Good Weekend for Future Offense
Nebraska received some good news over the weekend when it comes to having players for the future on offense. First came the news that offensive tackle Matt Finnin was granted an extra year of eligibility. Then came three commitments from tackle Nick Gates, wideout Glenn Irons, and running back Mikale Wilbon.
Finnin joined NU a year ago as a four-star junior college transfer. He was listed second on the depth chart at left tackle which makes him a likely starter next year. The additional year means he can also come back for the 2015 season as well.
Gates is also a four-star tackle prospect who goes about 6'5" and 270 lbs. He joins the Huskers from Las Vegas. He'll certainly benefit from a redshirt year to add weight. His highlight film shows him piling up pancake block after pancake. He also seems to be a very good baseball player though there's been no indication he'll compete at the college level.
Irons is an under-the-radar prospect primarily due to his small size. He's listed between 5'9" and 5'10" and from 148 to 170 lbs. He plays for the same New Orleans program as recent receiver commit Jariah Tolbert. The number of small players in the 2014 class may reflect the changing landscape of college football. As rulemakers tend to legislate so many of the violent hits out of the game, the premium may be on speed over size more than ever before. Irons has a similar build to former West Virginia receiver and return specialist Tavon Austin. Austin was a high first round draft pick. It's hard to imagine that happening even as recently as five years ago. The film on Irons shows a player who adjusts very well to the ball, so he doesn't need a perfect throw to make the catch.
Wilbon is a little less under the radar as a four-star recruit, but the Chicago product also has a similar build to Ameer Abdullah at 5'9" and 195 lbs. His film shows a player with vision, balance, change of direction and a north-south running style.
With only one more weekend to go until signing day and three to four slots remaining in the recruiting class, there can still be a lot of activity over the next nine days. The Huskers are set to host a pair of defensive ends and a safety, though these things become especially fluid down the stretch. As always, stay tuned.