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Do you trust the development with this staff? We are going to find out!

Goal-line

Travel Squad
5 Year Member
I was doing my write-up for the signing class and caught something pretty glaring while doing my research. I looked back at the past 10 classes signed by Nebraska and who their OL recruits are and their average 247 composite rating for the class. Anything jump out at you?

2014 - .8955 (3)
2016 - .8948 (4)
2011 - .8883 (5)
2015 - .8826 (3)
2010 - .8803 (4)
2012 - .8753 (2)
2019 - .8709 (4)
2017 - .8594 (4)
2018 - .8581 (1)
2013 - .8513 (5)

I was floored to only see one class in the last decade be worse than our 2017, 2018, and 2019 offensive line class. Want further proof that Frost believes in Duval and their S&C department as well as their coaches ability to develop? Look no further than this 2019 class, where if it wasn't for Benhart, it would be ranked dead last in terms of OL talent according to 247 sports composite compared to the other 9 classes the past decade (with him it's still in the bottom 50%). Frost and his staff went after length and trust that if they get athletic frames into the Husker Power program, they can build a powerhouse. With Frost and the offense coupled with our strong walk-on program and the S&C program, this could get real fun to track.

Now, the glass is half full that ruins this entire thread is if Bland signs, the 2019 class jumps way up. Also, From the 2nd best class the last decade in 2016 you still have Raridon, Farniok and Wilson here, 2 of which are starters. The 2014 class is about as good as it gets, with Farmer, Gates, and Foster being a part of it (not sure why I put that, just thought it was interesting).

I can't wait to see what we turn these guys into. Feel free to point to this case study if we start having a dominant OL in the next couple years and what we may be able to do in spots like RB, QB, ILB, where we are getting guys with even higher floors like Wandale Robinson, Jackson Hannah, and Nick Henrich.

*note - guys like Cam Jurgens (who moved to OL from another position) or Willie Canty (who didn't make it) were not counted
I have been beating this horse to death (and received a lot of criticism on this forum) ever since joining this site. Great, not good or average, football teams are built from the inside out. Recruitng flash and dash guys will get you to a point, but to win championships, one must recruit and develop the line of scrimmage, both sides of the ball.
 
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I agree. Why do you think this is? Is it the lack of "performance measurables" that captures the interior linemen's play versus the measurables that skill position guys have? Of course, QB's have a gazillion stats to evaluate - RB's and WR's as well. DB's, LB's have defensive stats versus pass and run. DL have sacks, TFL's, 'hurries,' fumble recoveries, etc. What do OL guys have? Pancakes? "Penalties against?" They do have the personal measureables, height, weight, 40 times, vertical jump, lifting numbers, etc., but beyond that, they don't have nearly as many natural performance numbers that the other groups all have. So what does that leave? Character? "Heart?" Other subjective stuff...toughness, resistance to injury..."athleticism" (multi sport history)...I dunno...
It's hard to say and given that smarter people than me get paid a ton of money to think about this I don't know that I can improve on what they are thinking ;)

That said. I think it's a few things

1. OL play is a unit based group for performance. 2 great linemen with 3 lousy ones makes for a lousy OL
2. Even the best HS conferences are going to have teams where the better teams will dominate them up front physically and with scheme, potentially making mediocre interior linemen look dominant
3. Scheme from HS to college matters. A guy like Foster could be an excellent in a scheme with narrower splits, for instance. A guy who thrived in the old Denver scheme would struggle in the scheme Foster liked... and it's hard to project outside of the extremes
4. More and more guys are looking physically maxed in HS now. Great in HS, but nothing left when they get to college
5. The measureables are a good question. I like looking at shuttle times for the big, interior guys. Better shuttle usually means that short space agility, but some guys can be great at that and not move their feet good enough to not trip over the action on the inside of the line.

