Recruiting Picks Up in Wake of Eichorst Statement
Perhaps it was only a coincidence, but it was encouraging to see two new Husker recruits come aboard after NU Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst clarified Bo Pelini's status at Nebraska. First, word came Sunday that Texas defensive back Chance Waz would be joining teammate Trai Mosley in Lincoln. Then, four-star junior college defensive tackle Terrell Clinkscales made his verbal commitment.
Waz's commitment not only addresses a position of need for the class, but it also gives Nebraska greater confidence that it will hold Mosley's commitment. Waz had previously committed to Colorado, before opting for Nebraska. Mosley, also a defensive back, had also been offered by Oklahoma.
Clinkscales commitment can be a real game-changer. The great arms race in college football is to find defensive tackles. There's a real scarcity at the position and an outstanding one or two can key a whole defense (recall the Ndamukong Suh and Jared Crick pairing of 2009). The tandem of Clinkscales and Peyton Newell, assuming both qualify academically, would be the most highly touted pair since 2005 (which brought Suh and starter Ola Dagunduro).
If you watched Auburn-Alabama, you saw that one of the keys for the Tigers was that their depth on the defensive line kept them from wearing down. You begin to see a nice group forming for Nebraska. Maliek Collins was a four-star tackle and played as a true freshman. Kevin Maurice similarly cracked the depth chart as a newcomer. Randy Gregory made a huge splash at end in his first season. Imagine how good he could be next year. A.J. Natter redshirted as a four-star defensive end who can join the mix next season. Tackle Vincent Valentine is the same size as Clinkscales and still has three seasons ahead of him. Aaron Curry still has two years to play at tackle. Four-star end Greg McMullen and bookend Avery Moss both still have three seasons to play. Four-star tackle Kevin Williams is still in the mix for a couple of years as well. Jay Guy has another year at tackle as does Tobi Okuyemi. Ends Walker Ashburn and Donovan Vestal remain as well.
That's the kind of depth you need to survive the long physical season in the Big Ten, with hard-hitting games week after week. Nebraska could even consider whether there's a player or two on the defensive line that contribute on the offensive line, which isn't as deep heading into next season.
There's room for somewhere between four and ten more recruits could be joining the fold between now and signing day. These two are an awfully good start.