Riley talks staffing and immediate recruiting

New Nebraska head coach Mike Riley will have to move quickly when it comes to staffing and recruiting for the Huskers.

LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska head coach Mike Riley will spend the weekend likely trying to assemble his staff - an important first step for any new coach.

“Hiring is not an overnight easy thing to do,” said Riley in a side media session after his press conference. “If you miss, it causes a lot of anguish. So you want to be right and careful, and you want to get it done. So you have to have all the information before you make decisions. It’s going to be very crucial in our future.”

Known as a head coach who’s had loyal staffs over the years, multiple Oregon State assistant coaches will likely follow Riley to Lincoln. When asked about the subject during his press conference, Riley chose to not comment, citing coaches he had in mind had not been informed at the time.

A few names that could be heading to Lincoln:

OL coach Mike Cavanaugh - He’s been with Riley for 10 years and before that was an offensive line coach with June Jones at Hawaii. He also spent multiple seasons in the NFL as an offensive line coach for the San Diego Chargers. One college football assistant coach told BRR that Cavanaugh is one of the best evaluators when it comes to offensive lineman in college football. He currently recruits Arizona, Las Vegas, and Oklahoma.

LB coach Trent Bray - He’s known as an a major up-and-comer in the recruiting world and recruits the state of Texas - Dallas-Fort Worth, Waco, and the East Texas areas. Bray did play at Oregon State for Riley.

ST coach Bruce Read - Read has spent nine total seasons with Riley. The head coach during his press conference on Friday morning indicated he will likely continue to have a dedicated special teams coach on his staff. His recruiting area in the past has been Oregon and the Bay area, so unless Nebraska would try to poach kids from those areas, he would change his recruiting area.

“I really like the staff at Oregon State,” said Riley. “I know that not everybody, some will stay, I don’t know what’s going to happen in that regard. I’m going to try to kind open the door to possibilities.”

One of those possibilities could come in the form of Alabama linebackers coach Kevin Steele, who was with Nebraska from 1989 to 1994. According to the Omaha World Herald, Steele has been contacted to gauge interest in a possible return.

According to Big Red Report sources, only one Nebraska assistant coach is expected to be in the mix to be retained.

Riley was asked about the current staff during his press conference on Friday.

“Yes I plan to talk to them,” said Riley. “I met with Barney (Cotton) last night for a bit. And it was great. He was very helpful. I think that with this staffing it’s hard for these guys because they’re invested here and coaching the game. And I don’t know any of them very well. We’ll see if there’s possibility of a plan, but I can’t make any statement or promises about that. I need to look at the big picture.”

An assembled staff will be crucial for Riley to get as much recruiting in before the dead period later this month.

“Soon, but I don’t’ know a specific date,” said Riley when asked he would be hitting the road? “Will it be as soon as tomorrow night (Saturday), I doubt it. Next week for sure. “

Riley and any new staff members first stop will likely be with Husker commits Avery Anderson, Eric Lee, and Aaron Williams. All three defensive backs are early-enrollees and will need to make a decision in the very near future.

“That’s what I need to find out – where our first stops will be. Obviously guys like that will be our first stops,” said Riley.

On Thursday night, Big Red Report caught up with Lee – a four-star defensive back out of Colorado.

"I want to see if Coach Warren will be retained on his staff,” said Lee. “I want to ask him who the defensive coordinator is going to be and I also want to know what type of defense they will be running."


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