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February 5, 2014

Husker Buzz: 10 takeaways from signing day

Now that Nebraska's 2014 recruiting class is in the books, here are 10 takeaways signing day.

The Huskers finished with the No. 32 ranked class in the country according to Rivals.com.

1 - Signing day buzz kill

When you look at the job Nebraska's staff did over the last two weeks in recruiting it's been outstanding. The Huskers were able to close on several top prospects down the stretch, but it's the one that got away that seems to steal the headlines. Nebraska only recruited defensive lineman Blake McClain for a week, but after losing him on Wednesday to South Carolina it definitely left a sour taste in your mouth to close out this recruiting class.

2 - Offensive line may be the strength of the class

When you look at Tanner Farmer, Nick Gates, D.J. Foster and Mick Stoltenberg, the offensive line may be the overall strength in this class. Then when you factor in the addition of Colorado transfer Alex Lewis, there's no doubt in my mind the offensive line is the strong point of this class.

3 - Why two quarterbacks?

Going into the recruiting process I don't think Nebraska necessarily was dead set on taking two quarterbacks, but the uncertainty that surrounds Zack Darlington's health is not something to mess around with. However, I am a big believer in Darlington and I truly think he will play football here at NU. The nice thing about AJ Bush is he has the ability to play other positions besides quarterback with his size at 6-foot-4 and his 4.5 speed.

4 - Monte Harrison is underrated

It's rare to say a four-star is underrated, but when you look at Kansas City wide receiver Monte Harrison, he has the chance to be special. A source that talked to wide receivers coach Rich Fisher told me he called Harrison the best "athlete he's seen" in the high school ranks in his 15 years of coaching. If Harrison does not go pro in baseball, he will see the field next fall. He's too talented not to.

5 - A Southeast flavor

Nebraska signed nine players from the states of Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. In the history of Nebraska football there can't ever be a class that had this type of SEC flavor. I think Nebraska realized instead of beating its head against the wall in places like Ohio, you can find some real gems in the south. Down the stretch, that's the formula they went with and I like how the final product turned out.

6 - Dipping back into Texas

Nebraska was able to sign four players from the state of Texas. That probably won't be the case every year, but it's nice to see them still able to pull a few quality bodies from Texas after leaving the Big 12.

7 - More private jet usage

Over the month of January, Nebraska arguably covered more ground than any other coaching staff in the country. A big reason was the usage of private jets. This allowed NU to see more guys than ever before and help get a jump on 2015 recruiting. Hopefully the athletic department will take notice of this.

8 - Recruiting staff additions

You get the impression that even head coach Bo Pelini doesn't know for sure when the additional recruiting staff positions are going to be filled. Hopefully the athletic department recognizes the importance of these positions. If you expect Nebraska to recruit against the top Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 programs, you have to give them the resources to succeed. That includes support staff more than anything. Football recruiting is the lifeblood to the entire operation.

9 - Avery Moss situation still up in the air

We really don't know what the future holds for defensive end Avery Moss at Nebraska. From what I'm told he's expected to stay in Lincoln this year and work, and then hopefully rejoin the football team in 2015.

10 - Pelini's secret weapon

It was nice to see Pelini have a little fun on Wednesday when I asked him how his cat handles plane rides. Pelini joked and said "he has a lot of cats" and they are great "closers" for him on the road. This whole Faux Pelini/cat thing has taken on a life of its own. Glad to see Pelini is having fun with it.

Nebraska NEWS


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