photo and article by Patrick Runge
Nebraska football fans know that recruiting never ends, and that NU must be focused now on the class of 2015 to help secure future glories. So as the spring game fades from memory, and fall camp still seems quite far off, those fans will be spending this summer keeping track of Nebraska’s prospects for next year’s recruiting class. Here are five names to keep an eye on, and help you through those long summer months until football comes back.
All rankings (including national rankings in parentheses for each position), measurables, and ratings are from 247 Sports.
J.W. Ketchum III
Position: Athlete (no. 14), Dual-Threat Quarterback
Measurables: 5-foot-11.5, 201 pounds, 4.56 40-yard dash
Rating: Four-star (0.9225)
The search for a quarterback is never-ending. Even with Nebraska’s signing of Kevin Dillman, a second dual-threat quarterback target is important for Nebraska’s 2015 class. Ketchum would fit the bill nicely, with decent speed and athletic talent to provide depth and competition at signal-caller in a post-Tommy Armstrong world.
Position: Running Back (no. 39), Safety, Athlete
Measurables: 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, 4.62 40-yard dash
Rating: Three-star (0.8778)
Much like at quarterback, it’s hard for Nebraska to have too many running backs. Right now, the backfield depth seems pretty deep. But look down the road a couple of years, after the departure of Ameer Abdullah and Imani Cross, and you can see how important keeping the flow of tailbacks is for Nebraska. Doherty fits the bill, with enough athleticism and flexibility to play other positions if need be.
Position: Outside Linebacker (no. 27)
Measurables: 6-foot-2.5, 200 pounds, 4.70 40-yard dash
Rating: Three-star (0.8721)
As we see Nebraska’s defense evolving under Bo Pelini, one of the crucial areas will be finding players that can effectively rush the passer. Landing Beavers would be a nice addition to an area where Nebraska is already young, providing depth and a solid pipeline of talent for years to come.
Position: Outside Linebacker (no. 47), Weak-Side Defensive End
Measurables: 6-foot-2, 220 pounds
Rating: Three-star (0.8530)
Are you sensing a theme? Yes, Nebraska will be looking hard for edge pass rushers, particularly if Randy Gregory decides to forego his senior season in 2015 and head for greener pastures in the NFL. Dunham is the kind of player Nebraska is looking for, with the flexibility to slide from defensive line to linebacker depending on the need.
Position: Wide Receiver (no. 60)
Measurables: 6-foot-3, 200 pounds
Rating: Three-star (0.8818)
Yes, I know that Harrison is signed and part of Nebraska’s 2014 class. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be seeing him on the field in Memorial Stadium this August. Harrison is baseball player as well, and likely to be drafted fairly high by a major league club. Much like the Bubba Starling saga, whether or not Harrison decides to forego his college career for a pro baseball paycheck is a question that won’t be answered until August.
But of all the recruiting questions Nebraska fans will be following, Harrison’s decision will have the most immediate impact on NU’s prospects.