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The Danger in Not Taking a QB in 2018
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

The Danger in Not Taking a QB in 2018

August 21, 2017

You’ve heard a lot by now that the 2018 recruiting class for Nebraska will be on the small side.
Initially Nebraska was looking at 15-to-18 prospects ending up in the class but with attrition in the program that number could be bumped up to 20 or even 21. What should Nebraska do with a few extra scholarships for the 2018 class?

One thing they should not do is reach for a player just to fill a spot. Nebraska would still have the scholarships available for the 2019 class if they elect to go that route.

What about the quarterback position?

Consensus is that the Huskers will not take a signal caller in the 2018 class for a few reasons. The class is small and the team really likes the quarterbacks on the roster with Tanner Lee, Patrick O’Brien and Tristan Gebbia all having eligibility left. It also seems like the Huskers are content to not reach for a quarterback in the class and are being ultra-selective.

For a long time, Nebraska seemed locked in on 2018 quarterback Colson Yankoff.  The 4-star from Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, pulled a surprise move in committing to Washington despite the presence of 2018 4-star Jacob Sirmon, who also holds a Nebraska offer.

Nebraska has seemed to fall out of the picture with 4-star Tanner McKee from Corona, California, leaving it without a legitimate target that they have offered at the position.

There are, however, a pair of names to keep an eye on that do not currently have offers.

The first is current Oregon State commit Spencer Petras. The 3-star gunslinger (6-5, 215) has tremendous size and will likely rise up the recruiting rankings with a strong senior season. There has been some contact between Nebraska and Petras in recent weeks.

Next, is the curious case of Tyler Shough. The North Carolina commit came to campus during the spring with his mom and enjoyed his visit, but walked away without an offer. Shortly after the Nebraska visit his recruitment blew up and he grabbed offers from all over, including Michigan.

He committed to North Carolina back in June. If Nebraska were to come through with an offer, I’m sure Shough would give it some thought.

So is there a danger in not taking a quarterback in 2018? There are two different scenarios that could cause Nebraska some trouble. One is that Lee has a good 2017 and leaves for the NFL Draft, which isn’t out of the question. He would be 23, which is old by NFL standards, and there isn’t much upside in returning for a senior season if he’s viewed as a high draft pick. This situation leaves Nebraska with just two scholarship quarterbacks in 2018.

The second scenario plays off the first one. If Lee leaves for the NFL, what if the highly-praised and advanced-for-his-age Gebbia beats out O’Brien? If O’Brien were to leave, it would leave just one scholarship quarterback on the roster.

Nebraska could very well roll the dice on not bringing in a 2018 quarterback and everything works out just fine. There also isn’t anything wrong with a contingency plan to keep your quarterback room from getting too small.

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