Monday, April 27, 2009


I'm doing a bit of consolidating with my blogs and both will now be written about here at WordPress.

Until I can move all the posts over to the new blog, all archives will remain here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Countdown to Lincoln

In a few short weeks, I'll be on my way to one of my favorite places in the world. Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. Spring practice is in full swing. I've missed a lot by not writing so hopefully I'll be able to resurrect the blog a little bit. Patrick Witt is gone and we've got a wide open QB competition full on, so there will be plenty to write about.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Time to Sign

Last week Nebraska locked up their class of 2009. The Huskers had 20 prospects sign on the dotted line which, according to, wound up as the 28th best class among FBS schools. Nebraska finished fourth in the Big XII, and maybe most importantly, first in the North. Kansas closed hot on their heels, and with the Jayhawks the odds on favorite to with the North in '09, it puts them in a enviable position.

I'm going to post the signing class in the sidebar like I do every year and leave the profiles up all year long, because as we all know, most of these kids will be redshirt candidates and will be in the weight room or the playing on the scout team meaning you won't hear about them next year.

Right now, I want to focus on my top five signees from the '09 class. They might not be the top five as far as their rating goes, but are just as important.

#1 - Cody Green - QB
Ok, so this one is fairly obvious and shouldn't shock anyone that follows recruiting. Cody finally made his way into the Rivals Top 250 at #173, and is the sixth ranked dual threat QB by the same site. Watching his highlights he moves well and can operate outside the pocket. One thing that stands out to me is his accuracy and how he can hit a receiver with little seperation downfield. He'll be a run second player, but can make good decisions and can produce with his legs. The Dayton, Tx QB rushed for 27 touchdowns and threw for 36 more and racked up nearly 5,000 yards. He's enrolled right now and will go through spring practice. I'm excited to get a look at him come April 18th. If Green can replicate his success in high school, and he played against top competition in football-centric Texas, he has the potential to become a Husker legend. But let's not give him the Marlon Lucky treatment.
#2 - Chris Williams - ILB
The kid loves to hit and be physical and will bring an attitude and swagger back to the Blackshirts. Some fans have been down on Nebraska recruiting citing that we aren't going against the nations best for players. Williams reeled in offers from Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas A&M and LSU. The Huskers also beat out North rival Missouri and Texas Tech. Williams is fast as well, and routinely blows up plays in the backfield and has a nose for the ball. Don't sleep on his ability in coverage either. I can't wait to watch him with '08 signee Will Compton in the next few years.

#3 Andrew Green - CB
Watching our secondary the last several seasons has been an anyurism inspiring task. Too long have our corners been owned by marginal wide receiver talent and flat out embarassed against players that make it to the next level. Green finished as a three star player on Rivals, however this kid has amazing potential. The recent Heisman winner was a three star kid too, not that I expect Green to get one, but it should be pointed out that these rankings aren't an exact science. Green is probably one of the most physically gifted DB's in the country.

#4 Rex Burkhead - RB
Mr. Do-Everything. Probably one of the most versitile athletes that Nebraska picked up, and it was quite the coup too. Stanford (don't laugh, if Harbaugh stays they'll compete), A&M, Auburn, Cal, Michigan and supposedly Texas was on Rex. He's been racking up awards left and right since the season ended. The Plano graduate created a ton of excitement with fans. He cuts, he blocks, he catches and does it with relative ease. A common thread through most of these kids this year is they come from top tier teams. Burkhead is no exception.

#5 Taylor Martinez - ATH
When it's all said in done and it's 2012, it might be written that we stole this kid right out from under a lot of schools noses. He played QB for Corona Centennial and won a ton of awards after being a solid verbal for the Huskers. He ended up roping in some Player of the Year Awards from Cali, including the LA Times naming him POTY. More than likely he'll be in the defensive backfield and it's hard to see him having a future as QB at Nebraska, regardless, watching his highlight videos show that this kid is a football player.

Don't get me wrong, there are a ton of players worth mentioning, and I wish I could but I'm way to lazy to write about twenty players today. I'm excited about this class and it's showing that our staff isn't so bad when it comes to rounding up recruites. Keep in mind the underdeveloped players leftover from the Callahan era just won nine games after getting embarassed in '07. Sure, cutting some dead weight and bad attitudes *cough* Corey McKeon *cough* helped, but the staff did an incredible job.

I bought my spring game tickets this past week. College football season just ended a few weeks ago, but I'm already primed for '09.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Suh-per Huskers

Ndamukong Suh made a huge statement yesterday on the field helping the Huskers to a 26-21 win over the Clemson Tigers. Now, Husker fans are awaiting to hear a statement from him that could impact the 2009 season. Suh will feel out what is draft stock is, however he has stated multiple times that he is coming back to get his degree at Nebraska. We can only hope.

Suh aided the Blackshirts (and yes, after yesterday they deserve that title) held the vaunted Clemson rushing attatck to four yards on the ground. Yes, that's right. Four. All we heard about for the last several weeks was how home run hitting C.J. Spiller and the thundering James Davis were going to rip our weak Big XII defense to shreds. Maybe the offenses in the Big XII really are that good. Although in the first half the vastley more athletic and speedy Clemson D kept Shawn Watson and Joe Ganz in check.

