Perhaps putting the final touch on all the changes made and those that have occurred during this active off-season, coach Frank Solich announced today that Carl Pelini would become part of the new staff as a Graduate Assistant.
The name of Bo Pelini's brother came up almost predominately as one of if not the leading candidate for the then vacant linebacker's position. That position being filled, and with the subsequent loss of Jimmy Burrow, the only spot left was the GA position, this one with a defensive emphasis.
With that in mind, Pelini's name apparently resurfaced and now, he's part of the staff. Coach Frank Solich commented about his hiring and when the other Pelini is set to arrive on campus. "He'll report on Friday." Solich stated. "He's grown up within the system with Bo. They have not really coached it together, but certainly have been together in terms of football and talking football, so he should know the system very well."
Carl Pelini (37 years old) was most recently the head coach at Fitch high school in Austintown, Ohio, a suburb of Youngstown where both Carl and Bo grew up. His experience that more than likely lent more to him getting this particular job was his three years spent at Kansas State, two as a G.A. and one as a restricted earnings coach.
His background and experience were said to be the reason that he was appointed this position. "He has been a Grad. Assistant before, so he knows what that is all about." Solich stated. "He should be able to supply us with a guy, that will do an excellent job of on-the-field coaching and then also, all the detailed work that a Grad Assistant has to do off the field."
The significance of yet another experienced GA, Solich states can be nothing but a benefit for the program. "We have found that having experienced GA's is beneficial." Solich stated. "Over the years, we have been very fortunate to have the kind of GA's we have had and we take those choices very seriously when we add one."
As for the elder brother, Bo Pelini was obviously happy about the most recent addition to NU's staff. "I feel good about it." Pelini stated. "It's a benefit and I think he's going to help us."
"I know what we are getting and he knows what is going to be required of him."
Again, Carl Pelini's focus on the defensive side, coach Pelini stating that Jamrog would receive most of his assistance, at least initially. "He'll be working with coach Jamrog." Pelini stated. "But, he'll be helping where needed."
"He has experience in a number of different areas and a lot of times, I will be jumping around a bit and he will, opposite me a lot, but his primary responsibility will be with D-line."
About the practice and yes, there was a practice, one that progressed about as expected. The pad were on and the enthusiasm was high. "As they got into practice, they kept encouraging one another and picked it up as practice went along and (we) felt very comfortable with how it ended up." Solich stated.
Of major emphasis in today's12-play scrimmage was third and long situations. "Ideally, if you can complete 35 to 38 percent of 3rd and 7 or more, you are doing a pretty good job." Solich stated. "So, we are working on percentage-wise, we are able to get some first downs."
The team also worked on pass-rush, pass protection and as usual, Jammal Lord was off-limits.
No injury notes to report and the team will meet, but not practice on Thursday and report back to practice on Friday.
Steve Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-730-5619