Countdown to Signing Day: Nebraska Huskers Reigning in Top Recruits

Josh KleinCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2010

The last few months have been about as dramatic as I can remember in recent college football history.

The funny thing is that all the dramatics are coming to light after all the games have been played.

First Mark Mangino, then Jim Leavitt, then came Mike Leach and Lane Kiffin. And let us not forget about Bobby Bowden's "retirement" from Florida State after 34 years on the job.

It has been an offseason full of unprecedented changes to some of the most elite programs in the nation.

These elite programs—Tennessee and USC— are now the focal point of the recruiting wars that will be waged all the way up to Feb. 3, National Signing Day.

As I look at the turmoil surrounding these programs, I am forced to look back at my own favorite school's situation and smile.

Nebraska has quietly sneaked into many people's early bird top 10 lists.  ESPN and have them as high as eighth and seventh, respectively.

What does that mean to recruiting?

Not much, unless the Pelini brothers and company can cash in on the bounty of fresh talent out there for the convincing.

Nebraska has quietly put together a small but impressive class of 18 student athletes so far, a class that ranks in the top 30 according to both and .

It's coming down to crunch time, and Nebraska has about three open scholarship spots left for this recruiting class, and they are looking to fill them with a few high profile athletes.

Hoping—just hoping—to propel themselves into the top five in Big 12 recruiting and the top 20 nationally, a few of these prospective commitments are available thanks to the myriad of late coaching changes going around in the NCAA.

So who are these recruits that Husker fans should be hoping and praying for to come to Nebraska on signing day?

Recruit No. 1 - Owamagbe Odighizuwa

If you haven't heard of this guy, you haven't been listening to very much Nebraska recruiting news. Odighizuwa (Pronounced: oh-a-mawg-be, ah-di-geez-uh-wuh) is a five-star defensive end from Portland, Ore. and is ranked eighth in the 's top 100 for 2010.

Owa—as most people call him—had crossed Nebraska off his list prior to the Army All-American game.  Most thought he would choose USC as his school. Pete Carroll left, though, and Owa's commitment went with him.

Owa placed Nebraska back in his top four after the Army All-American game, along with Oregon State, California, and Oregon.

In a recent interview with Omaha-based radio show Unsportsmanlike-Conduct , recruiting analyst Jeremy Crabtree reported that Owa likely has Nebraska in one of his top spots, and that he wouldn't be surprised to see him commit to Nebraska on signing day.

This should be good news for Husker fans, as the last defensive line player with a difficult name to pronounce from Portland, Ore. to commit to Nebraska was Ndamukong Suh.

And we all know how that turned out.

Recruit No. 2 - Brion Carnes

This four-star, dual-threat quarterback is currently a commit to the University of South Florida, where he intended to stay apparently because he had been committed to USF since July of 2009.

With Jim Leavitt fired from USF because of possible player abuse allegations, Brion has re-opened his recruitment and is set to take a visit to Nebraska on Jan. 22, just a few weeks before signing day.

It is expected that Brion may withdraw his commitment to USF during that week and commit to Nebraska, becoming the Huskers' only quarterback for the 2010 class. Again, this is only speculation, but it seems entirely possible.

This would somewhat salvage an otherwise paltry offensive Huskers recruiting class so far and would add another Husker commit that was previously committed to another school at one time.

Recruit No. 3 - Corey Cooper

This young man hails from Maywood, Ill. and may be one of the best hitting safeties in this year's recruiting class. He is a four-star recruit with decent speed (4.5 40) and a good vertical (34 inch).

The Proviso East standout may be a bit of a long shot for Nebraska with Mark Stoops moving to Florida State, a school that Corey likes.  

The problem? Florida State hasn't offered him a scholarship.

Which leaves Nebraska, Illinois, and Arizona as schools he is looking at. But with Stoops moving to FSU, Arizona may be out of the picture.

If FSU doesn't end up offering Corey a scholarship, Nebraska looks to be in a dead heat with his home state school, Illinois.

With no safeties in this year's recruiting class—despite it being defensively heavy—Corey may bolt from an Illinois lean to a Husker commit within the next few weeks if Husker fans are lucky.

With three spots left in this year's recruiting class, all three of these players would be major gets for the Husker coaching staff.

One five-star and two four-star recruits would likely propel Nebraska into the top 20 for national recruiting and into the top four in the Big 12.

This news is just another reason for Husker fans to pay attention to national news for, because without the coaching debacles of the past five months, Nebraska may have been wrapping up its recruiting within the next day or two with no high-profile recruits on the horizon.

Bonus Recruits

Bronson Marsh , a two-star ATH from Millard North in Nebraska.  Set to visit Jan. 15 (No scholarship offered at the moment, most likely asked to walk on).

Zach Fulton , a current three-star Tennessee commit.  6'4" offensive linemen set to visit Nebraska on Jan. 15, as well.


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