- Craig Haubert, ESPN Staff Writer
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Nebraska is passionate about its college football, but the state known for its vast corn fields and love of Cornhuskers football produces a limited amount of FBS-level talent. Nebraska has never produced more than one ESPNU 150 prospect in any class, and the state usually only sees about 5-10 prospects sign with an FBS program in any given class. The pickings may be limited, but the state does produce some good offensive linemen. Since the ESPNU 150 began in 2006, the top player in the state has been an offensive lineman four times, and three of the state's four 150 prospects over that same span have resided in the trenches. When you think about the great Cornhuskers teams in the past, led by their rushing attacks and big offensive lines, it is not shocking that the state would be best at turning out big men. The 2011 class in the state is not a strong one, but as usual the top two prospects in the state are offensive linemen.
C Ryne Reeves (Crete, Neb./Crete)
The Cornhuskers' current offensive line has helped produce the fifth-ranked rushing attack in the nation, but the future looks bright as well for Nebraska. The Huskers have a commitment from Reeves, the state's top prospect and the nation's No. 2 center. The first prospect to commit to Nebraska's 2011 class, Reeves is a dominating run blocker who possesses a very good first step, great explosion and playing strength. We really like his aggressive and physical nature and Reeves is capable of knocking defenders off the ball. He will line up at guard and could play that position in Lincoln, but we feel he could have a great future with a little work as a center. Regardless of which interior-line position he plays we think Reeves is a great fit and should help keep Nebraska's ground attack strong.
Remember this name
ATH Daniel Davie (Beatrice, Neb./Beatrice)
Davie may not come with a lot of fanfare and it may take a little time before he can really contribute in Lincoln, but Cornhuskers fans should keep an eye on him. While he's a bit raw at this point, he possesses good athleticism and ability and could help Nebraska on either side of the ball. He could help Nebraska's passing attack as he possesses great straight-line speed, good hands and good body control to adjust to the ball. He needs work as a route runner, but has big-play ability. He could also be a member of the Blackshirts' defense as a safety. While he will need to work on the finer points of the position, he may project better there with his speed, range and length. The three-star athlete displays some nice upside as he physically and fundamentally develops and concentrates on one position.
Taking up residence
Here are the colleges that are doing the best with prospects from Nebraska.
The Cornhuskers are going to be heading into a new era next year when they leave the Big 12 for the Big Ten. From a recruiting standpoint, teams in the Big 12 won't be sad to see the Cornhuskers go and teams in the Big Ten won't be overly excited to see them come in. That is because the state of Nebraska produces a limited amount of talent and the few top recruits it does produce the Cornhuskers rarely let get away. This year, Nebraska has the state's top three prospects on board led by Reeves, the only four-star prospect from the state. Also on board, Davie and aggressive offensive tackle Zach Sterup (Hastings, Neb./Hastings).
The western part of Iowa borders the state of Nebraska so it is not unusual to see the Hawkeyes dip into the neighboring state to get a prospect or two from time to time. This year Iowa, which will soon be welcoming the Cornhuskers as a conference foe and adding a little spice to the recruiting battles between these two schools, has one commitment from a prospect from Nebraska -- OLB Cole Fisher (Omaha, Neb./Millard North), who offers some upside and versatility.
Like Iowa, the Cyclones are close by and will occasionally dip into Nebraska for a prospect. This year Iowa State has a commitment from diminutive but quick receiver Ted Lampkin (Omaha, Neb./Central), who could also help in the return game.
Craig Haubert is the recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting and has more than a decade of coaching experience.
Nebraska doesn't produce a big number of prospects, but it sure does produce big prospects, especially offensive linemen, writes Craig Haubert.