It's not often we tackle the world of college football recruiting here at TheB1GTime, so when we do you know something big is happening and that's exactly what took place today as the 2014 Huskers recruiting class took another blow on top of all that has already happened. Top three in-state prospect Harrison Phillips, a three-star 247composite recruit, rebuffed the home state Huskers in favor of Stanford.
However, I have officially committed to Stanford! I love the staff, recruits, and the success on the field and in the classroom. #NerdNation— Harrison Phillips (@horribleharry99) July 15, 2013
Congrats to Phillips on making what we are all sure was a tough choice, but it highlights a problem that some in Husker nation refuse to deal with or even acknowledge and that's the fact that Nebraska isn't what it once used to be.
Fact is, losing one of the top kids in your backyard in a state like Nebraska is a massive deal, not just because you're supposed to be NEBRASKA, but because exactly how many top level recruits come out of that state in a given year? It's not a great sign of your programs strength if you can't swing for the fences and land the top dog in your own state. We aren't talking about recruiting hotbeds like Florida, Ohio, Michigan, or Texas here... Hell, we aren't even talking about a state like Wisconsin that has been producing more and more D1 talent, yet year in and year out takes the top of the state and keeps them home for the most part.
Fact is that Stanford is nationally relevant program that in the here and now is a vastly better football and academic option for a recruit. Nebraska hasn't won a conference title since 1999 and they haven't been to a BCS bowl game since an appearance in the 2002 Rose Bowl.
Yes, the Huskers have won 7 division titles in the past 13 seasons, but what has that gotten them? Seven losses on the 2nd biggest stage possible in college football - the conference championship game. That's not a good look and in fact some have dubbed this team the loveable losers of college football. They get so close, yet seem to miss that top rung every time.
So, it's hard to blame a kid who wants to compete at the highest of levels athletically and academically to be attracted by a school a thousand miles or more away when he sees them in three straight BCS bowl games, winning conference championship games, and playing in the Rose Bowl.
While a general freak out shouldn't happen over one recruit rebuffing the home state school, that happens from time to time, it has to be yet another troubling sign for a team who's recruiting class is currently in the bottom half of the league and in danger of slipping outside the Top 50 in the nation all at the same time. As I write this Nebraska's 2014 class doesn't contain a single four-star recruit and that's not for a lack of effort. That my friend should NEVER happen at Nebraska, at least not at the Nebraska I grew up knowing back in the 1980's and 90's.
At what point in time do not only Huskers fans but Shawn Eichorst, the new AD, realize that something isn't heading in the right direction and begin to make plans to right the ship of one of college football's most iconic programs? Recruiting efforts like what is happening in 2014 aren't a good sign of things changing for the better to say the least.