This last weekend was Nebraska's premier recruiting summer weekend. Dubbed Big Red Weekend by the coaching staff, the Huskers brought 17 recruits to visit the school, though six of the 17 were commits already.
The recruits came away very impressed, with some giving Nebraska high marks and moving Nebraska into a top two like Scout 4-star Darian Claiborne, who is now down to Nebraska and Texas A&M. And Scout 3-Star Zach Hannon has now narrowed his list down to Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas State and Missouri.
But the big news from the weekend is that Nebraska landed two recruits: Scout 3-Star athlete Nathan Gerry of Washington High School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Scout unranked long snapper Gabriel Miller of Penn High School in Mishawaka, Indiana.
Gerry is the No. 1 recruit out of South Dakota, and according to the Omaha World Herald, Gerry had offers from Iowa, Michigan State and Minnesota. Gerry is the first South Dakota recruit to commit to Nebraska since 2005 and only the ninth since 1984.
Gerry is an athlete who is listed as either a wide receiver or a safety. But according to an interview, head coach Bo Pelini and defensive coordinator John Papuchis told him he would play safety, which is what Gerry wanted. And when discussing the position with the coaching staff, Gerry said the coaches want to use him like current safety Damien Stafford, which is similar to the position in he played in high school.
I think this is a good position for him. Watching his video he is fast to catch receivers, has a good frame to swat balls away, and has a lot of experience making great catches on the offensive side of the ball. He is also fast enough to get across the field and run down opposing running backs. He could play receiver, but Nebraska has a lot of young talent at that position, and not as much at safety. Though Nebraska has also gotten the 17th and 74th best safeties for this recruiting class, safety is more of a need than wide receiver right now.
The second recruit, Gabriel Miller, is unranked, but that does not mean he should be overlooked. Scout (and most recruiting services) does not rank specialists like other recruits. However, long snapper guru Chris Rubio ranks Miller as the third best long snapper in the country. According to the OWH, he visited during Big Red Weekend with his parents and received an offer on Saturday.
Watching his video, he is fast out of the snap to deliver blocks and delivers an accurate ball to the kicker. Given Nebraska's history of great kickers, it is important to have a talented long snapper getting them the ball to make plays.
The commitments of Gerry and Miller bring the total number of commitments to 11. This brings the rank of the class according to Scout to 18th, which is exactly the same spot it was last week when the Huskers picked up their ninth commit. Rivals puts Nebraska's 2013 class at 21st, one spot up from the last ranking. The Huskers are still behind Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State in the Big Ten.
The commitment of Gerry and Miller brings the position totals to one wide receiver, one tight end, one offensive lineman, two defensive linemen, two linebackers, three safeties and one long snapper.
Miller is Nebraska's second 2013 recruit from Indiana, while Gerry is the first out of South Dakota. This brings the state totals to Ohio: 4; Nebraska: 1; Indiana: 2; Wisconsin: 1, Louisiana: 1; Texas: 1; and South Dakota: 1. Nebraska needs to bring in recruits from Southern states and its traditional pipelines of Texas and California to get an advantage over Michigan, Ohio State and other Big Ten powers.
This class is probably about half full, and hopefully we will see other visitors like Claiborne and Hannon from the Big Red Weekend also commit to the Huskers.
Until then, GBR!