Big Ten Signing Day: Huskers dip into Illinois for top recruits

Big Ten Signing Day: Huskers dip into Illinois for top recruits
February 6, 2014, 6:15 pm
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Vinnie Duber

There are few days as frantic as National Signing Day. And sometimes it can be a difficult enough task to try and keep up with news of one team, let alone 12 of them.

Well, now that all the Signing Day hubbub has died down, it’s a good time to take a look at what happened in the Big Ten. How did the teams do? Who are the big-name recruits coming to the conference next season? And how happy were the coaches with their respective hauls? We’ve broken it down, team-by-team.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

(Rivals rankings: 5th Big Ten, 32nd nationally)

Despite the team’s record in recent seasons, Bo Pelini proved with his 2014 recruiting class that Nebraska is still a national program. Just three of the 24 recruits signed up are from the Cornhusker State, with the top two actually hailing from Illinois, the thick of Big Ten country: Offensive lineman Tanner Farmer is from the St. Louis area, and running back Mikale Wilbon went to De La Salle. The Huskers’ other two four-star recruits also come from outside Nebraska: Wide receiver Monte Harrison is from the Kansas City area, while offensive lineman Nick Gates is from Las Vegas.

[MORE: Shot at Northwestern reminds of Illini in-state struggles]

Recruits in Rivals 250:

82. Tanner Farmer, four-star offensive lineman (Highland, Ill.)
168. Mikale Wilbon, four-star running back (Chicago, Ill.)

Coach speak: “We’re going to want them to come in and work hard. That’s what we want out of each and every one of them, to develop,” Pelini said. “I know everybody wants to talk about these guys like they’re ready to be All-Pros. They’re not. They’re young men that, really across the country, have potential and have a lot of work ahead of them. A lot of work to do and a lot of development that needs to be made. All you have to do is look at the rosters from the Super Bowl. Very few five stars, very few four stars. Lots of three stars, lots of two stars, and a bunch of guys that were unranked. At the end of the day, there’s a lot of talent out there. How people are going to develop, who knows. I’ll have a lot better idea how good this class is, to be honest with you, three or four years from now. Like I said, I feel really good about the potential of this group, but it’s our job now to develop this group into what we saw when we recruited them in the first place.”