With a full year under his belt as Nebraska's head coach, Bo Pelini just wrapped up the '09 football recruiting season. The class of 20 recruits fills some needs, brings in some talent, and hopefully will contribute to winning a Big 12 title in the very near future.
Some pundits and message board contributors have gone to great lengths to give this coaching staff credit for not having any "last minute" decommits, which should be applauded. But realistically, where else were these guys going?
A few players out of our 28th ranked class had multiple offers, but very few were from name programs. Four players had no other offers at all and only five recruits had other offers from programs that Rivals ranked in the Top 25 recruiting classes of 2009. Outside of Cody Green, Jason Ankrah, Rex Burkhead, Chris Williams, and Brandon Kinnie, not a single player had an offer from a class ranked in the Top 25. Take away that Arkansas offer from Kinnie and the number dwindles to four. The total number of offers from Top 15 classes for our 20 recruits was 6, with Chris Williams holding dual offers from LSU and OU.
You can go a step further and say both Cody Green and Chris Williams, who both were offered by LSU and Williams by Oklahoma, would not have been the top recruit at each one's position by those schools. LSU has the #1 ranked dual-threat QB in the country and both LSU and OU signed 4 LB's a piece and each had two that ranked as 4-stars (if stars do mean anything to you.)
I'll give Pelini's staff credit on out-muscling Kansas on 4 recruits that held KU offers, but Man-gyro beat out the Huskers for 5 guys that we offered. You think Tom Osborne would have lost a recruiting battle to Kansas?
The counter argument that others will make is that Bo's staff isn't looking at Rivals-rated talent, but rather looking for guys that fit our system. They can develop the diamonds-in-the-rough that no one else wants. I hope that's true, but if Nebraska is ever to compete with Texas and Oklahoma, we have to win some of the recruiting battles with those schools.
There were 15 different recruits that held an NU offer along with either a Texas or OU offer and we pulled in Chris Willams. In head-to-head recruiting battles with the best of the Big 12, we went 1 for 15. We're never going to get 'em all, but if we want to win Big 12 titles you have to do better than 1 for 15 with the talent you obviously covet.
All-in-all Pelini's staff put together a decent class, albeit with some question marks, but in no way should anyone be surprised by the lack of a single decommit on signing day. I mean did you really expect Robinson to switch to Tulsa, or Coffey to Washington St., or Kerr to San Diego St., or Zimmerer to nowhere?