Nebraska Football: 5 Recruits Able to Make a Huge Impact in 2011

Kraig LundbergAnalyst IIIJune 4, 2011

Nebraska Football: 5 Recruits Able to Make a Huge Impact in 2011

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    A while back I created a slideshow highlighting Nebraska's top 10 newcomers for the 2011 season.

    Since then, several events (most notably the spring game) have shifted opinions on the potential impact some of these players will have.

    After taking into consideration my previous rankings as well as those events, I whittled down my list to the 5 recruits most likely to make an instant impact in Nebraska's inaugural Big Ten season.

    On with the list.

    Source:, Google Images


5. Tyler Moore, OT

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    Tyler Moore, a 6'6", 290-pound behemoth out of Florida, enrolled early to get a jump on the new offense Nebraska will be implementing this coming season.

    Moore has gotten some praise from coaches already and looks like he'll be an eventual All-Big Ten caliber offensive tackle.

    While Jeremiah Sirles and either Jermarcus Hardrick or Marcel Jones will likely hold down the left and right tackles spots, respectively, Moore will have every opportunity to earn himself a spot on the two-deep and get considerable playing time as a true freshman.

4. Braylon Heard, RB

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    With the departure of senior running back Roy Helu Jr. to the NFL and the transfer of Dontrayevous Robinson, the running back position suddenly lacks depth.

    Behind All-Big Ten caliber back Rex Burkhead, there doesn't seem to be anyone that has stepped up and showed they can be an effective No. 2.

    Enter Braylon Heard, a 5'11", 190-pound speedster from Ohio.  Originally a 2010 recruit, Heard failed to academically qualify for Nebraska and had to take a year off from football.

    However, through perseverance, the Youngstown native got the necessary scores to qualify and will begin participating with the football team this summer.

    A member of the Rivals100 in 2010, Heard has a lot of talent and should fit beautifully into the Huskers' new offensive scheme.

    Expect Heard to get a lot of playing time in 2011 in a system that will feature several different running backs.

3. Aaron Green, RB

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    The headliner of the 2011 class, Aaron Green is simply too talented to keep of the field in '11.

    He was one of three very impressive running back recruits in this year's class, the other two being Heard and Ameer Abdullah of Alabama.

    Green is arguably the most talented of the three, and in Nebraska's multiple back offense, he will be one of the primary back-ups to Burkhead.  The Texas native has great speed and acceleration to go along with unbelievable elusiveness.

    Any combination of Burkhead, Green and Heard may often be on the field at the same time, and in these cases, defenses should be on their toes.

    Despite all the youth at running back, the combined skills of Burkhead, Green and Heard will make this a strong unit.

2. Daimion Stafford, S

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    One of the most underrated of Nebraska's 2011 recruits, Daimion Stafford's value is unknown to many.

    But as Nebraska's other recent JUCO recruits have revealed, Bo Pelini doesn't pursue such prospects unless he's sure they can contribute right away.  And he certainly knows how to recognize them.

    Stafford showed great speed, strength and instincts at safety in junior college, and he could be the surprise of the 2011 defense.

    Apparently the Florida Gators and USC Trojans thought so as well, as both made a late push for the California prospect.

    Luckily, he ultimately decided he wanted to wreak havoc in a Husker uniform.

    Who knows?  Maybe he'll even receive a coveted Blackshirt before the end of his first season out of junior college, a la Lavonte David.

1. Jamal Turner, WR/ATH

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    Speed.  Agility.  Explosiveness.  Route running ability.  Soft hands.  These are the traits Jamal Turner displayed in just his first three months in a Cornhusker practice uniform.

    An altogether average spring game was boosted by the electric play of the Arlington, Texas product.  Turner flashed his vast potential with his performance, which included 92 yards and a touchdown on four catches to go along with 111 total yards on just one punt return and one kick return.

    As a high schooler, Turner starred at quarterback and was compared to former 5-star quarterback Russel Shepard, now a wide-out for the LSU Tigers.

    Interestingly enough, Turner had never played receiver in his life before his senior season, when a surplus of quarterbacks at the Under Armour All-American game forced Turner to switch to receiver.

    He instantly turned heads, and speculation started about a position switch to receiver at Nebraska.  Months later, he's looking like he'll be starting in the slot for the Cornhuskers as a true freshman.

    On top of that, his superior returning ability could get him a starting job on two special teams units as well.

    Instantly famous around Lincoln, Turner's path to stardom is paved.  All he has to do is walk the straight and narrow, and his immense talent will take care of the rest.