After a year in the Big Ten, Nebraska defensive coordinator Mark Banker says the one of the biggest things he learned during the conference portion of the schedule is things are bigger in the Midwest.
“Guys are real big in this conference,” said Banker. “Minnesota really jumped out. Even their kicker and holder were big. Oh my God, the quarterback was big. Week in and week out you are seeing the same thing.”
The other thing he learned…
“Everyone is well coached,” said Banker. “I came from a conference where offenses were going to run what they were going to run what they were going to run. They were going to trick you. Funny formations. Guys in other jerseys. Motion here. Teams going as fast as they could.
“Here you are seeing a lot of adjustments during the course of the game. A lot of stick and belief in their system…it’s just football. It’s enjoyable that way.”
Banker said he and linebacker coach Trent Bray were also surprised by the amount of running quarterbacks in the conference.
The NCAA dead period ends in ten days and the Nebraska coaching staff will hit the road, looking to finish out their first full class in Lincoln.
How did conference play affected recruiting?
“It doesn’t change too much other than the fact that you better really like an undersized guy,” said Banker. “He better be exceptional and you better be able to forecast that this young man is going to grow into this.”
Banker played running back in college. He’s not the tallest guy in the world. He doesn’t mind the underdog when it comes to height. But when it comes to recruiting against in the Big Ten.
“You cannot be a small person,” said Banker. “You better have some girth. You still have to be able to run, we don’t want to be a slow team, but you have to have some physicality to you and some size.”