As great as it was for Kendall Bussey to become part of the 2015 Husker football recruiting class, it’s equally disappointing to learn he may leave it as was found out the evening of Wed, Nov. 12. What’s worse, Nebraska is now faced with a number of problems to address.
Ranked as a high three-star prospect by the 247Sports Composite Index, Bussey’s good. Very good. He has offers from three programs in the College Football Playoff committee’s current Top 10, including two in the “Final Four” (Nos. 1 Mississippi State, 4. TCU and 6. Arizona State).
Nebraska’s 2015 class is smaller than usual, so the staff has to be picky about who it eventually accepts. Once the Huskers got their man in Bussey, they stopped recruiting the position.
“They vowed not to recruit another running back in this class. They think that he’s special. They are fearful to be able to hold onto him, although we’ve visited three times.” – Kendall Bussey, Sr.; SportsNOLA.com
That’s very generous, but in the current age of recruiting, Pelini and company made a major mistake.
Bussey committed in on February 1. It’s now mid-November. Assuming Nebraska kept its promise, that’s nine-plus months of not recruiting another back. The promise was a mistake in today’s recruiting climate.
Regardless of good intentions, a staff cannot afford to make those sorts of guarantees to a recruit or their families. Now, the only running back in the Huskers’ newest class may not even send a fax to Lincoln.247Sports.com
The Omaha World-Herald’s Sam McKewon quoted Bussey Sr. as saying “He has a soft spot for Tennessee, but on the ‘business decision’ side of things, I think he’s got a great opportunity to play at Nebraska and play early.”
According to McKewon, the elder Bussey placed a phone call to Nebraska wide receivers coach Rich Fisher, his primary recruiter who was brought up to speed on the decision.
“I’m fighting for Nebraska,” Bussey said. “But he’s the one who has to make the choice.”
That’s the way it should be.
However, on that same “business decision side”, Nebraska has to be able to watch out for its own interests. The younger Bussey should be able to go wherever he pleases, but the Huskers need a stud running back to replace Ameer Abdullah.
Where does Nebraska go from here? With Abdullah graduating, that leaves Imani Cross, Terrell Newby, Adam Taylor and Mikale Wilbon for the 2015 season. While Bussey’s departure would be nothing short of a gut punch, this is a position that Pelini’s staff has traditionally recruited well.
Abdullah and Rex Burkhead are two excellent examples of this. It’s also too early to declare any other backs in the Husker stable a bust.
It’s time to poach and go hard to the hoop doing so.
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A target has to be identified, one with a current Nebraska offer is ideal.
A desire to play in the Big Ten would be an obvious plus. It never hurts to have a program that’s stuffed full of uncertainty when it comes to a coach.
Finally, Nebraska can sell that it gets its backs into the spotlight, The League or wherever they want to shine.
If only there was someone like that available to flip.
Oh wait, there is.
Current Michigan commit Michael Weber pledged to the Wolverines in early August, before things went all dumpster fire. The 5′ 10″, 205-pounder out of Detroit would be a great addition to the class if Bussey bolts.
Weber’s rated as the No. 2 prospect in the state of Michigan as well as the No. 13 running back and No. 112 prospect in the nation and has offers Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin and USC among others.
As is the case with Bussey, Weber would see just as much opportunity for immediate playing time.
The good news is that Bussey Sr. encouraged wide receiver Stanley Morgan to visit Nebraska. Obviously he enjoyed Lincoln as he’s a member of the current class.
The Busseys have every right to explore their options and go with what feels right (Kendall most of all). However, while Nebraska would greatly benefit from the Louisianan’s services, the Huskers can’t be left without a running back in their class come February.
Business is business.