It was Thanksgiving last year when Vince Biegel, a 6-3, 205 lbs. linebacker made his way into Lincoln for an unofficial visit. It was a brief experience, but one that left an impression on him. "The facilities were unbelievable, and I got to talk to the coaches, but not for a long time. But it was great," he said.
At that point Nebraska knew about him, of course, and they gave him the full tour. But there wasn't talk of any offer at that time. Since then Nebraska has obviously had some changes, not the least of which was Mike Ekeler, last year's linebacker coach, going to the University of Indiana to be a Co-Defensive Coordinator.
But Biegel said that he hadn't really gotten to know many people there at that point, so the only real change he knows about Nebraska is their impending move to the Big Ten.
You can imagine that he doesn't mind a school he has looked at to a certain extent, moving to a conference he would obviously call the one he's followed all his life. "Well, I grew up in Wisconsin, so I have followed the Badgers my whole life. But my dad actually played football at BYU back in the 80s, so I have a lot of familiarity with them, too," he said.
The offers continue to mount for Biegel as he had eight and now with Stanford and Illinois, he boasts an even 10. That's a lot of offers, no matter who you are. "It's great. It's been a lot of fun, and recruiting has been picking up even more, it seems. I'm just trying to take it all in and learn as much as I can about each of these programs."
Nebraska is one that is obviously going to have to start from scratch as they haven't offered Biegel as of yet. But Vince said that if there was one school he would be interested in, of those he knows something about but haven't offered, Nebraska might be that one. "They just have a great tradition there. They have great fans. It's just one of those places everyone knows about," he said. "Like here in the Big Ten, if Ohio State or Penn State are going after you, you might never go there, but it's an honor for them just to look at you."
What might be working for Nebraska, but you could also say has already worked well for those programs recruiting him which are already in the new-look Big Ten, is the style of football. Biegel knows enough about the Big 12 to make easy leap that for linebackers, life in the conference he's followed his whole life is better than it is for those in the Big 12. "it's smashmouth football. It's what we love. And I know Nebraska was sometimes only using one linebacker in a game. Heck, at my school we actually run a 4-4, because everyone just tries to pound it down your throat," he said.
But between having a dad and granddad who went to BYU and Wisconsin's first offer of their entire 2012 class going to him, the Huskers have a heck of a tough road ahead...maybe impossible.
"Well, I'm not going to lie in that I give Wisconsin a slight edge. I mean, they offered me first, they have been on me since the beginning and I have gotten to know everyone there really well," Biegel said. "I am going to go check out BYU though, because I want to get a really good feel for the place and what it's all about. We'll be visiting there over the off-season.
"After that, I don't know. I don't mind the idea of committing early, if I know it's what I want to do. We'll just have to see how that goes."
As for the Huskers, the fact that they haven't offered as of yet tells you that they aren't even in the picture. But even if they do, they still might not make into the frame, so to speak. But if Biegel holds out and he isn't completely against the idea of waiting if he thinks he needs to, Nebraska may at least try to throw their hat in the ring.
But it would appear anyway, they would still be a longshot...at best.