To say that the Nebraska Cornhuskers 34-27 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes this past Saturday came in dramatic fashion would be understating it. By mustering up the biggest comeback in school history after being down 27-6 early in the third quarter – the Huskers did something absolutely nobody thought they had in them.
And on top of the obvious benefits (i.e. plus one in the wins column, better conference standing, etc.) the win may have also given them a boost in another key area: recruiting.
While the players on the field were busy making sure that the program stayed true to form in the present, the potential future stars of Nebraska football were in the Memorial Stadium stands – privileged enough to witness of one of the most pulse-racing, enthralling games to have been played in Lincoln in a long time.
Who were the dignitaries in attendance on that rainy Saturday evening? Well, the good folks at The Omaha World Herald were kind enough to put a little list together:
- Brandon Beaver, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound cornerback from Compton, Calif.
- Jordan Diggs, a 6-2, 190-pound safety from Cape Coral, Fla.
- D.J. Foster, a 6-foot, 185-pound athlete from Scottsdale, Ariz.
- Devin Fuller, a 6-foot, 185-pound quarterback from Old Tappan, N.J.
- T.J. Neal, a 6-1, 225-pound linebacker from McKeesport, Pa.
Just to put it in perspective – these are all highly-touted, nationally recognized superstar recruits. They are being sought after by some of the most prominent programs in the country, and Nebraska was just lucky enough to be a pit stop.
The team's gaping holes in the secondary notwithstanding, Beaver and Fuller are a paIr of talented quarterbacks who would fit very nicely in Lincoln. As the program has learned over the last couple of years, options at quarterback are absolutely vital to long-term growth and success.
Landing just one of the aforementioned players would be a huge coup for Nebraska. Landing multiple stars – well, that would be huge.
Fortunately for the Huskers, the game left an impression. Also via the Herald:
Beaver: “I loved it. They showed me so many things and really opened my eyes to what they are about. The game, the fans, the support, the academics are all top notch,” said the four-star corner. “I was really impressed with how close the team is too. The game atmosphere was so intense, I’ve never experienced anything like it before.”
Foster: “Nebraska moves right up there with Oregon and Arizona State,” he said. “I thought the distance would kind of bother me but it’s not that bad. The flight was only an hour and 45 minutes long and it was a direct flight. I like the small town feel they have, it was really eye-opening. We need to talk to my mom about Nebraska. I’m definitely going to consider them and I’m surprised how good of a time I had.”
Fuller: “It was one of the best visits I’ve ever had. The fans were high-fiving me and the game atmosphere was one of the best experiences. I really like the offense and how they use the quarterback. They definitely helped their chances with me.”
By putting together that historic comeback, the Huskers not only salvaged the current season, they may have also ensured that the program will secure at least a few quality recruits for future campaigns. Funny how a seemingly meaningless game against Ohio State -- on the heels of a shellacking courtesy of the Wisconsin Badgers -- can have such significant consequences, isn’t it?
Now let’s just hope Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini didn’t scare all of the kids away with his winning personality.