It's tough, but that's a bit of why I like using the walk ons so much they add depth at the least, but a combo of numbers, Duval, Ellis and Austin might give us a huge leg up over the competition in that area
 

AzHusker

All Big 10
10 Year Member
It's hard to say and given that smarter people than me get paid a ton of money to think about this I don't know that I can improve on what they are thinking ;)

That said. I think it's a few things

1. OL play is a unit based group for performance. 2 great linemen with 3 lousy ones makes for a lousy OL
2. Even the best HS conferences are going to have teams where the better teams will dominate them up front physically and with scheme, potentially making mediocre interior linemen look dominant
3. Scheme from HS to college matters. A guy like Foster could be an excellent in a scheme with narrower splits, for instance. A guy who thrived in the old Denver scheme would struggle in the scheme Foster liked... and it's hard to project outside of the extremes
4. More and more guys are looking physically maxed in HS now. Great in HS, but nothing left when they get to college
5. The measureables are a good question. I like looking at shuttle times for the big, interior guys. Better shuttle usually means that short space agility, but some guys can be great at that and not move their feet good enough to not trip over the action on the inside of the line.

It's tough, but that's a bit of why I like using the walk ons so much they add depth at the least, but a combo of numbers, Duval, Ellis and Austin might give us a huge leg up over the competition in that area
Outstanding information! :thumbsup:
 

Ackos

Heisman
15 Year Member
Iowas Numbers (I'm bored o_O )

2011 .8923 (3)
2017 .8912 (2)
2010 .8871 (2)
2019 .8761 (4)
2015 .8653 (5)
2018 .8649 (4)
2013 .8628 (2)
2016 .8357 (3)
2012 .8235 (4)
2014 .8198 (3)

Overall Iowas best recruiting class was 2018; 39th nationally, 8th in the BIG
In 2012, 13, and 17 Iowa had a OL recruit that had no rating. JUCO? Walkon?
 

ShortSideOption

All Big 10
10 Year Member
To be fair, in some of those higher rated years, we were looking at things several others were as well. We were competing for guys some other big name schools were chasing, yet we haven’t seen anything resembling a dominating line in decades. Maybe something different, and the type of blocking we’ll be asking them to execute will improve the performance as well. Just kicking out a thought.
I agree... here's something interesting for both sides to be able to stand on with "rankings matter" or they "don't matter".

2014 got us Gates, Foster, and Farmer was our #1 year. That produced 3/3 multiple season starters for us. Conversely, 2011 is our 3rd best rankings which produced Tyler Moore, Reeves, Klachko, Sterup, and Price. Only Sterup mattered from that, so maybe rankings don't matter as much.

Personally, I think our line didn't look dominant when it came to Riley's system, as our lack of stars showed. In a system like Beck or Frosts, our skill guys are going to make us look even better than our ratings because we are putting the defense in space and have athletic linemen. My prediction is guys like Fritzsche will play way above their rating.
 

ShortSideOption

All Big 10
10 Year Member
2014 - .8955 (3)
2016 - .8948 (4)
2011 - .8883 (5)
2015 - .8826 (3)
2010 - .8803 (4)
2012 - .8753 (2)
2019 - .8709 (4)
2017 - .8594 (4)
2018 - .8581 (1)
2013 - .8513 (5)
Iowas Numbers (I'm bored o_O )

2011 .8923 (3)
2017 .8912 (2)
2010 .8871 (2)
2019 .8761 (4)
2015 .8653 (5)
2018 .8649 (4)
2013 .8628 (2)
2016 .8357 (3)
2012 .8235 (4)
2014 .8198 (3)
My wife is making me go to some home and garden show... i'm bored too... let's combine these!