Yesterday marked the first win in a New Year's Day bowl game for the Huskers in nine years. You have to go back to the Fiesta Bowl from the 1999-2000 season when Nebraska defeated Tennessee 31-21. What does this win mean for the program under first year head coach Bo Pelini? For starters, the mythical standard of wins in a season has been reached with nine. Why is this number so important?

Since the Tom Osborne era began in Lincoln, and before Bill Callahan stepped off a plane freshly being fired from his head coaching job in Oakland for Al Davis, Nebraska had only won less than nine games one time from 1969 until 2003. We all know what happened next, 2004 and Callahan come along and we miss our first bowl game since the '68 season, then miss another bowl in '07, one year removed from winning the Big XII North.

Could this victory help position the Huskers for a spot in the Big XII Championship in 2009? It certainly seems plausible, and it is possible, but I'm still skeptical. Our road games in the division include a trip to Columbia where we haven't won since Eric Crouch and his 97 yard Heisman moment scamper to pay dirt, and a drive down to Lawrence where we gave up 76 in 2007. Also, the same Colorado team that needed to be put to sleep with a miracle field goal when we were 17+ point favorites will welcome us to Boulder as well. If we win the North next year, we clearly deserve it.

I know a lot of people will be riding high after the Gator bowl win, and they should. Turning a 5-7 team into a 9-4 team is a big deal. More than ESPN will let on in their bowl week coverage. However, the excitement should be tempered with a does of reality heading into next season. Despite having some great young talent, and a lot of returning defensive starters including defensive tackle man-child Ndamukong Suh, we should be able to slow some of the conference offenses down a bit. However, our offense takes a bit of a hit.

First and foremost, Joe Ganz will graduate and take Nate Swift and Todd Peterson with him. These three helped us to our solid record this year in a way that will be felt when the new players and probably starters take the field in the spring and next fall that most probably won't expect. Roy Helu will be back. So will Gator Bowl unsung hero Quentin Castille. Marlon Lucky will be gone, but his role was diminshed as the season went on. Hopefully Niles Paul, who made some boneheaded moves yesterday, Menelik Holt and Chris Brooks are ready to step up.

The offense live will also need to fill some holes, although the line turned out to be a bit of a question mark this year. There was a lot of hype surounding Lydon Murtha and Matt Slauson going into the season, but they showed that they are just human and not the superstars that the Lincoln Journal-Star would have you believe.

So I would enjoy the transition year to the Bo Pelini era. He showed that these kids were talented enough to beat they teams they were supposed to most of the time, and that they were still far from competing with the big boys. He has them on the right track, and with national signging day just a little more than a month away seems to be closing the year out strong.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Going Bowling

This time last year, the coaching search was freshly completed to replace the deported Bill Callahan. If you would have told me a year ago that the Huskers would get back to a New Year's Day bowl game and finish 8-4 and tie for the Big XII North title (well, sort of) I would have taken it. It wasn't the prettiest season, but the team and program have improved tremendously.

Nebraska will square off January 1st against the Clemson Tigers in the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl at noon on CBS. The Tigers have survived a tumultuous season and the firing of Tommy Bowden. Under then interim and now permanent head coach Dabo Sweeney, the Tigers won four of their last five just like the Huskers.

Clemson will bring a potent running attack against a solid Huskers run defense. Junior running back C.J. Spiller is the speedster out of the backfield with the potential to break out and make a big play with his speed each snap he gets. The key for the Huskers will be to key in on him and make sure to hold him to minimal games and not allow him to reach the second level of the defense. Senior James Davis is the power back and has been used to set up Spiller in the running game, lulling defenses to sleep before bringing in the faster Spiller.

The Tigers also will show up with their 16th ranked defense, which includes their 12th ranked passing defense. Nebraska's rushing attack will be the key which is not a great strength for Clemson. Softening up the front seven and bringing in the secondary will help the passing game for the Huskers.

The bottom line to get our program turned around this year was to be competitive. Against good teams, we were. Two games we should have and could have won were against Virginia Tech in September and two weeks later in Lubbock, Texas against Texas Tech and finish 10-2. After going 5-7 in 2007, that would have made national headlines. Winning those two games would have made a world of difference in the post season picture and the Big XII North, especially the game against the Red Raiders. Win that game, and we would have had the pleasure of getting steamrolled by the Sooners last night.

The second element was getting back to the post season. My initial prediction was that the Huskers would finish 7-5 and make the Insight Bowl in Arizona. It would have been respectable and acceptable to a majority of Husker nation. However the New Year's Day game in Florida will do more for confidence among returning players and for recruiting. Now with the extra practices, the Huskers of the future will have more time to play together as a team rather than having to wait for spring to get together again.

Watch the ESPN breakdown of the Gator Bowl...

Winning this game will be a springboard into 2009 where Nebraska will have a realistic shot at winning the North against a rebuilding Missouri and suspect Colorado. Kansas State and Iowa State I would imagine will be solid victories with both of them coming to Lincoln. The big road test could be against Kansas who will have quarterback Todd Reesing and go to wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe. The Jayhawks, I expect, will be the favorites to win the Big XII North starting next season.

Also, congratulations to Buffalo head coach and Nebraska great Turner Gill for winning the Mid-America Conference Friday night against then undefeated Ball State. The Bulls were the worst team in all of FBS college football when he took over and has turned them into a competative team over his tenure. Auburn and Syracuse are reportedly interested in Gill for their vacant head coach spots. Here's to Gill, couldn't have happened to a classier individual.