Forget for a moment what I think of Nebraska's 2014 scholarship recruiting class.

The nature of college football recruiting is for the most part abhorrent to me, a factor that admittedly clouds my views.

Josh Helmholdt, however, is a bona fide expert in the field. As the Midwest region guru for widely respected Rivals.com, he pays close attention to Nebraska and the rest of the Big Ten.

He likes what he sees in Nebraska's class of 2014, and from the Big Ten in general.

And yes, he would tell you otherwise.

He thinks the Husker staff does "a very good job" recruiting, particularly considering the school's location.

"Any kid that comes to Nebraska from Texas or Georgia or Florida or California or Nevada — places they're getting kids from — that's a major culture change," Helmholdt said.

Nebraska's 2014 crop — ranked 30th nationally by Rivals (good for fifth in the Big Ten) — must be assessed in the proper context. The Husker coaching staff was left twisting in the wind much of this season, unsure of its future in the eyes of university brass, until athletic director Shawn Eichorst's lukewarm statement of support Nov. 30.

Consequently, morale among Nebraska coaches and players was low late in the regular season. That's a fact. It undoubtedly affected recruiting.

Through it all, Nebraska put together a fairly well-rounded class. What I like most is NU's success in the South and Southeast — strong football country — including four verbal commitments from both the states of Texas and Florida, as well as three from Louisiana.

Nebraska may not always get the pick of the litter in the South and Southeast. But there's enough talent to go around. Hidden gems abound. Lavonte David was a two-star recruit out of powerhouse Miami (Fla.) Northwestern High (he became a five-star player in junior college). Alfonzo Dennard was a small-town Georgia kid who was ignored by SEC schools, then blossomed in college.

Same goes for Alfonzo's cousin, Michigan State All-America cornerback Darqueze Dennard, who had only three scholarship offers coming out of Twiggs County (Ga.) High — MSU, Middle Tennessee State and Utah State.

Nebraska in this class landed only two players from the traditional Big Ten footprint, but they were big names — four-star running back Mikale Wilbon (Chicago) and four-star offensive lineman Tanner Farmer (Highland, Ill.). Wilbon plays like he was put on Earth to be a running back. Injuries have been a concern, however.

Helmholdt was neither surprised nor alarmed by the Huskers' relative lack of finishing power in Big Ten country.

"They tried in 2013 and had some success," the analyst said of signees Kevin Gladney, Greg Hart and Courtney Love. "But (former NU aide) Vince Marrow had a lot of those connections in Ohio, and when he left, those recruits kind of faded away.

"I think it's important Nebraska continues to have a strong presence in the Midwest because that's where it's on TV the most. That's where kids see Nebraska the most. But I'm not totally against Nebraska going back to where (recruiting has) worked for them in the past.

"It's an interesting 2014 class, the way it's been put together."

Meanwhile, Helmholdt praised Penn State's class, ranked 21st overall and second in the Big Ten, according to Rivals.

"James Franklin's done a good job of building on what Bill O'Brien started there," Helmholdt said.