Let's go on a drive.
We like to make six points on each drive. Today I'll use the space to highlight a few of my favorites in this Husker recruiting class. It's become a popular thing in local media to give a "Super Six" and a sleeper.
Give credit to Mike Schaefer of HuskersIllustrated.com for rounding up those picks each year and posting them on his site. I'll pass that link on when it's available this year.
In the meantime, here are my six, and a sleeper. We'll count backwards today.
6. Brenden Jaimes, offensive tackle: One analyst who has watched him play a lot described him as a "monster" by his senior year. Watch his highlights. He's nasty. Take dudes for 10 or 15 yards kind of nasty. He's also at a position of need, and capable of playing either side. A bunch of the in-state schools wanted the kid from Austin, Texas, late in the game. That includes the Longhorns. But Mike Cavanaugh did a heckuva job to recognize and build relationships with him before others.
5. Damion Daniels, defensive tackle: I've seen him listed anywhere from 305 to 335 pounds. NU is calling him 310, but I suspect the scale might say otherwise. I'll have some more on Daniels in another story today, but his high school coach in Dallas will tell you all the reasons why this guy fits perfectly as a nose in a 3-4 defense. Yes, he's a big body for plugging, but he's got really good feet too. It might take a little time to adjust to college ball and the conditioning required to play that position. It's a lot to ask anyone to jump to the next level and play key snaps at D-tackle in college right away. Remember that Vincent Valentine, playing in the Super Bowl this Sunday, redshirted. But as you talk about recruits in this class who on paper seem to fit a role perfectly in Bob Diaco's defense, Daniels fits the bill.
4. Tristan Gebbia, quarterback: The dude threw for the second most yards in California high school history. Yes, there are a bunch of freak athletes he's throwing the ball too. But watch his work. He's got a presence, and a real touch on his passes. He can fit throws into small windows. He also seems to draw people together. Key quality for a quarterback that I think NU has lacked for a while.
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Here's how his high school teammate Keyshawn Johnson Jr. described him in an interview with me in December: "I came in thinking he was going to be a guy who didn't really talk or went through the motions. Then I started to really understand and meet the kid, and I started to see that this guy is someone you would want to go to battle with. Someone you would be on the front line of an army with. He's the definition of a leader, in my opinion."
3. Avery Roberts, linebacker: Love that Nebraska got a recruit out of Delaware. The fact NU was able to become the frontrunner over Penn State should still be one of the most appreciated accomplishments in this Husker recruiting class. Give Trent Bray credit there.
With any of these recruits you can turn on their highlights and say, OK, he's really good. But there are a few where you say, 'OK, that's just unfair.' It's unfair watching Roberts against competition on his highlights. He's already 6-1, 220 and on campus eating and lifting under Nebraska's watch. Wouldn't be surprised at all if he plays as true freshman. Regardless, with good health, he should have an impact sooner than later.
2. Tyjon Lindsey, wide receiver: I consider Lindsey probably the headliner of this class to most. Ohio State didn't just give him up. The Buckeyes wanted him and he changed course and went to Nebraska. Confident, but not cocky, Mike Riley described him. Quick, very. Elusive, very. It's a new level of ball and not every top prospect makes the jump look easy like they're Curtis Samuel. But I'm sure Riley and Danny Langsdorf can't wait to find ways to get the ball in the hands of young up-and-comers like Lindsey and JD Spielman.
1. Elijah Blades, cornerback: The 6-2, 170-pound corner has all the traits you ask for in that position. He's a top-100 recruit and it should not soon be lost how impressive it was that Donte' Williams, less than two months on the job at Nebraska, got the West Coast recruit to come this way. "Elijah Blades is not here without Donte' Williams. There's no doubt about it," Riley said. Like Lamar Jackson last year, Blades will arrive with expectations to help right away. If you heard uttered or heard that phrase 'talent gap' after Nebraska's bowl game, guys like Blades are what those with that opinion think of when it comes to closing that gap.
Sleeper - Ben Miles, fullback: Maybe some would say he doesn't qualify as a sleeper now after how Riley talked about all the way Nebraska could use the fullback on Signing Day. But prior to the last couple days, I didn't hear a lot of people talking about Miles. But NU's head coach let you know exactly why they took him. They like him not just as a fullback, but as an H-back, a versatile chess piece. In playing that guessing game about freshmen you think could play right away, I might put Miles atop that list because it seems like these coaches brought him here with roles already envisioned.
OK, let's hear yours.