Nebraska Football Recruiting: 5 Commits Who Could Be Upgraded in Rankings
Nebraska currently has 12 commitments for the 2013 recruiting class, giving the Cornhuskers a solid start heading into the 2012 season.
Although it doesn't look nearly as star-studded as classes for teams like USC, Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame or LSU, there's a lot of potential for the Huskers' crop.
As it turns out, some of those players might also end up moving up in the rankings or even being upgraded in star rating, and although I don't like to take much stock in online recruiting services, it's always fun to see a bunch of stars next to Nebraska's recruits.
Here's a ranking of Nebraska's five recruits most likely to be upgraded.
5. Christian Lacouture, DE/DT
Christian Lacouture's 6'5", 270-pound frame may be the first thing that jumps out at you, but what may be more impressive is his offer list—a big reason why I think he has a shot to get upgraded.
Major programs like Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Michigan and Texas thought enough of Lacouture's abilities to offer him a spot in their stacked classes.
According to HuskerOnline, Lacouture is originally from Texas but will be transferring to Lincoln Southwest High School and consequently joining another Husker recruit, linebacker Josh Banderas. Lacouture and Banderas should have a blast playing together.
Lacouture may not be hearing anything from other schools now that he has committed to Nebraska, but the Rivals.com 3-star prospect may find himself with another star next to his name if he dominates in his new environment.
4. Nathan Gerry, S/ATH
Nathan Gerry is a relatively unknown prospect nationwide, but the athlete from Sioux Falls, S.D., was a coveted regional prospect up until Nebraska landed his commitment.
Gerry began rising up boards with an impressive performance at the Under Armour All-Nebraska Combine and looks like an excellent prospect physically at a solid 6'2", 206 pounds along with a sub-4.5 second 40-yard dash and a 33-inch vertical.
Omaha World-Herald writer Sam McKewon believes Gerry could quietly be one of the nation's best safety prospects, and if he starts to get more recognition nationwide, recruiting services may end up agreeing.
3. Josh Banderas, LB
Lincoln Southwest fans must be positively giddy at the thought of what their football team could do with Lacouture and linebacker Josh Banderas teamed up on the defense.
Banderas is already rated as one of the nation's better linebackers, but if his performance at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge (via HuskerOnline)—and subsequent invitation to the US Army All-America Bowl—is any indication, he could end up moving even further up.
The 6'2", 220-pounder had a great junior season with 127 tackles and three interceptions, and if he builds on that success alongside Lacouture as a senior, Banderas in particular could see his national attention increase significantly.
An official upgrade by Rivals and others may accompany that.
2. Courtney Love, LB
Possibly Nebraska's most underrated and overlooked prospect up to this point, Courtney Love is an outstanding linebacker from Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio (Bo Pelini's alma mater) who will join teammate Marcus McWilson in signing with the Huskers.
Love has a respectable 3-star rating from Rivals (a 5.7 on a 6.1 scale), but while McWilson has a higher rating, Love might be the better player for Mooney.
The 6'1", 225-pound Love made a surprise decision to commit to Nebraska over impressive offers from Ohio State, Notre Dame, USC, Florida State and Oklahoma, among others.
A big senior season could land him a 4-star ranking.
1. Johnny Stanton, QB
The buzziest commitment of the recruiting season thus far has come from California quarterback Johnny Stanton. Not coincidentally, Stanton also has the best chance of any current Husker commit to be upgraded by recruiting sites.
Stanton was already a rising prospect before competing at the Elite 11 quarterback camp, but after being named one of the top 11, he could move up rapidly on a lot of teams' boards even as a solid Nebraska commit. He has already turned down Wisconsin and Oregon in favor of the Huskers.
The 6'2", 220-pounder has a thick frame that allows him to gain tough yards on the ground, and he churned out 1,428 yards and 21 touchdowns as a junior.
However, most of the attention has been on his improvements as a passer. Although he passed for a relatively modest 2,439 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions, he threw just one pick in his final nine games and tossed for 306 yards and four touchdowns in the season finale. His Elite 11 experiences can only have helped his cause as well.
Oh, and when people are comparing you to Heisman legend Tim Tebow, you know you are doing something right (interestingly enough, Tebow was a 5-star recruit coming out of high school).
Stanton is just a 5.7 3-star prospect according to Rivals, but if his stock continues to rise, expect an upgrade from Rivals and maybe even other services that have already tacked four stars next to his name.