Nebraska Football: Early Recruiting Success Ups the Pressure on Bo Pelini

Erin SorensenContributor IApril 24, 2014

LINCOLN, NE - AUGUST 31: Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Bo Pelini greets players before their game against the Wyoming Cowboys at Memorial Stadium on August 31, 2013 in Lincoln, Nebraska.  (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

Bo Pelini and Nebraska football are off to a great start in recruiting the 2015 class. In fact, the early success has the Huskers ranked No. 9 nationally and No. 2 in the Big Ten. Making up that ranking are 10 current verbal commits.

Can the Huskers keep up the momentum?

Over Pelini's tenure at Nebraska, his recruiting classes have been all over the map. To date, his best class ranked No. 15 in 2011. Beyond that, he's typically hovered in the mid-to-upper 20s. As for the 2014 class, it settled at No. 36.

Therefore, it's not surprising that fans are excited about the direction the 2015 class is headed in. The question now is whether or not Pelini can keep the momentum going.

The most recent commitment for Nebraska is Oak Lawn, Illinois, native Spencer Tears. Sam McKewon of the Omaha World Herald broke down what the wide receiver has accomplished thus far:

Oak Lawn Richards High School coach Tony Sheehan said Sheehan said Tears – who had offers to Indiana, Purdue and several MAC schools – was the top receiver for Oak Lawn Richards, which finished 12-2 and Class 6A runner-up in Illinois. Tears had 37 catches for 500 yards and four touchdowns, 15 carries for 111 yards and three touchdowns, and one kickoff return for a score.

Players like Tears, a 3-star prospect, are going to be vital for Nebraska. With Kenny Bell, Tyler Evans and Jamal Turner graduating in 2014, the Huskers are going to need the help at receiver in 2015.

Beyond that, Tears and his fellow recruits are helping to create a top-20 class for the Huskers.

Now it's up to Pelini to not lose them.

There is still plenty of time to go until national signing day in 2015. Typically, Pelini's strategy is to recruit heavily during the spring and summer before taking a break during the season. He and his staff then resume heavy recruiting come mid-January.

It's a strategy that has worked in the past. While it hasn't provided the most stability as far as class rankings go, Pelini's strategy has brought the needed players to the Nebraska roster.

Top-20 classes only mean something when the players end up producing on the field during their collegiate career. That's the tricky part about rankings.

However, that doesn't stop the desire for Nebraska to be ranked higher.

In order to do so, Pelini may have to change his strategy a bit for the 2015 class. Securing recruits is all about relationships. Until there is ink to paper, anything can happen.

Thankfully, Pelini has five prime-time games between ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 and the Big Ten Network. Those games will likely draw more recruits' attention and hopefully help keep the relationship strong with the current 10 commitments and any to come.

With that said, it will still be imperative that the relationship with the current commits continues to grow between now and next February.

Pelini does pride himself on hisand his staff'sability to form those bonds with recruits. In fact, the type of guy Pelini is often sells potential players.

But that doesn't mean he still shouldn't work to keep those relationships strong during the fall. Once the season rolls around, it's easy to put all his time and energy into the current team. Most of the time, that's what a coach should be doing.

If Pelini wants to secure a top-20 class, though, he will need to keep strengthening those relationships during the fall.

The Nebraska football team is off to a strong start for the 2015 recruiting class. It'd be a shame to lose that by the next national signing day.


Recruiting information courtesy of