So, after Bud Elliot's piece where he talked about schools that have to recruit better to keep at the current wins/losses level they are at (hint, Nebraska is in there), some folks talked about how many spots are left in this 2015 recruiting cycle for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Well, that's not the case, and I'll explain why.
Nebraska's verbal list right now has 10 kids on it. I've said before that it's over halfway full, and there aren't many spots. The reason I'm saying that is because, currently, Nebraska doesn't have that many scholarships to give out.
Here's who Nebraska has on scholarship right now. This is done with both who has verbaled to Nebraska, as well as the current listing of what a player is, regardless of redshirt or not. Also, this is a projected look at things like Offensive Line and such, so the position may not be what they end up being when the '14 season starts.
So, to get a total, 9 Seniors, 21 Juniors, 18 Sophomores, 33 Freshman and 10 verbal commitments. The underclassmen add up to... 81 scholarships.
81 schollys means 4 spots for Nebraska alone. Lets play smart guy here and take away both all 9 Seniors and Randy Gregory considering he's probably gone for the NFL Draft after the season. The 10 scholarships you have available are now all taken by all verbals. So now, that means you have 4 spots left. Add on the +3 for the B1G oversigning rule, and you have 7 spots left.
Of course, this doesn't add into attrition and such, so you could possibly have more folks go. However, there's not a lot of spots available for the class right now. I'm kind of surprised that Nebraska didn't get any commits during either Big Red Weekend with the actual ability to tell kids "there may not be space for you later if you don't commit now".
This is why I've said that Nebraska MUST be able to get a fantastic recruiting class. Quite simply, there's no room for 2 or low 3 star projects to develop. Nebraska not only doesn't have the room to take kids like this in this year, but these kids have to be solid in 2-3 years when as many as 31 Seniors could be playing and possibly leaving.
Before you lecture me about how kids leave the program, I do know how that is a possibility. However, for the short term idea, Nebraska needs to nail down the '15 cycle and get a good start on 2016 before they could possibly be short handed in '17 again.
What may set an alarm on other folks is how that Nebraska is only at 81 scholarship players currently. Sure, you could give 2-3 to walk-on Seniors (which is as much a tradition at Nebraska as anything), but that's still a few schollys that should be used. To be fair, you just did lose Drake Martinez and Monte Harrison in the last couple of weeks, so that's part of it. However, this also doesn't include a guy like Avery Moss coming back onto the team, which I would think he gets a scholarship if he can keep his nose clean.
So, if you wish for Nebraska to get to being able to take a minimum of 20, at least 7 of the above listed men on scholarship have to leave Lincoln that's not a Senior. Who do you let go? That's a rough question for some folks, and they would probably rather take the smaller class.
It's never easy. But managing a FBS Football roster never is.