Coach Pelini talks about the 2011 Recruiting Class
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Nebraska Football Signing Day Central

By NU Athletic Communications

2011 Nebraska Football Recruiting Class

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown High School/Junior College  
Ameer Abdullah RB 5'9" 180 Homewood, Ala. Homewood HS  Video
Taariq Allen WR 6'3" 190 Weston, Mass. The Rivers School  Video
Mauro Bondi PK 6'0" 190 Boca Raton, Fla. West Boca Raton HS  Video
Joseph Carter DE 6'5" 255 Jackson, S.C. Silver Bluff HS  Video
Daniel Davie WR 6'1" 185 Beatrice, Neb. Beatrice HS Video
Aaron Green RB 5'11" 190 San Antonio, Texas Madison HS  Video
Charles Jackson DB 5'11" 180 Spring, Texas Klein Collins HS  Video
Ryan Klachko OL 6'4" 285 Springfield, Ill. Sacred Heart-Griffin HS  Video
Tyler Moore* OL 6'6" 300 Clearwater, Fla. Countryside, HS  Video
Todd Peat Jr. DT 6'3" 295 Tempe, Ariz. Corona Del Sol HS  Video
Max Pirman LB 6'5" 220 Orville, Ohio Orville HS  Video
Givens Price OL 6'4" 275 Houston, Texas Alief Taylor HS  Video
Ryne Reeves OL 6'3" 295 Crete, Neb. Crete HS  Video
David Santos LB 6'0" 200 Spring, Texas Klein Collins HS
Daimion Stafford DB 6'1" 210 Norco, Calif. Norco HS/Chaffey College  Video
Bubba Starling QB 6'5" 195 Gardner, Kan. Gardner Edgerton HS  Video
Zach Sterup OL 6'8" 265 Hastings, Neb. Hastings St. Cecilia  Video
David Sutton TE 6'3" 250 Lincoln, Neb. Southeast HS  Video
Jamal Turner* QB 6'1" 175 Arlington, Texas Sam Houston HS  Video
Kevin Williams* DT 6'2" 275 Holland, Ohio Springfield HS  Video
Tyson Broekemeier QB 6-1  180  Aurora, Neb.  Aurora HS   
Sam Burtch WR 6-3  175  Elmwood, Neb.  Elmwood-Murdock HS   
Jack Gangwish LB 6-2  215  Wood River, Neb.  Wood River HS   
Aaron Hayes OL  6-3  265  Elkhorn, Neb.  Elkhorn HS   
Adam Kucera OL  6-6  285  Litchfield, Neb.  Litchfield HS   
Murat Kuzu RB  5-11  190  Plano, Texas  Plano Senior HS   
Anthony Ridder LB  6-2  195  West Point, Neb.  West Point Central Catholic HS   
Eddie Ridder TE/DE  6-6  225  Elkhorn, Neb.  Mount Michael Benedictine HS   
Will Sailors OL  6-3  260  Lincoln, Neb.  Lincoln Northeast HS   
Derek Slaughter LB  5-11  200  Pelham, Ala.  Pelham HS   
Richard Wynne Jr. RB  5-9  175  Omaha, Neb.  Creighton Prep HS   

*enrolled at Nebraska in January

The Class Breakdown:
Total: 20; Freshmen: 18; Junior College Transfers: 2

By State:  Texas (5):
Green (San Antonio); Jackson (Spring); Price (Houston); Santos (Spring); Turner (Arlington); Nebraska (4): Davie (Beatrice); Reeves (Crete); Sterup (Hastings); Sutton (Lincoln); Florida (2): Bondi (Boca Raton); Moore (Clearwater); Ohio (2): Pirman (Orrville); Williams (Holland); Alabama (1): Abdullah (Homewood); Arizona (1): Peat Jr. (Tempe); California (1): Stafford (Norco); Illinois (1): Klachko (Springfield); Kansas (1): Starling (Gardner); Massachusetts (1): Allen (Weston); South Carolina (1): Carter (Jackson).

By Position (First Position Listed):
Offense (12): QB-Starling, Turner; RB-Abdullah, Green; WR-Allen, Davie; TE-Sutton; OL-Klachko, Moore, Price, Reeves, Sterup
Defense (7): DL-Carter, Peat Jr., Pirman, Williams; LB-Santos; DB-Jackson, Stafford
Kicker (1): Bondi

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini
On the class
"I'm excited about the class we have coming in. I believe it's a strong class and I believe we're a stronger program because of it. I appreciate all the coaches and their efforts in what they've done to put together a strong class. It addresses our needs and I like our numbers now in our scholarship count. We have some talented, high character young men that have committed to our program. They understand what our culture and program is about. I have a lot of belief in the young men that are coming into this program. Once again I think the efforts of our coaches was tremendous. We covered a lot of ground and we have a lot of different areas represented.

On the walk-ons
"We have a very, very strong walk-on class. We could only announce a total of 11 today but we'll have a total of 15 walk-ons joining the program, nine in-state, two out-of-state and four more will be joining us. There are certain things that have to be done before you can release that whole class. As that happens and they finish paying their fees, being admitted and those types of things we'll announce the last four.

