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If you’ve been on Twitter, you’ve probably already seen the graphic. If not, this will be good.
Which school has had the most running backs drafted since 1967?
Guess again, friends.
RB U? Most RB's drafted in Common Draft Era (1967):
36- OU, PSU
35- Ohio St
32- Auburn, ASU
31- Bama, Miami pic.twitter.com/ZPZw63ntSz
— Pick Six Previews (@PickSixPreviews) April 26, 2017
The 41 total running back draft picks is not shocking when you think about the Tom Osborne era. Those teams ran all the time.
But that stat coming across your Twitter timeline juxtaposed with the fact that Nebraska hasn’t been able to find a steady run game since Ameer Abdullah left following the 2014 season — and has particularly struggled recruiting running backs of late — is incredibly interesting.
And it’s also interesting to note since Nebraska really is going for another running back in this 2018 class. But the Huskers don’t have any top prospects interested right now.
Here’s how Nebraska’s running backs have fared since Abdullah signed in 2011:
|Year||Name||247sports stars||Career rushing yards|
Of the five 4-star recruits, only two ran for more than 1,000 yards. The other three combined for 105 yards, all coming from Green, who then transferred to TCU.
And in Mike Riley’s tenure, the running backs haven’t really panned out. The jury is still out on Bryant, who looks like he’ll be the starter in 2017. And Ozigbo could still make noise if he can get past his injuries.
But even with Bryant as a sophomore and Ozigbo has a junior, it’s no secret Nebraska needs a running back in the 2018 class. Even just to show they can recruit running backs.
For the amount of pressure that is on offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf to land a good quarterback in this class, there might be more pressure on running backs coach Reggie Davis.
In two years Davis has helped sign Ozigbo, Bryant and Bradley, all 3-star recruits. And though Bryant shows promise, it’s worth noting Davis actually hasn’t ever helped sign a 4-star running back, according to his 247sports profile.
So are there any on the docket in 2018 interested in Lincoln?
The Huskers have offered 12 running backs in the 2018 class. Their best shot right now looks to be Grahm Roberts, a 3-star prospect from Wilmington, Del., and the brother of current 2017 early enrollee Avery Roberts. Grahm is the No. 49 running back in the class and visited for the spring game.
Among 4-star running backs, though, Nebraska is on the outside looking in.
The Huskers have offered three 4-star backs and two 5-star backs. Of those five, zero have visited Nebraska, or seem to have that in the cards anytime soon, and two are committed elsewhere already.
There could be more offers after this evaluation period, but still this graphic raises a few questions.
If Nebraska’s main goal is to run the ball well, as Riley has consistently said, why aren’t the Huskers recruiting more top running backs? Why aren’t they focusing more on backs than receivers? And if Riley is putting such a high emphasis on recruiting, is Davis on the hot seat if he doesn’t score a big running back in this class?
Now, we’re not here to peddle “hot seat” talk. That’s not the point.
The point is, as it currently stands, Nebraska isn’t recruiting like ‘Running Back U,’ as that graphic calls the school. And if the Huskers don’t land a running back at all in this class, then that title could be stripped away sooner or later.