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NEBRASKA FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Grading the 2012 Class - Part One: Signees

By Huskerlocker @huskerlocker

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By Brandon Cavanaugh
The University of Nebraska will now be home to a crop of 17 new Cornhuskers (ideally). While several prospects could be immediate contributors, if not eventual heavy-hitters, there are some concerns about both the class itself and how it was formed.
Quarterback - B+ : With only two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, Nebraska badly needed two new ones this cycle. Tommy Armstrong is a fantastic athlete and will likely push all signal-callers on the roster, but he should have more legitimate competition to potentially knock Taylor Martinez from his perch than Brion Carnes a handful of walk-ons.
Running back - C+ : While Imani Cross is a solid back, Nebraska offered several others before seemingly dropping everything before December came around and the staff realized that they needed one after all.
Wide Receiver - B : Jordan Westerkamp is a stud, simply put. Illinois may not be a recruiting hotbed, but he broke state receiving records left and right. He also looked impressive in the Under Armour All-America Game in which he caught a pass that a lesser, shorter receiver wouldn’t have had a chance at catching. The staff could’ve likely had California’s Kenny Lawler while he was wavering on his commitment to Arizona State
Tight End - D+ : Sam Cotton may be serviceable, but there are questions about his health. What was puzzling was how Nebraska was hot on the trail of prospects like Florida State’s Christo Kourtzidis, but seemed to panic after his commitment to FSU and got Cotton on board as soon as they could. A second tight end to stretch the defense would’ve been a plus as Kyler Reed is a senior.
Offensive Line - C+ : Yes, the lack of Andrus Peat hurts this rating and with good reason. Paul Thurston will likely contribute well and Corey Whitaker appears to be a solid rotation guy. No offensive tackles makes this area a disappointment.
Defensive End - B- : Greg McMullen’s a hoss and can contain the outside run. With Aaron Curry and Vincent Valentine on board, he needs to stay on the outside with Cam Meredith, Eric Martin and Joe Carter all graduating after next season. Avery Moss is going to require at least two years to develop.
Defensive Tackle - B- : Vincent Valentine’s the big body in the middle that Pelini’s scheme calls for. Curry needs to put some weight on to be able to properly fill his role, pardon the pun.
Linebacker - B: Michael Rose’s attitude isn’t just refreshing, it’s likely infectious. If his competitive spirit can leak to the rest of the corps, Lavonte David’s loss is still going to sting, but a fair amount of effort will be there to equal his passion. Zaire Anderson has every opportunity to be Pelini’s next JUCO linebacker success story. Afalava has some qualification hurdles to clear, but if he can, the guy hits like a Mack truck and could be a force in the Big Ten.
Cornerback - C- : Nebraska whiffed on all high school cornerback prospects, but managed to bring in a JUCO stud in Mohammed Seisay who will likely play immediately. What makes this area incredibly disappointing is that Alabama’s Travell Dixon could’ve been a Cornhusker with proper effort.
Safety - F : This is what happens when you go all out for one recruit (Jordan Diggs) with no backup plan and he goes elsewhere. Now the Huskers will be scrambling and likely go JUCO in 2013.
Overall Grade - C- : Nebraska was unable to fill a class of 18, the recruiting strategy was mind-boggling and what could’ve been a class low on quantity but high on quality turned out to be good, not great. If recruiting is the lifeblood of a program, this class ensures that 2012 will keep the drip going just long enough for another nine or ten wins.
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