Nebraska Football Recruiting: Tracking the 2012 National Signing Day Targets

John PattonContributor IFebruary 1, 2012

Nebraska Football Recruiting: Tracking the 2012 National Signing Day Targets

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    The first Wednesday of every February brings hope and expectations to fans of college football teams.

    And, no doubt, a program like Nebraska has supporters who look at national signing day as the first step back toward becoming a powerhouse once again.

    So, who will have Cornhuskers' fans talking this year?

    Here is a look. Credit to Rivals for a lot of base information.

Vincent Valentine, DT, Edwardsville (Ill.)

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    A 6'3", 300-pound run stuffer, Valentine is Rivals' 28th-ranked defensive tackle nationally.

    He selected the Cornhuskers over scholarship offers from Florida (where he took an official visit the weekend of Jan. 13), Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Michigan, Wisconsin and others.

    Status: Signed a national letter of intent with Nebraska

Mohammed Seisay, DB, Eastern Arizona JC

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    Already enrolled in Lincoln, Seisay is a former University of Memphis player (Class of 2009) who transferred to Eastern Arizona Junior College before inking with the Cornhuskers.

    At 6'1", 200 pounds, Seisay is a good-sized, 4-star cornerback (per Rivals) who chose Nebraska over scholarship offers from Florida State, Arkansas, Oklahoma and others.

    A freshman All-American while at Memphis, Seisay could be ready to play immediately at a school that recently has produced elite corners in Prince Amukamara and Alfonzo Dennard.

    Status: Signed national letter of intent and already has enrolled.

LeRoy Alexander, Athlete, Toledo (Ohio) Whitmer

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    Already enrolled at Nebraska, Alexander is a talented 6'1", 190-pound prospect who could play on either side of the ball at wide receiver or defensive back.

    Like Seisay, Alexander, a 3-star recruit ranked 60th among athletes (per Rivals), will get a jump on the rest of his class by being able to compete and learn the system during spring practice.

    Status: Has signed a national letter of intent and is enrolled at Nebraska.

Jared Afalava, LB, South Jordan (Utah) Bingham

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    A 3-star prospect ranked 50th nationally among outside linebackers (Rivals), Afalava is a very good athlete with nice size (6'3", 220 pounds). He also has a frame that can add muscle.

    Afalava plays the run with discipline and has the ability to cover tight ends and backs, evidenced by his three interceptions last season.

    Look for him to contribute early on special teams.

    Status: Has committed to Nebraska. 

Jordan Westerkamp, WR, Lombard (Ill.) Montini

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    A 4-star wideout ranked 43rd nationally at his position by Rivals, Westerkamp is a tremendous athlete.

    At 6'2", 195 pounds, Westerkamp has been clocked at 4.5 in the 40 and has an NBA-like 40-inch vertical leap.

    Westerkamp also was very productive on the field, catching 89 passes for 1,631 yards with 23 touchdowns last season.

    Status: Has signed national letter of intent with Nebraska

Michael Rose, ILB, Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst

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    At 6'0", 230 pounds, Rose has decent speed (with clockings of 4.65, 4.68 and 4.79 in the 40), strength (a 325-plus-pound bench press) and vertical leap (34 inches).

    A 3-star prospect, he is the 15th-ranked inside linebacker prospect nationally, per Rivals. Rose has good all-around skills and love to hit.

    Status: Has signed a national letter of intent with Nebraska

Zaire Anderson, OLB, Riverside (Cal.) CC

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    A 4-star prospect (Rivals), Anderson might be expected to contribute immediately.

    At 6'1", 220 pounds, he has good speed, strength and tackling skills. He's also adept in coverage and at blitzing.

    Status: Has committed to Nebraska

Tommy Armstrong, QB, Cibolo (Tx.) Byron M. Steele

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    The Cornhuskers dipped into Texas to get this 3-star, 6'1", 195-pound passer.

    Typical of most Nebraska quarterbacks, Armstrong, Rivals' No. 9 dual-threat prospect, is a very good athlete whose best attribute might be his feet. That said, he also shows a nice touch on deep balls and a very quick release.

    Status: Has committed to Nebraska

Thomas Brown, OLB, Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra

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    Also a running back for national prep powerhouse Junipero Serra, Brown is a 3-star outside linebacker prospect ranked 31st nationally at his position by Rivals.

    At 6'1", 210 pounds, Brown is a ferocious hitter who also can contribute on special teams, evidenced by his three blocked punts as a prep senior.

    A former prep teammate of USC standouts Marqise Lee and George Farmer, Brown could be the most underrated player in the Cornhuskers' class.

    Status: Has committed to Nebraska

Sam Cotton, TE, Lincoln (Neb.) Southeast

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    A local product, Cotton comes from a football family.

    At 6'3", 230 pounds, he is the third-ranked overall prospect in the state of Nebraska (per Rivals).

    Cotton has good hands and decent speed (4.83 in the 40), tremendous know-how (his father is a coach) and is an above-average blocker. He doesn't have elite athleticism, but he should be a contributor by his second or third year on campus.

    Status: Has committed to Nebraska.

Imani Cross, RB, Gainesville (Ga.) North Hall

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    The Cornhuskers dipped into Georgia to land this 6'0", 222-pound thumper.

    A 3-star prospect ranked 25th nationally at his position by Rivals, Cross is a power back who doesn't have a lot of wiggle. He does bring decent straight-line speed and good blocking ability.

    Status: Has committed to Nebraska

Aaron Curry, DT, Keller (Tx.) Fossil Ridge

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    A 6'2", 260-pound defensive tackle from prospect-rich Texas, Curry is a 3-technique who has good quickness and strength but needs to add bulk in order to successfully compete in the rugged Big Ten.

    Right now, he is more of a run-stuffer, but Curry has improved as a pass rusher. He is a 3-star recruit ranked 43rd nationally at his position by Rivals.

    Status: Has committed to Nebraska

Greg McMullen, DE/DT, Akron (Ohio) Archbishop Hoban

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    Rated as the nation's No. 12 strong-side defensive end by Rivals, McMullen is a 6'5", 255-pound 4-star prospect who was very productive as a player in the highly competitive Ohio prep football ranks.

    McMullen recorded a combined 133 tackles and 19 sacks as a junior and senior.

    He has a very sturdy frame with room for growth and could end up at end or tackle.

    Status: Has committed to Nebraska

Avery Moss, DE, Tempe (Ariz.) Corona Del Sol

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    At 6'4", 245 pounds, Moss is the nation's 33rd-ranked strong-side defensive end, according to Rivals.

    A 3-star prospect, he selected Nebraska, despite pressure to stay at home and play for Arizona State. Also a tremendous basketball player, Moss has a long wingspan and the initial burst to get after the quarterback.

    Status: Has committed to Nebraska

Paul Thurston, OT, Arvada (Col.) Arvada West

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    Standing 6'5", 274 pounds, Thurston is a 4-star prospect who is Rivals' 14th-rated offensive tackle.

    Adept at both run and pass blocking, Thurston will need to get stronger (he bench presses 290 pounds), but that will come with time in the Cornhuskers' weight room and buffet line.

    He looks like he could turn into a quality right tackle.

    Status: Has committed to Nebraska

Corey Whitaker, OT, Murrieta (Calif.) Murrieta Vista

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    Unranked by Rivals, the Cornhuskers believe they have found a somewhat hidden gem in Whitaker, a 6'5", 270-pound prospect out of California.

    He received a late offer from Nebraska and took it.

    Whitaker may not be in line to play immediately, but he could be a contributor by the start of his third season in Lincoln.

    Status: Committed to Nebraska