As the Nebraska Cornhuskers‘ coaching staff sprints toward the finish line looking to fill up a number of spots in the 2014 class, the Big Red coaches may have to take take a few flyers. In recruiting circles, these are often referred to as “diamonds in the rough.”
The reaction to accepting their commitments usually isn’t great. Most of the time, it’s downright abhorrent. However, the benefit of the doubt often depends on how well the staff’s been recruiting during the entire cycle. Considering that California is one of the most talent-rich areas in the country, just because a kid is off the radar doesn’t make him a bust from the get-go.
Today, we’re going to examine three prospects that could surprise down the line should the Huskers snag them.
RB/ATH Anthony Wright – Calabasas High School
At 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, Wright has a frame that could be used on either side of the ball with proper training. His ability to hit holes once he approaches the line of scrimmage is good, but he doesn’t quite have the burst you’d like to see in a running back.
Wright doesn’t shy away from contact, and that physical presence could land him a job in a defensive backfield. He could eventually work well as the Peso nickel/safety hybrid in Bo Pelini‘s defense.
He’s also not afraid of venturing out into the world, a good sign for Nebraska should they pursue him.
During an interview with Josh Webb of FSBulldogs.com, he said, “I actually don’t care what the environment is or where it’s at. I’ll go anywhere. Where ever a college needs me, I’m willing to go. I’ll work from far away. Distance is not a factor in my decision for a school.”
WR Dashawn Gordon - Los Alamitos High School
Standing 5-foot-9 and weighing 165 pounds, Gordon projects as a standard slot receiver. While he’s gaining mass to hold up against the next level of physicality in the slot, a number of teams could use a shifty returner, including Nebraska.
There may be others in the wings ready to take over when Jamal Turner departs. Taking Gordon on as a project could pay dividends for a solid receiving corps.
WR Daniel Khan - Notre Dame High School
Khan’s far from another random receiver. Sure, he has the standard size of another guy in the slot (5-foot-11, 175 pounds), but he also has offers from Princeton and Yale. Surely there’s room on a roster for a potential Academic All-American. Aside from his prowess in the classroom, he has a trait that many receivers getting far more attention often struggle with.
He catches with his hands rather than his body far more often.
There’s nothing wrong with a receiver who likes a little contact and will block downfield either. Aside from his hips being stiffer than preferable at this point in his development, he appears to be a prospect worth taking a chance on.