2014 .8955 (3)
2011 .8923 (3)
2016 .8948 (4)
2017 .8912 (2)
2011 .8883 (5)
2010 .8871 (2)
2015 .8826 (3)
2010 .8803 (4)

2019 .8761 (4)
2012 .8753 (2)
2019 .8709 (4)

2015 .8653 (5)
2018 .8649 (4)
2013 .8628 (2)

2017 .8594 (4)
2018 .8581 (1)
2013 .8513 (5)

2016 .8357 (3)
2012 .8235 (4)
2014 .8198 (3)

Iowa with 6 of the worst 9 OL classes between the two programs, yet there's no arguing who is producing at a higher level despite Nebraska having 7 of the top 11 classes in this graphic. Coaching matters. And OL that are big enough to play usually don't just come in that big, at least they haven't at Iowa and Wisconsin (again, Wisky set the rushing record on us starting a kid on the OL that came in to play QB).
 

huskrthill

Crap
10 Year Member
It was an interesting OP and caught my eye. I might not be able to take quite as positive approach to this as many. Yes I believe in the development 100% but........at some point we need to start with some higher upsides instead of taking the "we will develop"attitude. Just as we do every other position. I think we will get there and pretty sure SF and staff would like to get there too. In the mean time it will probably take us re-branding the old pipeline fears into the other teams before we can get some of the best recruits in.
I agree with you. Not every player canbe a "project," but I'm ok with things right now. I think the staff knows what they want, and they're going after them.

Just like with quarterbacks, not every lineman is going to fit what we want to do. If we miss on a 4-star lineman with great feet, maybe we take a chance on a slightly undersized but athletic 3-star instead of the other 4 star pass blocker with limited athleticism.
 

djlhuskerfan

Junior Varsity
10 Year Member
I agree with building your team from inside out. But I think it will take 2-3 years of development for o-linemen to reach max potential. Hopefully we make big jumps year by year and I think we will. This year I hope to see us improve on third or fourth and shorts. It was big issue last year. Develop the lines and have the perfect qb for your system and you will be competing for championships
 

Goal-line

Travel Squad
5 Year Member
It's hard to say and given that smarter people than me get paid a ton of money to think about this I don't know that I can improve on what they are thinking ;)

That said. I think it's a few things

1. OL play is a unit based group for performance. 2 great linemen with 3 lousy ones makes for a lousy OL
2. Even the best HS conferences are going to have teams where the better teams will dominate them up front physically and with scheme, potentially making mediocre interior linemen look dominant
3. Scheme from HS to college matters. A guy like Foster could be an excellent in a scheme with narrower splits, for instance. A guy who thrived in the old Denver scheme would struggle in the scheme Foster liked... and it's hard to project outside of the extremes
4. More and more guys are looking physically maxed in HS now. Great in HS, but nothing left when they get to college
5. The measureables are a good question. I like looking at shuttle times for the big, interior guys. Better shuttle usually means that short space agility, but some guys can be great at that and not move their feet good enough to not trip over the action on the inside of the line.

It's tough, but that's a bit of why I like using the walk ons so much they add depth at the least, but a combo of numbers, Duval, Ellis and Austin might give us a huge leg up over the competition in that area
Balls to the wall correct.
 

Bean

Gray Shirt
5 Year Member
My wife is making me go to some home and garden show... i'm bored too... let's combine these!

2014 .8955 (3)
2011 .8923 (3)
2016 .8948 (4)
2017 .8912 (2)
2011 .8883 (5)
2010 .8871 (2)
2015 .8826 (3)
2010 .8803 (4)

2019 .8761 (4)
2012 .8753 (2)
2019 .8709 (4)

2015 .8653 (5)
2018 .8649 (4)
2013 .8628 (2)

2017 .8594 (4)
2018 .8581 (1)
2013 .8513 (5)

2016 .8357 (3)
2012 .8235 (4)
2014 .8198 (3)

Iowa with 6 of the worst 9 OL classes between the two programs, yet there's no arguing who is producing at a higher level despite Nebraska having 7 of the top 11 classes in this graphic. Coaching matters. And OL that are big enough to play usually don't just come in that big, at least they haven't at Iowa and Wisconsin (again, Wisky set the rushing record on us starting a kid on the OL that came in to play QB).
Huskers are making serious gains in the weight room, and getting healthier too!
https://www.omaha.com/huskers/football/recruiting/signing-day/huskers-are-making-serious-gains-in-the-weight-room-and/article_0399b8a7-9592-5860-be68-5464d3caa7ff.html

HCSF and Duvall are going to get us there.
 

