Nebraska Football Recruiting: Why Bo Pelini's 2015 Class Will Be His Best Yet

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Nebraska Football Recruiting: Why Bo Pelini's 2015 Class Will Be His Best Yet
Nati Harnik/Associated Press

If it feels like the 2014 recruiting season just wrapped up, that's because it did. That doesn't mean the discussion around the 2015 class hasn't begun.

And it's already shaping up to be Bo Pelini's best class yet.

As of now, the Huskers have secured four commitments for the 2015 class. Those players are 4-star offensive tackle Christian Gaylord, 4-star defensive back Eric Lee, 3-star defensive back Avery Anderson and 3-star running back Kendall Bussey.

The Huskers will be looking for a class of 18 to 20 players. With the first four in place, there is no reason Pelini's next class can't be in the top 20 nationally. There is also no reason it cannot be a top-three class in the Big Ten.

As of now, only Michigan is on the same page as Nebraska with four verbal commitments. This hot start gives the Huskers an advantage going forward. It also doesn't hurt that of the four verbal commits, two have a 4-star ranking.

However, Bussey is actually one of the top verbal commits so far despite a lower rating. The New Orleans native should get more attention through his senior season, and his rating will definitely improve, as long as he stays healthy.

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But the Huskers still have a long way to go to secure a top class. Pelini's off to a good start, though.

Nebraska's junior day definitely helped the cause. Held the Saturday before national signing day, Pelini and his staff made a big push for some key players.

"We did a great job of bringing kids in here (for junior day),” Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini said, as reported by the Lincoln Journal Star's Darnell Dickson. “It was a big weekend because we had official visitors in with the recruits. I think it worked out well.”

And it did. Now, it's time to keep the momentum going.

Nebraska would like to recruit more in Big Ten country, like Ohio and Pennsylvania. However, the Huskers were very successful in the South in 2014, and it will definitely remain a focus for 2015.

Pelini was clear with his 2014 class that he doesn't recruit in specific areas. He stated that during his national signing day press conference:

You just don’t know where they’re going to come from. We recruit areas. We recruit a little bit by position as it moves on. It just so happens we got a pretty good group from the Southeast (this year). It changes.

Nebraska's target list shows that. According to Dickson's report, the top players the Huskers are targeting come from all over:

Among the big fish (i.e., 5-star recruits) Nebraska has offered, according to Scout.com, are Martez Ivey, a 6'5", 291-pound offensive tackle who was a teammate of 2014 recruit Zack Darlington at Apopka, Fla.; Tim Settle, a 6'3", 310-pound defensive tackle from Manassas, Va.; Cordell Broadus, a 6'1", 185-pound receiver who was a teammate of 2014 recruit Nick Gates at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas; and Sotonye Jamabo, a 6'1", 190-pound running back from the hometown of former Husker Rex Burkhead (Plano, Texas).

In order to secure commits from the "big fish," Pelini is working to build relationships now. The fact that the head coach, along with his staff, are working to cultivate those shows a lot of promise.

Pelini will continue to recruit heavily this spring and summer before setting it aside for the 2015 season. It's a strategy that many fans question, but it's one that has worked for Pelini and his staff. The difference now is that Pelini got an even bigger head start than ever before.

Nebraska is currently sitting at No. 14 on 247Sports.com's 2015 team rankings list. If Pelini and his staff keep the momentum going, there is no reason this class can't finish in the top 20 when all is said and done. If it doesn't, it would be disappointing.

Based on the way it's shaping up now, it seems likely that fans will be pleased with the 2015 class.

 

All star rankings and player information are courtesy of 247Sports.com, unless otherwise noted.

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