What Fuller’s Commitment to UCLA Means for Huskers

By at January 30, 2012 | 12:00 PM | Print

tn 510x510 FULLERparents0130 What Fullers Commitment to UCLA Means for Huskers

When Greg Schaino decided to pack his bags for Tampa Bay, there was cheering across Husker Nation and with good reason. An opportunity had been presented to potentially flip current Scarlet Knight commitments (and Nebraska targets) Devin Fuller and Quanzell Lambert. Unfortunately, Fuller’s ultimate decision didn’t favor the Big Red.

The New Jersey native may have tipped his hand when making his formal announcement. He had a number of hats ready to put on, but only two were pristine and non-generic: Arizona and UCLA.

This made sense as Fuller could’ve easily be seen running an offensive system designed by new Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez. In the end, Fuller becomes the latest in a long line of high-profile Bruin commits.

It’s possible that Fuller looked at the Cornhuskers’ current quarterback depth chart featuring Taylor Martinez, Brion Carnes, the incoming Tommy Armstrong and several talented walk-ons before deciding it was too crowded.

Perhaps he didn’t feel that he’d be properly used or, to echo the beliefs of several Husker fans, that he’d be sitting behind Martinez until the controversial quarterback’s graduation at the very least. What does this mean for Nebraska moving forward?

Addressing Lambert first, the linebacker prospect has decided to give Rutgers’ new hire a fair shot at retaining him. Nebraska will likely keep a spot open regardless of his choice.

While Fuller won’t be a member of Nebraska’s class, several other high profile athletes very well could be. Offensive tackle Andrus Peat, wide receiver Alonzo Moore, defensive tackles Vincent Valentine and Aaron Curry along with cornerbacks Devian Shelton and Raymond Ford are all legitimate possibilities.

Several national pundits have Peat picking Stanford and while perhaps well-researched and legitimate predictions, that seems the almost too easy choice. The Cardinal has become a national power thanks to current San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh.

They’re likely to have several players taken during the early days of the NFL draft. However, Stanford’s current commit list holds several big-time offensive line prospects.

Brother Todd is already a Husker with cousin Avery Moss in this same class. Pundits tout the Cardinal’s recent successes, the smaller distance from home and a chance to do his own thing apart from his brother and Moss as reasons for a possible commitment to Stanford. Will that trump having family and the opportunities he does in Lincoln?

Alonzo Moore looks to be a 50/50 shot at this point, but Husker fans shouldn’t automatically take that to be a negative. Moore could stick closer to his Louisiana home, but if he wanted to do that above all else, a commitment before now seems like it would’ve happened. The loss of Fuller to UCLA was unfortunate, but adding Moore to this class would dry a few tears.

Vincent Valentine’s been preaching about a Nebraska lead for months now. Aaron Curry’s preexisting relationship with new defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski would suggest that two more big bodies will likely fill the middle of Bo Pelini’s defensive line.

Devian Shelton and Raymond Ford’s intentions are truly unknown, but the idea of Nebraska collecting their signatures on Wednesday isn’t far-fetched. With a secondary not only clearly needing playmakers and severely lacking in depth, the opportunity for Shelton and Ford to contribute immediately appears realistic.

Without Fuller, Nebraska’s class won’t have quite the shine it could have, but there is a genuine shot at having a class to be enthusiastic about. To be fair, there’s also the opportunity for the class to be tepid at best. The margin for error is razor-thin.

While the Big Red has been burned a few times over the past several Signing Days, being cautiously optimistic doesn’t seem to be an unfavorable position for those hunkering down behind their 2012 National Signing Day blast shields.

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