Nebraska picked up a big piece for its recruiting class today. David Knevel, a 3-star offensive tackle, of Pauline Johnson Collegiate in Brantford, Ontario, chose the Huskers over several other BCS programs including Alabama, Missouri, Purdue, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Knevel has tremendous upside. He is 6'8", weighs 295 pounds and has great length to keep defenders away. There is some concern that he has only been playing football for a few years after playing hockey most of his life. However, his potential upside outweighs that risk, and Nebraska was not the only program to think that as well.
If you watch some of Knevel's recruiting videos, you can see this upside that others are seeing. He pushes people around in run-blocking and can sit back and provide a great pocket for pass protection. He already has great strength and is fast out of his stance and moving around the field. He is a great pickup for the spread offense that offensive coordinator Tim Beck wants to run.
According to Rivals, co-offensive line coach John Garrison was the lead recruiter for Knevel. Garrison has been the lead recruiter for all three of Nebraska's offensive line commits this season, which include Zach Hannon and Dan Samuelson. Looking through the roster, it also appears that Knevel will be the only player from Canada on the team. According to the Omaha World Herald, Knevel is the first Canadian player Nebraska has recruited since lineman Patrick Kabongo in 1999, who currently plays in the Canadian Football League.
Offensive tackle was a big need for the Huskers this offseason. The offensive line has struggled, though it was better this year, and having a big, fast offensive tackle to protect the edges for Taylor Martinez (or whoever the quarterback is when Knevel gets on the field) is a definite need.
Scout.com now has Nebraska as the 14th-best recruiting class in the country after Knevel's commitment, and third place in the Big Ten behind Michigan and Ohio St. ESPN's recruiting service has Nebraska on the rise as well, moving up to 27th on their list, but fourth in the Big Ten, behind Penn State as well. 247.com has Nebraska as 19th on their list.
Overall, this is shaping up to be the best class that Bo Pelini has had at Nebraska, and this class is not even done. Look for probably another 10 commits to this class by the time signing day comes in February.
In total, Knevel gives Nebraska 17 recruits. Those break down to one QB, one RB, one WR, one TE, one O-guard, two O-tackles, one D-tackle, two D-ends, three LBs, three safeties and one long snapper.
In terms of states, Knevel is the first Canadian—more specifically from Ontario—recruit for the Huskers. Breaking down the states, Arizona: 1, California: 1, Canada (Ontario): 1, Indiana: 2, Maryland: 1, Missouri: 1, Nebraska: 1, New Jersey: 1, Ohio: 5, South Dakota: 1, Texas: 1, and Wisconsin: 1.