Huskers Add Two D-Tackles
One of the great arms races in college football recruiting is for bodies at defensive tackle. There are so few guys that can meet the physical and physiological demands of the position and play at a high level, that it can be a true differentiator between the have and have-nots. Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State all featured tackles that are projected to go in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft. Notre Dame's got one expected to be drafted as well. Nebraska saw their season end badly after a key injury at tackle. Over the weekend, the Huskers added two prospects at this critical position for the future.
Orlando's Kevin Maurice pledged first. Maurice wasn't the most highly rated or sought after tackle, but that's at least in part because he didn't play the position until he was a sophomore. Physically, he looks like an NFL tackle. Most of the top prospects are 6'3", like Maurice. At 270 lbs., you'd like to see him add weight but that's still better than former commit Antoine Miles who was also listed at 6'3" but was 20 pounds lighter. Maurice had offers from North Carolina State and Boston College, among others.
Kansas City's Maliek Collins was next to join and had offers from Iowa and Missouri and a number of others. At 285 lbs., Collins looks even more physically ready than Maurice. Both players would still likely benefit greatly from redshirting though.
If the star ratings for these players don't impress, a quick scan of other Big Ten schools recruiting at tackle should bring home why these are good gets. It puts Nebraska ahead of more than half of the conference in terms of what they've added so far at the position.
The Huskers lose a good tackle in Baker Steinkuhler, but then Ohio State and Illinois may be losing standout juniors, and Penn State, Michigan, and Michigan State all are losing very good seniors.
There's still a fair amount of recruiting to be done and the Huskers may not yet be done adding tackles for 2013. Thankfully, they've solidified their standing at a critical position.