, Nebraska (PressExposure) April 29, 2009 -- Football has always been a steady strength for the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers. Coach Bo Pelini took them to a record of 9-4 and 5-3 in Big 12 Conference play. The season was one of ups and downs but it did start and end on 3 game winning streaks. After Nebraska ended the regular season with their 3rd straight win, this one over Colorado, they went on to play in the Gator Bowl in JACKSONVILLE, Fl against the Clemson Tigers. Nebraska won this squeaker by a score of 26-21 when quarterback Joe Ganz came back after a horrible first half and a mild concussion to lead his team to a win and himself to hoist the game MVP trophy.
Coach Pelini doesn't believe in hyping up recruiting classes. He is a firm believer that everyone will know how the recruiting class was after 2 or 3 years. He refuses to talk about any one player specifically and when asked about his 21 member recruiting class he said, "It's a group. These guys are now members of our football team and they'll be coming in and they'll have the opportunity to compete. Not one of them was promised anything. The only thing I offered them was an opportunity to come in here and play with a great university and to compete for a job."
But who are these people? With Pelini's second recruiting class, and first full recruiting season, Nebraska addressed some needs in the secondary with the signing of three defensive backs and one player listed as an athlete. They are set to lose four safeties after the 2009 season. Nebraska took eight players from Texas and six from California but only two in state players, defensive lineman Cole Pensick from Lincoln Northeast high school and fullback C.J. Zimmerer from Omaha Gross high school, made the list. "We believe those are two states that are going to be very important to us, not only this year but in the future," Pelini said. "We thought we had to make some hay in those states, and we thought we were able to get something done this year. Hopefully, that's just a sign of things to come."
Nebraska's top recruits include quarterback Cody Green from San Antonio,Tx, defensive end Jason Ankrah from Gaithersburg, Md, running back Rex Burkhead from Plano, Tx, linebacker Chris Williams from Abilene, Tx, and defensive back Dijon Washington from Lawndale, Ca. Green threw for more than 3,200 yards and 36 touchdowns his senior season, and had only five interceptions. Nebraska had to fight Texas A&M for him and with the starting quarterback job open, Green's early arrival for spring practice can only help. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Ankrah had 55 tackles his senior season and Burkhead had more than 6,000 all-purpose yards in his career. Williams had 96 tackles, including 17 for loss his junior year, but suffered from ACL and MCL tears at the end of his senior year and Washington is ranked as the 13th best defensive back.