medical after 2012 - *

Kenny Bell - *** - RS+1 – 1st & 2nd Team All B1G, B1G All-Frosh Team, multiple sophomore records, team leader/captain, with respect to Wonder Monds, best non-70’s hair in school history - ****1/2 (outside potential for ***** if 2014 QB can throw with any consistency)

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The Wookies just got themselves a 4-star deep threat.

Brion Carnes - **** - mop up at QB, switched to WR, transferred to N Iowa - *

Corey Cooper – **** - RS+1 – 1st Team All B1G (BTN), 3 year player, junior starter, led team in tackles - ***1/2 (potential for ****)

Jake Cotton - ** - RS+1- spot duty as freshman, 3 year regular player (frosh season cut short due to injury), junior starter - *** (could make jump senior season)

Lavonte David - **** - JC recruit, 1st Team All-American, B1G Linebacker of the Year, Butkus Finalist, 1st Team All-B1G, Bednarik & Lott Semi-finalist, 1st team All-Big 12, Big 12 Defensive Player of Year, Big 12 Newcomer of Year - *****

2010mudavid_medium
Another Misery LT prepares to swat at air while Gabbert makes the sign of the cross.

Quincy Enunwa - *** - Four year player, three year starter, team leader/captain, upgrade for 99 yard TD vs. UGA (go ahead, enjoy it again) & for some of the most violent stiff arms & blocking in school history. Making D-backs wet themselves on the field of play is an extra star - ****

Ciante Evans - *** - 1st & 2nd Team All-B1G, team leader/captain, 4 year player, 3 year starter, small upgrade for seeming to be the one player that would cause Pap to make this face if he couldn't suit up - ****1/2

Tyler Evans - ** - RS+1 - gets good grades - *

Jay Guy - *** - minimal playing time, earned degree & has elected to forego final year - *

Jemarcus "Yoshii" Hardrick - **** - JC recruit, 2 year player, senior starter, no upgrade for being named Yoshii but we still loved it (don't Google Image search Yoshii under the influence of drugs. Trust me.) - ***

Chase Harper - **** - failed to qualify academically - *

Braylon Heard - **** - 2 year player, bounced to CB & back to IB, transferred to Kentucky after 2012 - **

Harvey Jackson - *** - RS+1 – 3 year player, mostly as backup - *** (potential for upgrade if becomes regular starter & has big senior season)

Stanley Jean-Baptiste – no rating – transferred to NU after redshirting at Ft Scott CC, converted to CB from WR, 2nd Team All-B1G - ***1/2

Bronson Marsh - ** - besides NU, only rec’d offers lower D1 & below, probably should have only been offered preferred walk-on except for minor media firestorm that it was somehow a slap in the face to Nebraska HS football to not offer a ride to the state’s Player of the Year - Bo may have been guilt-tripped into last minute offer. Grayshirted, did not play, transferred to Kearney - *

Josh Mitchell - *** - 3 year player, 2 year starter - *** (potential for jump with big senior season

Mike Moudy - *** - regular play with spot starts as junior, injured last 3 games - ** (potential for *** with regular starts in 2013)

Tobi Okuyemi - *** - One of 4 DE’s in the 2010 (Ashburn, Okuyemi, Cotton, Vestal) class that has failed to produce any significant playing time at the position (Cotton moved to OL) - *

Andrew Rodriguez - **** - highly hyped recruit, 4 year player & starter, HM All-B1G - ***

Chase Rome - **** - played two years with spot starts but apparently not enough, suspension mixed in as well, transferred to Memphis - **

Donovan Vestal - *** - see Tobi Okuyemi, NU career apparently over due to injury - *

TOTAL PLAYERS: 22

PLAYERS WHO OUTPERFORMED THEIR INITIAL RANKING: 6 (27%)
PLAYERS WHO UNDERPERFORMED: 14 (64%)
PLAYERS WHO PERFORMED ABOUT AS EXPECTED: 2 (9%)
TOTAL CAREERS LOST TO INJURIES: 0
TRANSFERS: 3 (14%)
STARTERS: 10 (45% - 5 Off, 6 Def) (assuming Moudy, H. Jackson to start 2014)

QUICK SUMMARY

The number of total and almost-total busts in this class would probably drop this class into the 30's or deeper if Rivals did a post-career reboot. As far as successes, I mentioned David above. Kenny Bell also has a good chance to finish with a much higher ranking than initially given. After those two, though, only Corey Cooper has a good chance to rise above *** status.

There's a solid percentage that became starters, but outside of Bell and David, no one else played above and beyond expectations.What looked like a potentially superb class at the time has to be considered a fairly large disappointment in review.

3 YEAR TOTALS

TOTAL PLAYERS: 70
PLAYERS WHO OUTPERFORMED THEIR INITIAL RANKING: 19 (28%)
PLAYERS WHO UNDERPERFORMED: 40 (58%)
PLAYERS WHO PERFORMED ABOUT AS EXPECTED: 10 (14%)
TOTAL CAREERS LOST TO INJURIES: 1
TRANSFERS: 11 (16%)
STARTERS: 30 (43% - 14 Off, 17 Def)

One *STAR/BUSTS:

2008: 9 (33%)
2009: 6 (30%)
2010: 8 (36%)

A COUPLE THOUGHTS

One thing that struck me in reviewing the 3-year totals was the consistency of the percentages in the three performance categories. In any single season, none of them deviated from the 3-year average by more than 8% and most were within 5%. I found that pretty amazing.

Yes, there's still a few that have to play out, but so far, none of the transfers have come back to bite us in the ass. Most have transferred to sub-D1 or lower division schools and those that shot higher (Kerr) didn't play. So despite the hand-wringing, it does appear that despite initially misjudging some potential (and who doesn't?) the staff knew best in giving them the depth chart placement they did & making sure the best players played as opposed to playing/coddling them and hoping they would eventually rise to the hype.

Now that the we've had a look at all three classes, what are your thoughts?

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