Lincoln Ė As the Nebraska baseball team finishes fall drills next week with the Red/White Series, the Husker newcomers were ranked among the top classes in the country by Collegiate Baseball magazine.

The publication rated Nebraska’s class of 23 newcomers, which includes 16 freshmen, six junior college transfers and Nebraska-Kearney transfer Joba Chamberlain, 16th nationally in this week’s issue. The ranking is the highest ever for a class of Husker newcomers, topping the previous high of 23rd in 2002 Ė a class that included current All-American third baseman Alex Gordon and All-Big 12 selections Quinton Robertson, Jake Mullinax and Zach Kroenke.

Head Coach Mike Anderson said the group’s high ranking is a testament to the work of assistant coaches Rob Childress, who serves as NU’s recruiting coordinator, and Andy Sawyers, as Nebraska improved 14 spots from last year’s ranking.

"Coach Childress and Coach Sawyers and our entire support staff worked extremely hard in helping us put this outstanding class together," Anderson said. "We've been excited for quite some time about this group's possibilities, and we have already seen during fall drills that several of these players have the potential to contribute immediately."

The class hails from nine states (Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming) and includes 11 players from Nebraska. Of the 16 freshmen, 11 were first-team all-state honorees last season, including four players who were chosen as their respective state’s player of the year in Johnny Dorn (Nebraska), Jake Opitz (Colorado), Tim Radmacher (Minnesota) and Charlie Shirek (North Dakota). The decorated class also includes three players - Ryan Wehrle, Ryan Bohanan and Shirek - who were on the 2004 American Baseball Coaches Association High School All-Region Teams which signifies the top 104 high school seniors in the country.

The class includes infielder Jake Opitz, a 39th-round selection of the Seattle Mariners in last summer’s draft, catcher Adam Moore, a 28th-round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2002, junior college All-Americans Brandon Buckman and Trey Adams and Jeff Christy, a 50th-round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers out of high school.

The Huskers were one of five Big 12 teams ranked among in the top 20 in the publication’s rankings, joining Texas (3), Oklahoma State (4), Oklahoma (10) and Texas A&M (14). Louisiana State had the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class, followed by Arizona State, Texas, Oklahoma State and Tulane.

Fans will have their first opportunity to see many of the new Huskers in action next week, as the Red/White Series takes place at Hawks Field, Oct. 12-16. The series is open to the public at no charge, while the concession stands will be open for purchases during the series.

Collegiate Baseball Recruiting Class Rankings

No.

School

Recruits

HS

JC

4-Year School

1.

Louisiana State

11

7

2

2

2.

Arizona State

15

12

2

1

3.

Texas

11

8

2

1

4.

Oklahoma State

23

4

17

2

5.

Tulane

12

9

1

2

6.

Arizona

10

8

1

1

7.

Miami (Fla.)

11

8

2

1

8.

Pepperdine

15

12

3

0

9.

South Carolina

15

7

8

0

10.

Oklahoma

22

11

10

1

11.

Stanford

7

7

0

0

12.

Clemson

15

8

5

2

13.

Rice

22

17

5

0

14.

Texas A&M

12

9

1

2

15.

Cal State Fullerton

11

8

3

0

16.

Nebraska

23

16

6

1

17.

Fresno State

19

14

4

1

18.

North Carolina

13

13

0

0

19.

Vanderbilt

11

10

0

1

20.

Southern California

13

11

2

0