College Football

Nebraska Football: Bo Pelini's Biggest National Signing Day Battles

Erin SorensenContributor IJanuary 28, 2014

Nebraska Football: Bo Pelini's Biggest National Signing Day Battles

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    With National Signing Day drawing near, Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini is on the move to secure a strong finish to the 2013 recruiting process.

    Pelini often received plenty of flack from fans for his recruiting strategy.

    Waiting until January to make the big push can be risky but it has paid off for the head coach in the past.

    Needing to secure a few extra spots, Pelini will have to keep his eye on key players as time runs out. The class is starting to shape up but there is plenty that still needs to be done.

    Read on to see how the Huskers could fair on the recruiting trail with key players between now and national signing day.

     

    Note: All stats via 247Sports unless otherwise noted.

Offensive Tackle Kenyon Frison

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    Kenyon Frison, 4-star OT; 6'5.5”, 290 lbs.; Salt Lake City, Utah (247Sports)

    OT Kenyon Frison had been committed to Utah since February of 2013. However, he recently stated that his commitment no longer stood. That opened the floodgates for plenty of programs to step in.

    Frison made an official visit to Nebraska on Jan. 24. He has yet to commit but he is interested in the Huskers. Nebraska isn't the only program he is looking at though.

    Nebraska's offensive line could greatly benefit from Frison. Pelini and his staff will be doing all they can to secure his commitment in the coming weeks.

     

    Other Schools in Contention

    • Oklahoma
    • Arizona State

     

    Prediction

    Frison is keeping his options open. However, he feels at home at Nebraska, per 247Sports.com (content available with subscription).

    Whether that means he will commit to the Huskers is still too close to call. It seems unlikely that Frison will head to Arizona State, which leaves the decision between Nebraska and Oklahoma.

    As of now, it seems the Huskers may have a slight edge. Unless things go awry, there is a pretty good chance Frison will commit to Nebraska.

Cornerback Trai Mosley

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    Trai Mosley, 3-star CB; 5’10”, 171 lbs.; Pflugerville, Texas (247Sports)

    Ask Twitter who Pelini's biggest national signing day challenge is and plenty of people will say it's cornerback Trai Mosley. That might come as surprise, too. After all, Mosley committed to Nebraska on June 14, 2013.

    However, there were rumors that the cornerback would make a visit to TCU, especially after former defensive backs coach Terry Joseph departed for Texas A&M. As reported by Brian Christopherson of the Lincoln Journal Star, Mosley decided against the visit.

    That's good news for the Huskers but it still leaves some to believe he may have some interest elsewhere, especially in his home state.

     

    Other Schools in Contention

    • Baylor
    • TCU

    Both programs are currently listed as "cool," according to 247Sports.com.

     

    Prediction

    Mosley has seemed confident in his decision to play for Nebraska. At this point, there is little reason to believe he'll decommit.

    In fact, Jospeh told Mosley to stay at Nebraska before leaving. As he told BigRedReport.com (subscription required to view content), the former Nebraska coach believed the Huskers are the right fit for the Texas native:

    When I first heard that Coach Joseph was leaving, I honestly didn't really know what to think. But a couple of days later, I spoke with him and he was telling me that Nebraska is the best fit for me. He didn't want me going anywhere else. The coaching staff loved me. He didn't want to recruit me to Texas A&M because he had too much respect for Coach Pelini and the staff. I respect that. He said he had to do what he had to do for his family, and I understand that.

    While it would be fair to assume Mosley may want to stay in Texas, expect to see him sign with Nebraska. His commitment has hardly wavered and the Huskers need him.

Defensive End Kevin Bronson

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    Kevin Bronson, 3-star DE; 6'4", 233 lbs.; Delray Beach, Flor. (247Sports)

    With the loss of DE Avery Moss, Nebraska could definitely use Kevin Bronson. However, a lot of programs feel the same.

    As the No. 12 player in Palm Beach County, per the Sun Sentinel, Bronson could add depth to the defensive end position for Nebraska. With the Huskers losing Moss, it's a spot that will need to be void. Nebraska has some options but the depth is not there. Bronson could help with that.

     

    Other Schools in Contention

    • Virginia Tech
    • South Florida
    • Vanderbilt

    Bronson has narrowed his choices to these three schools and Nebraska, per the Sun Sentinel.

