photo and story by Patrick Runge
While it sounds far more like the name of a B-list superhero team, the “Super Six” is the cliché for laying out the best six recruits in a team’s class. Nebraska’s 2015 class signed 20 players, ending up no. 31 nationally and no. 4 in the Big Ten, according to 247 Sports.
So who is Nebraska’s Super Six out of the 2015 class? Here’s the view (along with a bonus sleeper) from one smart and particularly handsome analyst.
No. 6: Dedrick Young (ATH/LB, three-star, 87 composite)
Given Nebraska’s desperate need to build depth at linebacker, it’s almost impossible to fill out a Super Six without including one. Young looks to be the most promising of Nebraska’s three linebackers in the 2015 class (four if you count Adrienne Talan). He’s also an early-enrollee, meaning Young will get to participate in spring practice. Don’t be surprised to see him competing for playing time as a true freshman in 2015.
No. 5: Matt Snyder (TE, three-star, 88 composite)
Under Bo Pelini, the tight end position was maddeningly under-utilized. While being blessed with a number of offensive threats at the position (Mike McNeil, Kyler Reed, and Cethan Carter), Nebraska’s offense never found a way to really utilize the kind of matchup problems a pass-catching tight end can cause.
So to see Nebraska land another threat in Snyder, to compliment what will hopefully be an expanded role for Carter going forward, is a promising sign of things to come.
No. 4: Carlos Davis (DE, three-star, 89 composite) and Khalil Davis (DT, three-star, 89 composite)
Yeah, I know it’s cheating (and kind of trite) to list them both in one spot. But, honestly, they’re both incredibly talent, both will be playing on the defensive line, and landing the twins was very much a package deal for Nebraska.
So while they may not see the field at the same time (given the depth issues, Carlos has a better shot at freshman playing time), listing them both at the same time feels about right.
No. 3: Daishon Neal (DE, three-star, 89 composite)
While raw, Neil looks to have the potential to be a dominant defensive end. Enough potential to draw interest from a number of big-time programs around the country, particularly a late push by Michigan (according to Corn Nation) once Jim Harbaugh arrived.
Given the position of need he is filling, the potential he is showing, and the ability of Nebraska to protect a home-state kid (Neal is a graduate of Omaha Central) from being poached by a conference rival, Neal’s signature is a big deal.
No. 2: Eric Lee (CB, four-star, 93 composite)
Cornerback is one of the most difficult positions on defense to play, combining the need for speed, aggression, ball skills, and the knowledge to read both an offensive play and the receiver being covered. Lee possesses all those skills, and has the potential to make an immediate impact for the Blackshirts.
While not getting the top overall nod, Lee’s retention in the class after the coaching change was one of new head coach Mike Riley’s biggest successes in his young tenure at Nebraska.
No. 1: Jalin Barnett (OG, four-star, 92 composite)
You could make a pretty good argument that Lee is a better overall player than Barnett, or at the very least a better NFL prospect. But during his Signing Day press conference (a transcript found on Huskers.com), Riley repeatedly referred to offensive linemen as “gold.”
And for good reason, given the importance of the offensive line to everything a football team is trying to do. Barnett looks to be the best of the bunch, even at a position of depth for Nebraska at the moment. While he may not make the field in 2015, Barnett’s potential still makes him the top pick of the class.
Sleeper: Lavan Alston (WR, three-star, 88 composite)
I have somewhat of the same propensity as Al Davis, the late owner of the Oakland Raiders, in that I think you can never have too much speed on the field. (I also like white jumpsuits and little chains to hold my glasses, but that’s another story for another day).
One thing that will improve a running game immensely is a wide receiver who is a threat to stretch the field. When Kenny Bell was injured last year, Nebraska’s ability to take the top off opposing defenses was limited, and the running game suffered as a result.
Alston is the kind of deep-threat receiver that can make a difference not only in the plays he makes, but in the way he forces defenses to adapt to his presence on the field. Don’t be surprised to see him in the mix this season.
All rankings from 247Sports.