Nebraska Football: Bo Pelini Already off to Hot Start in 2015 Recruiting

Andrew CoppensContributor IFebruary 7, 2014

Sep 14, 2013; Lincoln, NE, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Bo Pelini before the game against the UCLA Bruins at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

There's no resting on your laurels or getting down on yourself in the bitterly competitive world of college football recruiting. Apparently no one needs to tell that to Bo Pelini and the Nebraska staff. 

While most were focused on how Nebraska would close out the 2014 class, quietly, Pelini has already begun to stock up on needs for his 2015 class. 

Nebraska has about 20 spots (give or take two either way) available in the 2015 class, so there is plenty of work to do and players to sift through.

However, before national signing day even began, the Huskers were out in front on the 2015 recruiting trail. That's because they've already gotten verbal commitments from four players in this class. 

Only Michigan, with four, has gotten off to a similar fast start in the Big Ten. 

More importantly, Nebraska has gotten off to a quality start with the 2015 class, getting verbal commitments from two 4-star and 3-star players. 

The Huskers' biggest need is at cornerback, as they stand to lose three cornerbacks next season. Nebraska goes into the 2014 season facing the loss of All-Big Ten cornerbacks Ciante Evans and Stanley Jean-Baptiste. 

After signing just one cornerback to fill that void in the latest class, Nebraska already has one cornerback commitment in the 2015 class. 

It just so happens that that commit, Eric Lee, is one of the two 4-star players the Huskers have verbals from. 

They also have commitments from two players categorized as athletes—Avery Andersen (4-star) and Kendall Bussey (3-star).

Andersen, a 5'11", 165-pound athlete, is expected to play in the secondary in college. He was a quick commit to the Huskers, picking up an offer on Jan. 22 and flipping from Arizona State shortly after. 

The Huskers showed a propensity to flip committed recruits in this past class, and they are clearly at it again in 2015.

However, they are also doing a very good job of locating guys who want to be Huskers and getting them locked down quickly. 

The most recent commitment came from 3-star offensive lineman Christian Gaylord, who attended Nebraska's junior day and committed after being offered that weekend. 

According to Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald, it was Pelini's hands-on approach that won Gaylord over. 

It appears that Pelini has played a very important role in all four of the early commitments, but now the hard work of keeping them on-board begins. 

While things appear to be going well, it is interesting to note that Nebraska appears content recruiting outside of the Big Ten footprint. 

Nebraska has struggled to get in to the traditional recruiting bases of the Big Ten—namely Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan—and that doesn't appear to be stopping with the 2015 class either. 

The four commitments come from Colorado, Louisiana and Kansas—not exactly the areas the Big Ten is known for recruiting, but that Nebraska has had historical ties to from its Big 12 days. 

California, Florida and Texas are all states with more offers in them (30) than the entire 12 states/districts that house the Big Ten, to date.

Just 21 of the 82 offers out, according to 247sports, are from states (metro Washington, D.C., area included) with Big Ten teams in them.  

That said, it appears that Nebraska is off to a flying start on the recruiting trail for 2015 already—the complete opposite to the late scrambling the Huskers did in this last class to fill needs. 

With early momentum, the Huskers lead the Big Ten and are the No. 13-ranked team nationally, according to the 247Sports 2015 class rankings. 

Of course, all of that is subject to change, but with early commitments from some of the highest-rated players on the Huskers board, things are looking up in Lincoln. 


Andy Coppens is the Big Ten football lead writer. You can follow him on Twitter: @andycoppens.