ShortSideOption

All Big 10
10 Year Member
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Greatest Fan of All

The Legend
10 Year Member
Huskers are making serious gains in the weight room, and getting healthier too!
https://www.omaha.com/huskers/football/recruiting/signing-day/huskers-are-making-serious-gains-in-the-weight-room-and/article_0399b8a7-9592-5860-be68-5464d3caa7ff.html

HCSF and Duvall are going to get us there.
Hard to believe, but some posters will be concerned about an article that says our players are bigger, faster, stronger, having fun, and have greater comraderie. For those, anything jointly out of S&C/SF may be part 2 of the marketing campaign they sold us last year. Frankly, I'm enthused to hear of all the progress...but, I'm all in with SF and Duval.
 
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LarstheRed

Junior Varsity
5 Year Member
I agree... here's something interesting for both sides to be able to stand on with "rankings matter" or they "don't matter".

2014 got us Gates, Foster, and Farmer was our #1 year. That produced 3/3 multiple season starters for us. Conversely, 2011 is our 3rd best rankings which produced Tyler Moore, Reeves, Klachko, Sterup, and Price. Only Sterup mattered from that, so maybe rankings don't matter as much.

Personally, I think our line didn't look dominant when it came to Riley's system, as our lack of stars showed. In a system like Beck or Frosts, our skill guys are going to make us look even better than our ratings because we are putting the defense in space and have athletic linemen. My prediction is guys like Fritzsche will play way above their rating.
I was watching ESPN Classic and they had a replay of one of the Texas Tech games against OU. I was noticing how different their linemen were looking by comparison to the D Line for OU. Long and pretty darn lean, and they had OU off balance the entire time. The pass blocking was good, especially because they weren’t expected to hold a pocket for an extended period. The run blocking was so fun to watch, because the Defense didn’t know where the blocks were going to come from. Angles and movement can mitigate some of the lack of mass it seemed.
 

Mack The Shark

Elite Poster
5 Year Member
I have been beating this horse to death (and received a lot of criticism on this forum) ever since joining this site. Great, not good or average, football teams are built from the inside out. Recruitng flash and dash guys will get you to a point, but to win championships, one must recruit and develop the line of scrimmage, both sides of the ball.
The only thing you've been criticized for is your silly assertion that the staff can't recruit both skill players and linemen simultaneously. Literally no one is arguing with you that recruiting skilled linemen is essential, but you act like every staff at NU is only recruiting skill players and then you crap in threads where people are discussing non-line recruits. We go through this at least once a recruiting cycle with you.
 

Bleed Red

Red Shirt
2 Year Member
I will repeat - IT'S ALL GOOD!!! :nod:

Something tells me that we will never again have major weaknesses in skill guys at Nebraska. Man, if you look at who these coaches have brought in already, it's very impressive. Hoping Mills turns into the banger that most think we need (and I sure as heck enjoy), he will have complimenting players all around. The QB recruiting is off the charts so far...though Scott did say that having Mariotta at Oregon did cause them to take a hit for a couple years in recruiting high end QB's.

I'm glad you chose to focus the microscope on the O-Line in this thread as well. These guys don't get nearly the media attention of the skill guys, yet are arguably more important play in, play out. I can't wait to see what Austin and company (including Duvall) can do with this current crop.

And I hope you are spot on in your observation that we are taking "under-ranked" OL and turning them into beasts. Nothing would make me happier than seeing a modern-day "pipeline" emerge before my eyes. It's so stinking exciting to potentially be in on the ground floor of improvements that I can really, really appreciate how difficult it is to make.
It will be interesting to watch going forward whether NU picks its QB 2-3 years ahead. Perhaps the staff thought AM was going to be really special and they better get the next couple guys committed and bought in before everyone figured that out?? If the 2021 QB isn't chosen before the 2020 season, maybe they are holding out for more of an elite player because AM isn't as likely to make that recruiting so difficult? And perhaps it won't be any different.
 
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