The Nebraska Cornhuskers bolstered their offensive line Wednesday evening on the recruiting trail with the addition of Matt Farniok, who is rated as a 4-star prospect by 247Sports’ composite rankings.
The 6'4 ¾" and 297-pound offensive tackle shared the news of his commitment on Twitter:
Matt Farniok @MattFarniok1
Thank you to everyone that recruited me but I am excited to announce I will be a Nebraska Cornhusker! #GoBigRed https://t.co/8CaCi8RnPR2016-1-28 03:33:49
Farniok is a South Dakota native and the No. 262 overall player in class of 2016, the No. 24 offensive tackle and the No. 1 prospect from his state, per 247Sports' composite rankings. Alex Chippin of TheScore.com noted Farniok took official visits to Michigan State and Iowa in addition to Nebraska and drew scholarship offers from Stanford and Michigan.
Michael Bruntz of 247Sports said Nebraska head coach Mike Riley, offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf and offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh were all present for an in-home visit with their new prospect Wednesday night.
Riley is not allowed to mention prospects by name, but he seemed to allude to Farniok in his tweet following the news:
Mike Riley @Coach_Riley
What a night....to be a Husker!!! Lots of smiles in SD and NE tonight! #GBR 🔴🌽🔥2016-1-28 03:50:46
Farniok’s mother, Christine, offered a quote to Scout.com’s Derek Young (via Josh Harvey of Scout.com):
Matt is so appreciative of everyone that recruited him and this decision came from lots of thought and sleepless nights. It's such a relief to see him relaxed and smiling again. Bottom line is, he wouldn't have made a bad choice in any of the schools he was down to. I'm so proud of all his hard work to get him to this place and now he deserves to enjoy being a Husker.
As of Wednesday night, 247Sports had Nebraska 28th in its composite rankings for the 2016 class. 247Sports also provided a list of prospects committed to the class, and it included offensive linemen John Raridon, Bryan Brokop and Boe Wilson in addition to Farniok.
It is clear the Cornhuskers have made something of a commitment to the offensive line in this recruiting cycle after mixed results during the 2015 season.
Football Outsiders rated Nebraska’s offensive line last season as 98th in power success rate—“percentage of runs on third or fourth down, two yards or less to go, that achieved a first down or touchdown”—and 39th in opportunity rate—“the percentage of carries (when five yards are available) that gain at least five yards, i.e. the percentage of carries in which the line does its job”—so there is room for improvement.
If the Cornhuskers plan on bouncing back from a 6-7 campaign and challenging the likes of Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Iowa in the Big Ten, they need to play better along the offensive line. Adding players like Farniok is an ideal place to start.