Nebraska's recruiting picks up steam

The Big Red weekend met several goals for Nebraska, not the least of which was mitigating fan panic about the Huskers' 2014 recruiting class.

Angst usually runs high in the football-obsessed Cornhusker State, and fans had some understandable concern when June began and Nebraska's commits total for 2014 sat at just two. The number figured to climb during Nebraska's top recruiting weekend of the summer, but by how much?

The Huskers ended up adding four verbal commitments during Big Red weekend, to go along with two pledges -- offensive lineman Tanner Farmer and quarterback Zack Darlington -- in the days leading up to the event. Nebraska now has added seven recruits since June 7, bringing its 2014 total to a respectable nine.

Darlington is the name that jumps out, not only because of the position he plays but the fact that he turned down Ohio State for the Huskers. RecruitingNation rates Darlington as a four-star prospect and the No. 11 quarterback in the 2014 class. Nebraska's post-Taylor Martinez quarterback situation looks solid now with Darlington, Tommy Armstrong and Johnny Stanton.

Fans love when their teams win recruiting battles, and they chafe when their teams lose homegrown products. Nebraska made sure the latter didn't happen in securing pledges from two in-state players -- offensive lineman D.J. Foster and defensive lineman Mick Stoltenberg -- during the weekend. A four-star prospect, Foster is the nation's No. 13 guard and the top in-state prospect according to RecruitingNation.

Nebraska also continued to add from the state of Texas, securing a commitment from defensive back Trai Mosley. Although Nebraska's move from the Big 12 to the Big Ten has increased its challenge to recruit the Lone Star State, the Huskers now have three pledges from Texans for the 2014 class.

Colleague Mitch Sherman wrote of Nebraska's surge: "The past 72 hours in Lincoln likely marked the most important summer stretch of recruiting in coach Bo Pelini’s 5-plus years."

It certainly puts Nebraska in a more comfortable position relative to the rest of the Big Ten, as four programs -- Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State and Penn State -- already have 10 or more pledges for the 2014 class.

Several other prospects could commit before the season, when Nebraska typically makes its biggest push as recruits make their official visits to Lincoln.