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updated: 2/5/2014 5:24 PM

Analysts like Nebraska's lineman recruits

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Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska coach Bo Pelini signed 24 football players to letters of intent Wednesday, with analysts saying the strengths of the class are the offensive and defensive linemen.

The class is made up of players from 13 states and includes 22 high school seniors and two junior-college transfers.

D.J. Foster out of Lincoln Southeast, Tanner Farmer of Highland, Ill., and Nick Gates of Las Vegas are the most heralded of the four offensive linemen. Joe Keels of Highland Community College in Kansas is the best of the four defensive linemen.

Pelini and his staff were dealt a blow when defensive lineman Blake McClain of Jacksonville, Fla., backed out of his verbal commitment and signed with South Carolina.



National Rankings (Rivals 32; Scout 33).

Best in class: Monte Harrison, WR, Lee's Summit, Mo. He's a dynamic athlete who led his West High team to a state championship. The question is whether he'll show up in Lincoln or turn pro in baseball. A speedy and strong-armed outfielder, he's pegged as a top-50 MLB draft pick.

Best of the rest: Tanner Farmer, OL, Highland, Ill. He made an impressive showing at the Under Armour All-Star Game and is ranked among the best offensive line prospects in the country. He and fellow O-lineman D.J. Foster out of Lincoln will make bids for early playing time.

Late addition: Mikale Wilbon, RB, Chicago. He flipped from Vanderbilt after James Franklin took the Penn State coaching job. He's been injury prone but has the tools to be a great one.

One that got away: Blake McClain, DL, Jacksonville, Fla. He flipped twice down the stretch, de-committing from Florida State, pledging to Nebraska and signing with South Carolina.

NOTE: Nebraska secured verbal commitments from a half-dozen players in the two weeks before signing day, but the strong finish was mitigated by the loss of McClain and three others who went elsewhere.

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