1. S Su’a Cravens, Murrieta, CA – After we wave goodbye to the 2012 season, Nebraska will have a whopping two scholarship safeties on the roster (Harvey Jackson and Bronson Marsh). Putting all of their eggs into Jordan Diggs’ basket last cycle cost the Huskers dearly when he decided to go to South Carolina.
At 6’1” and 205 pounds, Cravens is one of the top safety prospects in the country, which means he should’ve been at the top of Nebraska’s board before Diggs committed to the Gamecocks. He’s already holding down 20-plus offers, so if the Cornhuskers are going to have a chance, they have to make their move right about…now.
2. CB Eli Woodard, Vorhees, NJ – Until Charles Jackson steps foot onto UNL’s campus, assume he’s not coming. Fortunately, Nebraska will have five junior cornerbacks entering the 2012 season. This allows time for younger athletes like Daniel Davie, Alonzo Moore and 2013 commit Tre’vell Dixon to learn the ropes.
A great addition to Dixon would be the 6’1” 185-pound Woodard. Unfortunately, everyone else already knows that as he carries double-digit offers from big name schools. Rutgers has already offered, but Penn State hasn’t. That may be a mere formality until after the Super Bowl. Regardless, Pelini and company would do well to treat Woodard on the same level as Cravens.
3. OLB Josh Banderas, Lincoln, NE – Bo Pelini may have hauled in a good number of linebackers during the 2012 cycle, but the depth chart still needs to be filled out. Zaire Anderson and Sean Fisher will be the veterans of the linebacking corps in 2013 as seniors.
Banderas would be a great immediate offer as he’s a stellar athlete, has great size at 6’2” 215 pounds, and attends Lincoln Southwest. If offered tomorrow, he’d likely be the second commit of 2013.
(Watch the whole video – it’s short and has an interesting ending)
4. OLB Chans Cox, Lakeside, AZ – Quick, powerful and Ron Brown’s already on the case. That’s how you know Nebraska likes Cox as a linebacker already. Brown won’t go chasing a Peat again until 2014 at the earliest when Todd and Andrus’ brother Cassius is a junior, but a 6’3” 220-pound beast of a linebacker like Cox’ll do for now.
Remaining cautious, the Pac-12 has stepped into the upper echelon of conferences when it comes to recruiting. Cox is a fan of ASU and new head coach Todd Graham, but Brown’s done good work before in Arizona and the junior linebacker does have a fondness for the scarlet and cream.
5. OLB Deon Hollins, Jr., Missouri City, TX – Calling Tim Beck! When you need a quality Texas prospect locked down for Nebraska, Beck’s your man and with the dire need for linebackers, he and Hollis, Jr. are a perfect match. The Cornhuskers are likely going to face stiff competition from Arkansas, Stanford and Washington for the 6’2” 215-pounder’s services, however.
6. DT Billy Price, Youngstown, OH – Baker Steinkuhler bolts after this season leaving potential behind him. Chase Rome looks like he’s ready to come into his own, but the interior line still needs bodies. Price seems the perfect fit for Pelini’s system at 6’4” and 280 pounds. If he’s going to beat Urban Meyer, Pelini may as well take the war to his home turf of Youngstown.
7. OT Kyle Bosch, Wheaton, IL – Only five offensive tackles are currently on scholarship and by missing out on Andrus Peat, Nebraska added a goose egg to that number. Keeping in Big Ten country might be just the thing to cure what ails the Huskers with 6’5” 285-pounder Kyle Bosch.
Seven other Big Ten schools feel he could help their efforts, too. The depth chart favors Nebraska, but another battle with Notre Dame looms. If Ohio State decides to enter the fray, watch out.
8. OT Ethan Pocic, Lemont, IL – Another Illinois native, and another prospect Nebraska will have to fight Notre Dame over, the 6’7” 285-pound Pocic could make noise early on as a Cornhusker. Remember how Jordan Westerkamp was yanked away from the Irish? John Garrison was one of the coaches who helped haul in the record-setting receiver and is Pocic’s main point of contact.
9. QB J.T. Barrett, Wichita Falls, TX – Tommy Armstrong and Ryker Fyfe may cause the quarterback depth chart to shift, but overall depth is still an issue if the eventual starter goes down, whomever he may be.
Another Lone Star State native, the 6’1” 209-pound Barrett currently only has offers from Nebraska and Texas Tech. If Tim Beck can continue to grow his offense, Barrett’s interest may skyrocket. It doesn’t hurt that Beck will likely be his point of contact, either.
10. CB Mike Minter, Jr., Lincoln, NE – Yes, he’s the son of that Mike Minter and he’s not on the Big Board for name value. At 6’1” and 175 pounds, it wouldn’t be a shock if a conditional offer is waiting for Junior upon confirming what Husker coaches already have seen/heard coming out of the U.S. Army All-America Junior Combine.
As a side note, he’ll be attending Nebraska’s Junior Day this month and could hold a Husker offer in a matter of weeks. He already has offers from Clemson, South Carolina, Kansas and Purdue. From all indications, pops wouldn’t be upset to see his son play in the same stadium he did.