     

    Prediction

    Bronson has yet to make a decision. He plans to do so before Feb. 5 but he won't let anyone know until national signing day.

    In the meantime, he is looking closely at Virginia Tech, South Florida, Vanderbilt and Nebraska. He is looking forward to meeting players and coaches from Nebraska before narrowing his decision down further.

    It feels like Bronson is leaning more towards Virginia Tech as of now. This is an area where Pelini will need to really put in the work to secure his commitment. There is plenty of time to sway Bronson's decision towards the Huskers.

Athlete Corey Avery

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    Corey Avery, 3-star ATH; 5'10”, 180 lbs.; Dallas, Tex. (247Sports)

    Since Jan. 17, athlete Corey Avery has visited Texas, Nebraska and Kansas. With plenty of offers to consider, it's going to be an interesting couple of weeks for Avery.

    He is currently ranked as the 39th best athlete in the nation. During this past season, Avery rushed for 1,667 yards, caught 16 passes for 249 yards and scored an impressive 22 touchdowns.

    It's clear why so many programs want Avery. Pelini and his staff will have to work hard to secure a commitment from the Texas native prior to national signing day.

    If they are able to accomplish it, Avery would be an excellent addition to the Huskers' 2014 class.

     

    Other Schools in Contention

    • Baylor
    • Texas
    • Kansas

     

    Prediction

    Predictions on 247Sports.com lean towards Avery selecting Nebraska. However, he is a native of Texas, which means he could choose to stay close to home.

    Right now, it seems like Nebraska does have a slight edge. However, it seems unlikely that the Huskers will take both Avery and RB Mikale Wilbon in the 2014 class. When it comes down to it, Avery may choose to stay close to home but it depends on plenty of other factors.

    It just feels too close to call at this time.

Cornerback Chris Jones

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    Chris Jones, 3-star CB; 6'0", 175 lbs.; Jacksonville, Florida (247Sports)

    Cornerback Chris Jones was originally committed to Purdue. After a couple of visits with Nebraska, things changed.

    A fan of Pelini's, Jones told Sam McKewon of the Omaha World Herald why he switched his commitment:

    The main thing my family and I liked was how Coach Pelini is with his players. He loves his players a lot, he does a lot for them, and he’s a family guy. I’d love to be a around a who cares about his players.

    According to Fansided.com, Jones is considered the 125th best athlete in the class of 2014.

     

    Other Schools in Contention

    • Purdue

    Jones is currently listed as having no interest in Purdue, per 247Sports.com.

     

    Prediction

    If Jones does not end up at Nebraska, it would be shocking. Pelini will still work to keep his commitment locked on the Huskers, but there is little doubt he won't be wearing scarlet and cream come next fall.

Running Back Mikale Wilbon

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    Mikale Wilbon, 3-star RB; 5'9", 195 lbs.; Chicago, Ill. (247Sports)

    Not long ago, RB Mikale Wilbon was a Vanderbilt commit. When coach James Franklin accepted the same position at Penn State, Wilbon reopened his options.

    In doing so, Wilbon took a visit to Nebraska where he later committed.

    Wilbon will bring further depth to the Huskers' backs. Built low to the ground, Wilbon is able to power the ball forward. Additionally, his highlights show a complete back, which is something that Nebraska needs in the future.

     

    Other Schools in Contention

    • Vanderbilt

    Wilbon is currently listed as having no interest in Vanderbilt, per 247Sports.com.

     

    Prediction

    Wilbon is likely a guaranteed deal for Nebraska. However, the running back switched his commit once, which means he could do it again.

    Pelini has made it clear he likes Wilbon, as the back told Scout.com, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times:

    They loved me before when I committed to Vanderbilt. When I visited last weekend, I imagined myself there and I really fit in with the players. Plus, the coaches really get along with each other. Coach Pelini is a nice guy, but he is also going to push me to my potential.

    Wilbon wasn't supposed to make a decision until national signing day, but he was likely feeling pressured by Nebraska's interest in athlete Corey Avery. It seems unlikely that the Huskers will take both Wilbon and Avery so the question becomes who gets the spot.

    Wilbon seems like the most likely bet.

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