Between the scholarship guys and the walk-ons it is an extremely strong class and one that I think will be a tremendous addition to our program and make us better for years to come."

On the coaching staff's contributions
"Once again I'd like to thank the coaches for their efforts. It's not easy. It takes a lot of time away from your family on the road. I'm proud of how these coaches worked and I feel great about the class that is coming in."

On early start
"I think it's pretty obvious now that recruiting is sped up. You have to have an impact early. Some years you're going to have more success early and some years you're not. I think there are a lot of different factors. I thought we had success all the way through. I think we felt really good identifying the guys we wanted to go after and we finished strong. I like where we started and I'm really happy about how it finished. Numbers-wise it came out exactly how we wanted it to come out. I feel real good about that and I think we're a stronger football team because of it."

On when he knew Todd Peat would sign and what he adds to the class
"We knew last night. Along with the rest of the group, he is a very talented young man with a lot of character. He brings a lot to the table and we're happy to get that. That came down to the end and we felt real good that he signed on."

On if he noticed a difference in recruiting with the move to the Big Ten Conference
"We didn't change a lot. We had gone down the road with a lot of guys. Recruiting starts a year in advance, sometimes two years in advance, and we didn't know we were going to the Big Ten until June of last year. We were pretty far along in (already) recruiting some student-athletes. I can say this - the reaction of the guys we had committed before and as we moved forward was tremendous. Obviously the Big Ten gets a lot of respect nationwide. I think it will be a positive for us going forward in the future."

On how Nebraska's recent defensive success helps in recruiting
"I think people look at history and we've (current staff) had a history of playing good defense. That always helps you. What we try to sell in the recruiting process is the fact that we're trying to develop them for the rest of their lives, so that when they walk out of here they are ready for the next step in their lives. We're going to be committed to them and we ask for a commitment from them in return. When you take that approach you get the right kids in your program, because they are coming here for the right reasons. Obviously, having success defensively helps with the defensive guys but I think in the end we're talking about the University of Nebraska and that 'N' sells itself. The history, culture and resources here is very attractive to a lot of student-athletes."

On if the staff can also close commitments on offensive guys
"Absolutely. I think we did all along. Going forward there is no doubt. We're a better offensive football team now as we're bringing in some tremendous student-athletes. We've had great response."

On if the amount of commits from Texas could change with the move to the Big Ten Conference
"(It's) really a non-issue. When you look at it, we only play a game or two in the state of Texas per year. The coverage that the Big Ten gets in Dallas and the state of Texas in tremendous. In a lot of respects it's better than what you get in the Big 12. There were no issues and it really didn't even come up much because I think the kids have been excited about playing in the Big Ten and the things that lie in store for the future.

On if the coaching staff being together has helped the success of recruiting
"I think the longer you're together you have a better idea of who you want to target and where you want to target. The longer you're together it becomes easier to get on the same page. We've been on the same page and I think we're already taking some steps toward next year. We've identified a lot of guys that are going to fit our program and I think that's all a positive."

On Zach Sterup (Hastings, Neb.)
"I don't really like to comment on guys individually but I think Zach has tremendous potential and is a tremendous athlete and a great person. That's what we look for first. First of all, (we look for) what they are like character-wise and what they bring to the table. I think Zach fit all the criteria. I think he has a tremendous future ahead of him and that's the way we feel about our class as a whole."

On Bubba Starling and the chances of keeping him at Nebraska despite the MLB Draft
"It's not a recruiting process. Bubba will be here in the summer. I just visited with Bubba last Thursday night when I went to see him play basketball. You're not going to be another young man who's more excited about coming here to play football. The rest of that process will take care of itself. I don't think anybody - myself, Bubba, his family - has a crystal ball to look into the future and see exactly what's going to happen. I do know that right now he's fully committed to coming to Nebraska and impacting our football program."

On kicker Mauro Bondi
"We feel good about getting Mauro in the program. We have some guys in the program that are very capable but we were only going to take a kicker if we got the right guy. We spent countless hours identifying those guys. John Papuchis headed that up. We found the right guy. In the end Mauro was the guy we wanted. We targeted him, developed a good relationship and built some trust. He decided this was the place for him to come play and we're ecstatic about it. He's going to be a great addition to the tremendous tradition we've had at kicker here at Nebraska."

On questions from recruits on the offensive system
"Bottom line is you develop a belief in the coaches. They put a trust in you and you're going to put them in a position to be successful. I don't think there's one young man who doesn't think that's not going to be the case. We're excited about going forward. I know each and every one of these recruits believes in what we have and what we're going to be doing."

On if questions differ from year to year
"It differs on the young man. In the end, to me it's about developing a trust and a relationship between the young men and the coaches, so that they have a belief in you and you have a belief in them. It's a two-way street. You have to be able to communicate well. We don't make promises. The young men that come into our program understand that they're going to get what they earn. As long as you're honest with them every step of the way - I don't believe you're out there trying to trick them into coming here or anything else. You're very honest along the way and you build trust. I think when you take that approach you get the right kids because they come here for the right reasons."

