Before Nebraska football can find itself back in the Big Ten Championship Game, it must win another series of battles and ultimately win the West division’s recruiting war.
The Huskers currently find themselves ahead of the pack in the Big Ten West division in a very crucial aspect of today’s modern college football world: recruiting.
With 17 commitments as of this writing, 247Sports has the Big Red’s 2017 recruiting class ranked No. 25 in the nation and fifth in the Big Ten. However, what’s most important is who Nebraska leads in its conference rather than trails.
There are the usual suspects ahead of the Cornhuskers. Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and even Maryland, but the Terrapins have 28 commitments which skew the numbers a bit. Regardless, these are all Big Ten East division teams.
The next best West division team on the list is Northwestern at No. 8. Last year’s representative in the conference title game, Wisconsin, sits one spot behind while Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa continue the fall from recruiting grace. In what will come as no shock, Purdue sits at the bottom.
No West division team has a five-star prospect committed except for Iowa which claims legacy recruit A.J. Epenesa whose father played for the Hawkeyes. Think of when Baker Steinkuhler committed to Nebraska.
The Big Red does lead all of the teams in its division in four-star prospects committed with four. Northwestern, Wisconsin and Iowa all only have one committed per class.
Now, it’s time to see if the Nebraska football staff can finalize a big push up until National Signing Day so that it can wrap up this recruiting cycle in style and take the Big Ten West recruiting crown. Much like on the football field, winning the West is the first step. The bar will be set higher for the next year.
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