By GREG BELLEN / Associated Press – 03/16/2017 • 07:11:02More than a month after Nebraska football signed one of the nation’s top recruiting classes in program history, a number of the school’s top prospects have been left off the roster.
The Huskers, which finished the regular season with a 13-3 record, lost two top players in safety J.T. Barrett and cornerback Zack Sanchez to graduation from the program.
They also lost four players in the secondary, including five-star linebacker Anthony Wilson, and five-stars defensive tackle Chris Young and receiver Jake Fucale.
Barrett and Sanchez both are entering their third seasons with the program, while senior cornerback Darrin Chafin, one of its most productive recruits, signed with Ohio State on Thursday.
And on Tuesday, the Huskers announced they were recruiting quarterback Darrion Hall to replace Barrett, a former first-round pick.
Hall, a two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, is a four-star prospect who also played in the 2015 Fiesta Bowl.
He threw for 3,764 yards and 29 touchdowns last season.
His 5.11 yards per attempt ranked fourth in the conference.
Hall has played for the Husker program since 2014 and won a Big Ten championship with the Huskies in 2017.
He will enter the 2016 season as the No. 7 quarterback in the 2019 recruiting class.
The departure of Barrett and Sanchez is a big blow for Nebraska, which went 10-3 last season and had a 3-2 record against Top 25 teams.
But the Huskies also have a number to work with on the recruiting trail this fall, as several schools are expected to announce major moves this weekend.
Some of those recruits will be competing for spots on Nebraska’s 2018 recruiting class, which includes top-10 talent such as QB Dak Prescott and receivers Devin Smith and Jordan Leslie.
The Huskers have also signed several top-100 prospects this week, including offensive tackle Brandon Scherff, defensive end/linebacker David Perkins and defensive back Travaris Cadet.
Athletes like Prescott, Leslie and Scherff were ranked among the nation-leaders in 2015.
And there’s a chance they could play a key role in the Husky defense, which ranked among FBS’ top three in scoring defense.
The loss of Barrett, Sanchez and Hall leaves Nebraska with a handful of new pieces on offense, including quarterback J.J. Stover, receiver Nate Sudfeld, receiver Jarius Wright and linebacker Nick King.
They also lost five players from the defensive line, including a four, five- and six-star recruit.
The Cornhuskers signed six-foot-five defensive tackle Kevin King to compete with Barrett and Sanders for the starting spot behind quarterback Darian Durant.
The departures of Barrett to Ohio State and Sanchez to Ohio have led to speculation about how much the Huski offense will improve this fall.
The answer could come from the front seven.
With Barrett gone, the defensive front is now led by four-year starter Jordan Taylor, a three-star cornerback who has played in four games.
Taylor started all 10 games in 2016, helping Nebraska to a 14-4 record.
The 6-foot, 245-pounder recorded four interceptions, 17 passes defensed and five forced fumbles.
Sudfeld is a five-year veteran who made nine starts last season, including three starts at linebacker, where he recorded 45 tackles and five pass breakups.
He also had nine passes deflected.
Perkins, a four/five-star safety, has started in six games and totaled 12 tackles and one interception.
The Buckeyes also lost six players from their defensive backfield, including four-stars linebacker Jordan Williams and two-star defensive tackle Josh Andrews.
Williams and Andrews both started in the 2016 Big Ten Championship Game and combined for 11 tackles and two sacks.
The offensive line also lost three players, including two-year starting left tackle Josh Cribbs.
Cribb missed four games with a torn ACL.
The 5-foot 8-inch, 290-pound tackle was the No., 19 overall prospect in the 2017 recruiting class and the No, 26 overall recruit in the 2018 class.
The Buckeyes were also one of just three teams to sign him in the summer.
The biggest addition on the defensive side of the ball is senior guard Josh Allen, a 6-7, 270-pound prospect from St. Louis who was ranked among Ohio State’s top 100 offensive tackles and had started all 11 games in 2015 and 2016.
Allen is a two time All-Big Ten performer who has started at all three positions.
He started all 12 games at left tackle last season while also earning All-America honors for the second straight year.
Allen also had two sacks and three pass break-ups last season for the Buckeyes.
He has been a consistent performer throughout his career,