After losing secondary coach Terry Joseph to Texas A&M, Nebraska needed a replacement who not only could bolster the back four but help the program's recruiting efforts, particularly in the South.
Joseph's ties to the fertile South made him a particularly damaging loss for Nebraska, which is still trying to find its recruiting footing in the Big Ten.
The most significant thing about Joseph's replacement, Charlton Warren, isn't that he comes to Nebraska from a coordinator role at Air Force, or that he has coached Falcons defensive backs for the past nine seasons. Warren's recruiting experience -- he coordinated Air Force's recruiting from 2005-11 -- and his ties to the Southeast make him a strong fit to succeed Joseph.
Warren, whose hiring announcement comes on his 37th birthday, is an Atlanta native who played at Air Force but earned his MBA at Georgia College and State University. He also worked at Air Force bases in both Florida and Georgia following his playing career. Air Force's roster, as the Omaha World-Herald notes, has 14 players from Georgia, the most of any state other than Texas.
If Warren can maintain or enhance Nebraska's presence in areas such as Georgia and Colorado, the program shouldn't miss Joseph too much. It was a bit concerning that Nebraska lost Joseph because of money -- at a time when many Big Ten programs are investing more in their football programs -- but head coach Bo Pelini appears to have found a good replacement.
Although Air Force's defense struggled in 2012, the Falcons ranked in the top 10 in pass defense from 2009-11. Warren mentored standout such as Reggie Rembert and Carson Bird.
He inherits a secondary that loses cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste and nickel back Ciante Evans, but returns decent depth at safety as well as Josh Mitchell, who shined in the Gator Bowl win against Georgia.
But Warren's true value, at least in relation to Joseph, will come on the recruiting trail, where he'll begin his Huskers duties immediately.