On Indiana's Kevin Wilson reporting that Corey Raymond is joining Nebraska's coaching staff
"I'm not taking anything but recruiting questions today, but I can say this - I have not hired any coaches up to this point. It's been obvious that we've had a defensive position open for a while now but I can say that no one has been hired here yet."

On if Marvin Sanders is still on the coaching staff
"I already said that I'm not talking about anything but recruiting today. I'll address staff questions at another time."

On if he's notified any recruits of staff changes
"No because we haven't had any changes to this point."

On Braylon Heard
"I can't really speak about Braylon today. That's not something I can talk about. He's not on the list."

On running backs Aaron Green and Ameer Abdullah
"I like them a lot. They're tremendous players, great kids. They have great potential to be great players for a long time."

On if he's happy about the in-state commits
"We felt not only scholarship-wise but walk-on-wise that we got the best kids in the state of Nebraska. I think we got 95 percent of the guys we targeted. There's a young man here or there, especially walk-on-wise, that we weren't able to get, but overall we feel great about it. Like I said, these are not only young men that are good football players, but (also) good people and guys that want to be here. We feel really good about them."

On the role offensive coordinator Shawn Watson played and the direction of the offense in 2011
"We don't really talk a lot about that. Like I said we're a lot bigger picture in the recruiting process. I think our coaches do a good job of conveying that. We don't get real specific. Obviously those questions come up and you address them as they come up individually."

On if there were any areas they do not feel good about
"No, we feel pretty good about our numbers and what we wanted to do going in. We started to adjust that a little bit but it's a little hard to adjust, especially late. I feel really good about the guys we got and positions we have them in. I feel real comfortable."

On if there are changes coming if that is a problem to not inform the recruits
"No, not at all. In the end, I'm still the head coach. There's always going to changes. I shouldn't say always, but there's going to be changes. It happens. It's part of the deal. I know there's a trust there. The young men trust me, they trust the staff and they trust the University of Nebraska. They're going to be coached in such a way that they're going to be very happy with. I talk about trust and I believe that's a big part of it."

On a timetable for when he wants to have the coaching staff set
"I don't really live on timetables. I feel really good about where we are staff-wise."

On if he's looking at multiple changes right now
"I'm not talking about that anymore. I'm done with that discussion."

On doing the press conference on phone instead of in-person
"No reason, honestly. One was I was a little bit concerned about the weather but it turned out to be pretty good. A number of places were thinking about going down that road and I thought it would be the right thing to do. I kind of like the format to be honest with you. I don't see much of a difference."

On if he will contact Indiana's Kevin Wilson about him saying Corey Raymond was coming to Nebraska
"No. I know him pretty well so it's not a real big issue."

On if the media can take his word that it's a trustworthy source
"You can do anything you want. That's up to you. Like I said, this is about recruiting today. I'll address staff when the time is right."


**Below is the order and time that the 2011 recruits sent their signed documents**

2:31PM - The 16th official commit for the 2011 recruiting class is 6'1" 210lb DB Daimion Stafford from Norco, Calif.

1:52PM - David Sutton, a 6'3" 250lb TE from Lincoln Nebraska, becomes the 15th player to commit as a scholarship signee.

1:24PM - The 14th player to send in his letter of intent is 6'3" 295lb DT Todd Peat Jr. from Tempe, Ariz.

11:20AM - Top RB recruit Aaron Green (5'11", 190lb) has sent in his national letter of intent.

9:24AM - Max Pirman a 6'5" 220lb LB is the 12th player to send in his national letter of intent.

9:05AM - The first QB to send in his letter of intent is 6'5" 195lb Bubba Starling.

8:45AM - The last OL of the 2011 recruiting class to send in his LOI is 6'3", 275lb Ryne Reeves from Crete, Neb.

8:39AM - Taariq Allen is the 9th player to send in his LOI, he is a 6'3" 190lb WR from Weston, Mass.

8:14AM - The 8th official commit for the 2011 recruiting class is Ryan Klachko, a 6'4" 285lb OL from Springfield, Ill.

8:12AM - Daniel Davie, a 6' 185lb DB from Beatrice, NE is the 7th player to send in his national letter of intent.

7:54AM - The 6th commit is from 5'9", 180lb RB Ameer Abdullah.

7:50AM - Givens Price, a 6'4" 275lb OL from Houston, Texas is the 5th official commit.

7:45AM - Teammates Charles Jackson (5'11", 180lb DB) and David Santos (6'1", 210lb LB) from Klein Collins High School are the 3rd and 4th official commits for the 2011 recruiting class.

7:15AM - Our second commit is Zach Sterup from Hastings, Neb.  He is 6'8", 265lb OL from Hastings St. Cecilia High School.

7:03AM - Our first LOI comes from Mauro Bondi, a 6'1" kicker from Boca Raton Florida.

Players already enrolled at the University of Nebraska



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