Teachings of a Pro

Michael Rose's time in Orlando was a learning experience.

The setting is Orlando, Florida.

It's early January and Husker commitment Michael Rose is tired, cold, and hungry.

He's just gotten done with his third Under Armour All-American practice in 30 degree weather – not exactly what you come to expect from Florida.

The senior has a deli sandwich in hand and is ready to eat. But all of a sudden, before Rose can take a bite, a member of the national media sits down looking for a quote. Rose puts down his sandwich and kindly obliges.


Rose learned plenty in Orlando
After nearly two minutes, the reporter gets up and moves on to another player. Rose shares a joke or two with his teammates sitting at the table and goes back to his sandwich.

He waited too long – another member of the media sits down beside him for a series of questions. Rose's lunch would have to wait a little longer.

Five minutes goes by and after another set of questions is answered, this reporter has what he needs from the senior.

Back to lunch.

A bite or two is taken. I see my opening.

I sit down next to the Missouri product. Rose looks at me, while chewing on his sandwich.

"It's you...I'm going to keep eating," he laughs as I put the recorder down in front of him.

"No problem," I tell him. Our reporter-player relationship goes back nearly a year. I've spent plenty of time talking to him before. It's going to take more than a mouth full for me to be offended.

"Tell me about your position coach Herm Edwards," I asked the senior. The same Herm Edwards who has become famous for the rant, you play to win the game. The same Herm Edwards who spent eight years as a head coach in the NFL, making the playoffs four times. "Does he know who you are Mike?"

"Oh yeah, he knows who I am," stated the linebacker. "Lamonte Winston, who was the Player Development Personal Chief for the Kansas City Chiefs when Edwards was there, has son at my school. We are pretty good friends and Lamonte called him a couple nights ago about me."

If it wasn't the phone call, it might have been the barking Edwards was doing at practice. Known to be a vocal fiery coach, the former NFL vet called out the All-American's name more than once that day.

"He's pretty old-school," said Rose. "He knows what he's talking about. He played in the league, coached in the league, and still analyzes the league for ESPN. He's a great coach and when he speaks, you listen.

"I love all the coaches at Rockhurst, I don't want to talk bad about any of them, but it's a little different here. A lot more words fly that you probably don't hear at Rockhurst. It's something you need to get used to. I really think it's more like college setting here."

Herm Edwards

While recruitniks might feel recruiting services put too much stock into an All-Star game setting, the fact is players show a lot against their peers. Often in high school, they are the most dominant player on the field – getting by with sloppy technique.

When players are coached by the likes of Herm Edwards, Steve Mariucci (former NFL head coach), Deion Sanders (future NFL Hall of Famer) , and Keyshawn Johnson (3-time Pro Bowler), sloppiness won't get it done.

"Talent is great, but remember, the next level you are going to play against a bunch of talented guys," was one of Edward's biggest pieces of advice to all of his players throughout the week.

"Coach is very technical sound and says it's 80 percent of the battle," said Rose. "He was even on us about our huddle.

"He was yelling huddle, huddle, huddle, get them in the huddle, and stopped practice. Some of us didn't know how to get in and out of a huddle correctly, so we spent the whole walk-through working on it. With him everything is very technical, he just wants us to make sure we do everything correctly."

So what did Edwards like about Rose?

"He likes my instincts and how I get to the ball," said the future Husker. "He told me to just trust my game and play within my ability. To not try to be a someone I'm not. I'm my own linebacker."

Some in the 2012 class might have had better competition to play against in high school. Others might have had better coaching. But the short time Michael Rose had in Florida with Herm Edwards and the rest of the All-American coaches will go a long way in his career. He's more ready to make an early impact at Nebraska because of it.

Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & Scout.com since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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