Nebraska landed one of the most highly touted wide receivers in the 2018 class on Sunday with the verbal commitment of 4-star wide receiver Joshua Moore. The Huskers’ 2018 class currently sits at 11 with seven 4-star players and is kicking around in the top 10 in most of the team recruiting rankings.
Here are three quick thoughts on what Moore’s commitment says about Nebraska’s recruiting.
1. The Oregon State Effect Might be Showing up in Recruiting
Feels a little silly to restate this, but when Mike Riley was hired at Nebraska the bet was that a coach who had won at a decent rate at Oregon State would win at a better rate at a better football destination. Jury’s still out on that, but we might be seeing that exact scenario unfold as intended with recruiting. If Riley could recruit to Oregon State, what could he do at a place like Nebraska? Moore’s commitment is yet more proof that the belief in Nebraska’s attractiveness to prospective players matters. That may seem like an obvious point, but it runs counter to the national narrative. Any time you hear the “the Nebraska job” mentioned it isn’t long before “the recruiting challenges” follow. But what if, coming from Corvallis, Oregon, you don’t see challenges, only upside? The results so far, especially in this class but also the two before it, have been promising.
2. Buckle Up
Nebraska gets its share of high-profile recruits, but the density of talented players in this class is a step beyond where the Huskers have been in the past. It’s not every day Nebraska beats out 50-plus schools for a prospect from a recruiting hotbed. It’s a rare occurrence for 95 percent of the schools out there. That’s worth celebrating for Husker fans today, but the recruitment of Moore won’t stop here. And with players as hotly pursued as Moore is, the potential for a more dramatic ride to signing day is elevated. That’s a risk most coaches are willing to take if the reward is a better talent level. To win the race, you have to be in it, but it’s not over yet.
3. Take Screenshots of the Class Rankings Now
The Huskers are expected to take 15 players in the 2018 class and already have 11 verbally committed. That puts something of a cap on how highly this class can rank based on the way those rankings are calculated. The highest a class with 15 or fewer signees has ranked in the 247 Composite rankings since Nebraska joined the Big Ten is 13th when USC signed 13 players (four 5-stars, eight 4-stars) in 2013. Last year, Stanford finished 14th with a 14-player class (three 5-stars, six 4-stars). Those are outliers and also crazy good classes. In 2012 and 2016, no class with 15 or fewer signees ranked in the top 50. In 2014 and 2015 the top-ranked classes were Northwestern (47th, 15 signees) and Michigan (37th, 14 signees) respectively. Nebraska’s class is currently better than either of those two, but it’s worth keeping in mind when we come to February and what was once a top-10 class maybe ranks outside the top-20. That doesn’t change the overall quality of the class, of course, but judging these things on the only means of measurement we have is sort of the nature of the beast.