MnB B1G Preview: Newest Nebraskans

Although the Huskers fielded a relatively slight class in 2012, it's teeming with prospects that I had favored towards the beginning of the process, and held other big-time offers. The 17-man class is the second smallest haul in the conference, but features the third highest average star rating. Blue chippers are mixed well with depth to create a well-rounded group that should thrive in the future.

The Huskers landed the quarterback of their future in TX QB Tommy Armstrong, a four-star gunslinger from Texas. Although he wasn't hotly pursued, they did take him away from offers such as TCU, Baylor, and Oregon. I'm not a big fan of his throwing motion; it's a bit elongated and lacks elite velocity, but his athleticism is matched by few. He'll be a perfect fit for the Huskers offense, which seems to thrive on athletic quarterbacks with less-than-stellar arms. At the very least, he should be a step-up from Martinez.

GA RB Imani Cross was the only addition to the backfield, and he's quite the bruiser at 220 pounds. Still, he's not explosive or sudden, and I don't think he'll ever be Rex Burkhead or Roy Helu. At WR, I'm a huge fan of IL WR Jordan Westerkamp. He won't blow you away on film but he's simply a producer, grabbing 78 passes for 1,342 yards and 24 touchdowns this past season. There isn't much film out on LA WR Alonzo Moore, but the Huskers did pull a bit of surprise by grabbing him from Louisiana Tech ($), so I guess they've got that going for them.

NE TE Sam Cotton was only courted by Tulsa and Ohio, in addition to Nebraska, but I actually find him comparable to Michigan signee Chris Wormley. He may have a promising future on the defense, if tight end doesn't work out. Pelini also reached out and grabbed a couple of slightly undersized offensive linemen from the pacific area of the country. CO OT Paul Thurston was heavily considering Michigan before dropping in the Spring. Thurston's an athletic technician that should be a plow on the line, once he grows a bit. CA OG Corey Whittaker was a late addition to the class, committing within a week of signing day, and is also a bit of a project at only 255 pounds.

I'm a big fan of all but 1 of the 4 new Husker defensive linemen; TX DL Aaron Curry. Although he shares a name with a formerly dominant CFB 'backer, I doubt Curry will ever achieve such success. Curry could just be out of shape, but one normally expects 270 pound linemen to show more dominant athleticism at the high school level. IL DT Vincent Valentine, on the other hand, is way underrated by most of the recruiting services for reasons that I can't quite understand. An early five-star to some sites, he sunk all the way to anonymous three star status on both Rivals and Scout. Valentine picked the Huskers late in the process over Florida, although he also fielded offers from Alabama, Michigan, Oklahoma, Penn State and Auburn, among others. Valentine is the opposite of Curry, moving exceptionally well for his size. OH DE Greg McMullen is another of the super-Ohio defensive ends that escaped the grip of the hometown Buckeyes, and will likely make an early impact for the Huskers. AZ DE Avery Moss, teammate of Stanford signee Andrus Peat, was another big catch for the Huskers. He'll need to add some weight and refine technique, but he could end up being a feature pass rusher for Nebraska.

Four linebackers were added into the class, a couple of whom I'm really high on. MO LB Michael Rose got passed on by many-a-school due to his height (or lack thereof), but is a fierce competitor with athleticism and instincts to boot. Rose may never end up an NFL player, but he should far outplay his rankings during his in Lincoln. UT OLB Jared Afalava, a Semper Fi All American, was offered by Michigan but likely saw their interest wane because of his questionable grades (although he did end up qualifying). Afalava is a bone-crushing hitter with excellent closing speed that should excel at setting the edge and pass coverage for years to come. PA JUCO LB/DE Zaire Anderson is an exceptional pass rusher with excellent coverage abilities, as well. He should make an early impact. CA LB Thomas Brown is another raw prospect but has decent enough athleticism that he could end up productive by the time he leaves campus.

AZ DB Mohammed Seisay isn't especially sudden, but is physical enough at the line that he should be able to make up for it. OH DB LeRoy Alexander is another Whitmer product, although he doesn't have quite the upside of a Chris Wormley. He should add depth to the Huskers defensive backfield, I suppose.

All in all, the mantra of the coaching staff seems to have gone along the lines of quality over quantity, a goal that they achieved with aplomb. Kids like Armstrong, McMullen, Valentine, Westerkamp, Seisay, and Rose should keep Nebraska on the upper crust of the B1G for years to come.

COMMITMENTS WITH A MICHIGAN OFFER--> 4

SCOUT.COM BIG TEN CLASS RANKING--> 7th

RIVALS.COM BIG TEN CLASS RANKING--> 3rd

NUMBER OF COMMITMENTS ACHIEVING FOURTH STAR ON AT LEAST ONE SITE (Includes 5-stars)--> 10

NUMBER OF COMMITMENTS ACHIEVING FIFTH STAR ON AT LEAST ONE SITE--> 0

MOST UNDERRATED RECRUIT--> Vincent Valentine

BEST OFFENSIVE RECRUIT--> Jordan Westerkamp

BEST DEFENSIVE RECRUIT--> Greg McMullen

BEST NAME--> Jared Afalava

THE FINAL VERDICT--UNDER OR OVERRATED CLASS? High degree of variance, but closer to 3rd in the conference than anything else.

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