It’s been a challenging two seasons in Lincoln for Scott Frost. Nebraska’s struggles the last two years are well-documented.

That’s why days like Wednesday are so important for Nebraska. The Early Signing Day was a huge success for the Cornhuskers, who inked nine 4-star recruits to national letters of intent and currently have the No. 20 class in the country and No. 4 class in the Big Ten, according to 247Sports. They are expected to get one more in February in Zavier Betts for a total of 10 4-star recruits — their most since joining the Big Ten in 2011.

For those who scoff at recruiting, take a look at who signed the best classes Wednesday: Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia and LSU. Those are probably the five best teams in the country this season (sorry, Oklahoma). That means the rich just got richer. There’s a not-so-difficult lesson here in that the teams that win in recruiting also win on the field. Recruiting rankings aren’t everything, but they’re not nothing either.

For Nebraska, Wednesday was a great sign that Frost still has some juice. A lot of orange juice, in fact. He landed seven recruits from talent-rich Florida, including four 4-star players: outside linebacker Keyshawn Greene, wideout Marcus Fleming, safety Henry Gray and defensive back Jaiden Francois. There was a ton of drama with the latter, who briefly left his signing ceremony and talked with Frost on the phone, but he stayed true to Nebraska. That was on the heels of flipping Greene from Florida State.

The benefit of not preparing for a bowl game was that Nebraska could commit 100 percent to recruiting over the last few weeks, and that paid off in a big way with nine commits, including five 4-star recruits. Giving Frost an extension after two sub-par years may have also helped the slight boost, too. This is a program trying to project an image that it is confidently moving forward, and maybe it’s working.

Don’t pay much attention to the overall ranking, either. Being at No. 20 is great, but it’s a little worse than last year’s No. 18 and just slightly better than where Nebraska has been most years this decade. I’m more interested in having 10 4-star guys. That’s a ton of high-end talent and double what Nebraska gets most years.

Here’s how this class stacks up to the program’s last eight since joining the Big Ten.

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The flaw of recruiting class rankings sometimes is that the more recruits in a class, the higher it is ranked. That’s why the high-end talent is noteworthy. You look at Ohio State and Michigan and how they’re never that far apart in the rankings. Like this year, for example, Ohio State is third and Michigan is 11th. But Ohio State has nine guys ranked higher than Michigan’s top recruit. That sort of talent discrepancy shows up on the field.

That’s two top-20 recruiting classes for Frost, if you’re scoring at home. It’s a nice distraction from a harsh reality in which Nebraska is just 9-15 in his two seasons and is not going to a bowl game. And the fact that Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow wanted to play for Nebraska, but Frost reportedly said he wasn’t better than what the Cornhuskers had.

Let’s spin this, though. How many of the top-20 teams in the recruiting rankings had a losing season this year? Just two: South Carolina and Nebraska. Imagine what Frost can do on the recruiting trail if he wins a few games. That’s possible in the Big Ten West Division, just look at Minnesota.

Nebraska has a ton of talent on this roster, now. After having 20 4-star players last season, with three being seniors, the Cornhuskers could have 27 on next year’s roster. Frost and his staff obviously have to develop that talent, of course.

But here’s the main takeaway. A week or two ago, Early Signing Day looked to be a bit disastrous for Nebraska. But it turned out to be a huge success, and if Frost is going to get this thing turned around, Wednesday will be looked at as an important day.