LINCOLN, Neb. — Well, it’s over.
The papers are signed, the coaches are back at home and the 2017 class is finished. National Signing Day is in the books.
Nebraska ended up with 20 recruits, wrangling in three receivers, a quarterback, three linebackers and a handful of linemen.
But just how successful was the Huskers’ haul? Let’s hand out some grades for this 2017 class, position by position.
Commits: Tristan Gebbia
Nebraska only needed one quarterback in this class and ended up landing the No. 9 pro-style passer in the country. Gebbia, a 4-star recruit out of Calabasas, Calif., was recruited early and often by offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf. Gebbia committed early, enrolled early and is now on pace to be third string or a redshirt this upcoming season. In Gebbia, Nebraska got a gem.
Commits: Ben Miles, Jaylin Bradley
Though Nebraska missed on CJ Verdell, they really didn’t need much in the backfield for the 2017 class. In Miles, they got the No. 2 fullback in the 2017 class, while Bradley is the No. 4 overall recruit from the state of Nebraska. Miles gives the Huskers power in the backfield, which they need. And though Nebraska is kind of taking a chance on Bradley, the Omaha native gives the Huskers speed — and some in-state recruiting prowess.
Wide receivers/tight ends
Commits: Tyjon Lindsey, Jaevon McQuitty, Keyshawn Johnson Jr, Austin Allen, Kurt Rafdal
Nebraska went all-in on wide receivers in the 2017 class, and it paid off. Landing Lindsey, the No. 7 wide receiver in the 2017 class, changed everything for Nebraska. He’ll likely compete for time as a true freshman. And with Johnson and McQuitty, Nebraska gets some taller receivers to add to the depth chart. Not to mention the 6-foot-7 Austin Allen and 6-8 Kurt Rafdal, who will tower in the midfield as tight ends.
Commits: Matt Sichterman, Brenden Jaimes, Broc Bando, Chris Walker
Offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh wrangled in the No. 44 and 46 offensive tackles in the 2017 class in Jaimes and Sichterman. He also brought in IMG Academy recruit Bando and an in-state talent in Walker. The reason why this grade is not lower is because of the amount of depth Cavanaugh is bringing in. All four are 3-star prospects and, while Nebraska missed on a few top talents, the Huskers did load up at positions of need on the offensive line, which is a major plus.
Commits: Deontre Thomas, Deiontae Watts, Guy Thomas, Damion Daniels
Watts and Deontre Thomas are the No. 32 and No. 33 defensive tackles in the 2017 class, respectively. Both will be great fits for Bob Diaco’s 3-4 defense. Guy Thomas staying on is great for Nebraska, as well. He’ll fit in as a rushing defensive end. And to cap it all off, Daniels, a 3-star prospect, is a perfect nose guard at 6-1, 315-pounds.
Defensive line coach John Parrella crushed it.
Commits: Avery Roberts, Andrew Ward, Willie Hampton
Nebraska’s second-highest-rated recruit is 4-star ILB Roberts, the No. 7 inside ‘backer in the nation. He’s someone who could play immediately for Trent Bray in that 3-4 defense. Ward, rated No. 38 at his position, will join Roberts inside, while the nation’s No. 71 outside linebacker will flank them in Hampton. Nebraska doesn’t need much from this group early, making this even more of a success.
Commits: Elijah Blades
Nebraska’s sole defensive back commit is Blades, a 4-star prospect from California and the last big announcement that went the Huskers’ way on Wednesday. Nebraska didn’t need a defensive back, but Mike Riley got a great one, nonetheless. Thus the high grade.
Nebraska reloaded with receivers, got a stellar quarterback commit, revamped its brand on the West Coast and is another step closer to closing the talent gap.
The only thing Nebraska lacked was a 5-star stunner. Maybe next year.