Visitors: Jordan Westerkamp, D.J. Foster, Greg McMullen, Michael Rose, Jordan Diggs, Paul Thurston, Devin Fuller, T.J. Neal, and Brandon Beaver.
The Huskers enter an off week with the coaches on the road doing some recruiting. The off week also allowed for some extended time in Lincoln this past weekend for the nine total official visitors of which five were not committed to Nebraska. Here are the thoughts on a very good weekend.
Big game for visitors
Michael Rose has seen his fair share of games in Memorial Stadium, but Saturday night wasn't "old hat" for the 2012 verbal commitment. Rose said that the crowd was deafening and communicating to the other recruits that were right next to him was virtually impossible. McMullen agreed and said that he had prepped the other, non-committed official visitors that were in attendance that the fans in Lincoln are there from start to finish if they are losing or blowing out their opponent (as well as the spring game). The weather might not have been ideal because of a little rain, but in the end the recruits saw how Nebraska fans respond when the team's back is against the wall as well as close out the game with a win.
No commitment news, yet
The popular question for me on the air late last week and on the street with people who approached me was ‘who is going to commit'? My answer to all was no one specifically on the weekend. The recruits that weren't committed to Nebraska all seemed going into the visit that they were set to take some other visits after the Nebraska trip. Now, Michael Rose tipped his hand a little bit about commitments coming from players that did visit this past weekend, but not for a couple of weeks. My money is on Jordan Diggs to end up a Husker from this weekend.
Another assist in another visit?
Rose might be looking at a future as a DI recruiting coordinator after he's done in Lincoln as a player. Rose has already assisted Nebraska in getting Diggs to visit unofficially as well as some team mates from Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst. This time though might be as big as Diggs taking his first visit to Nebraska. Diggs said to me privately after the interview that Devin Fuller "might be" getting ready to schedule an unofficial visit to Nebraska for the Michigan State game weekend. That weekend was already shaping up to be a good one, but a second visit by Fuller is a very encouraging sign for Nebraska.
Covering the visitors this weekend was difficult. Typically the recruits are out by noon, but text messages exchanged between T.J. Neal and Big Red Report on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 indicated that he was just starting a visit of the campus. There is usually game preparation for the upcoming weekend opponent that takes place on Sunday afternoon that shoos the recruits out a little earlier than they had to leave this Sunday. The longer visit on top of the game day atmosphere, the come from behind victory, etc. adds to an already big weekend.
Nothing like it
I was at the Dallas-Detroit NFL game a week ago in Dallas. The Cowboys were wiping out Detroit and the Lions rallied to win that game in Dallas. That doesn't hold a candle to what I saw on Saturday night. The Huskers were coming off of a crippling defeat to the hands of the Badgers in Wisconsin. A Big Ten "welcome" that was anything but. It looked like the Wisconsin game was carrying over into the Nebraska game until about seven and a half minutes left in the second half when Nebraska stormed back from 21 points down to win. To be honest, I don't remember a Nebraska crowd as loud as that before. I don't remember a crowd that wasn't anxious to take their seats and almost groaned as they had to stand back up. The crowd was fired up. No question.
I spoke to a fair number of Ohio State fans on Saturday night. All of them must have been approached by 30 Husker fans before me to ask them about their trip, how they were doing, were they enjoying themselves, etc. Little did they know that I was media though. Honestly, they were just as happy to include me in their conversation as they were another one of their own. This game against Ohio State has been circled on my calendar since the schedule was announced. The game in Columbus? Circled and underlined. I won't be missing that game.
Quite a few Buckeye fans didn't know what to think about Nebraska's kindness to them, a visiting opponent/stranger in a foreign land, and I guess it might be because they have a Colorado/Missouri or two in their conference that Nebraska fans will have to get ready for. Bottom line, there are so many misconceptions about Nebraska and the people of Nebraska that it doesn't do any good to treat anyone that is visiting unfairly. You hope that the news propagates throughout the conference before each team has to make their own stop in Lincoln.