The thought that Nebraska recruiting has fallen off isn't a new one. Except for last year's class, most have been given an overall grade of average to below. You can say that has been illustrated by the lack of success on the field, but of course, much of that blame falls on the head coach.
With the rumors spreading about concerning Frank Solich leaving, it was all whispers, talks amongst message-board folk and that's about as far as it really went. Well, then it hits the Lincoln Journal Star, the star city's only major media outlet and now, that "stuff" as they say has hit the proverbial fan.
To look at the story for what it is, it doesn't amount to anymore than "he said/she said" rhetoric, people that refused to be identified talking about matters that have been discussed amongst those not amongst the major stream of information. All in all it's not really a story at all, rather speculation about matters that most people aren't privy to any details about.
That's what has one future Husker looking at it all with a bit of disinterest, but yes, disdain. "I didn't think much of it." OL, Andrew Christiansen said. "The coaches haven't said anything (to me) about it, so I am pretty sure Frank's job is secure."
"I think they (the media) are trying to create something out of nothing and I don't think that's fair to coach Solich or the football team. They are trying to focus on beating Colorado next week."
While some like Andrew are looking at this as more of a travesty by the Star in even printing the article, some are looking at it based on information they had even prior to this story taking place, some of it that links to this and some, well, perhaps a little off-base. "I had heard that win, lose or draw, Solich was gone after the Colorado game." Offensive Lineman, Seth Olsen said. "I also heard that Steve Spurrier was coming to coach."
Seth said that chuckling a bit, because of course just the idea that Washington Redskin head coach, Steve Spurrier would even think of going to the midwest is pretty spectacular in and of itself. Ok, so if that's so ridiculous, why is it that the rumor behind Solich is so asinine as well?
To Olsen, Solich leaving is one thing, but he's not so much worried about the head man leaving as he is the person leaving that prompted him to commit to NU in the first place. "Barney Cotton was a big reason why I committed there." Seth said. "If the head coach is gone, that usually means assistants go and if he (Cotton) left, then I guess I would be back to square one."
As far east as Florida the story behind Solich's pending departure was seen on ESPN, down in the Tallahassee region, home of the Lincoln Trojans. The Lincoln Trojans have no less than 4 prospects that Nebraska has offered in writing, so their interest would no doubt be peaked, but as Danny Muy's step-dad, Scott McPherson stated, his interest currently wasn't to the state of Solich's employment, rather the assistants around him, specifically, Bo Pelini. "Our dealings throughout the recruiting process have been with Bo." Scott McPherson said. "Obviously, if the head coach is gone, you wonder what will happen with the assistants."
"I guess our issue wouldn't be our interest in Nebraska, because one coach leaving doesn't take away the great tradition and program they have. I would be more concerned if the coaches change what their continuing interest in Danny is."
"We would still be interested of course, but that's probably what we would want to know most is if their interest in Danny was still there."
Other recruit, this time out of New Jersey echoed the concern over the possible departure of assistants along with coach Solich. "I guess that's the biggest thing with me." Offensive lineman, Nyere Aumaitre said. "If he (Solich) is gone and they bring in a new head coach, what assistants are going to still be there if any?"
"I have already developed some good relationships and this far into the recruiting, it would be kind of hard starting over. I would probably have to re-think the whole thing."
There would be some recruiting ramifications aside from what a few have said about the assistants that were recruiting them being their primary focus through this tumultuous time. Some might actually decide elsewhere is better or at least, be able to continue a relationship with a coach rather than start all over with a possible new one at NU, QB, Allan Evridge stating, "Coach Solich was a big reason why I committed to Nebraska."
As to the commits already at NU, the story or what there is of it could be nothing more than something they thought shouldn't have been ran in the first place. To others that have yet to decide where they will go, the very fact that it made ESPN could make them sit back and ponder a little more about the staff stability in Lincoln.
Right now though, there's one thing you can bet and that like it or not, the assistants and perhaps Frank Solich himself have been, are or will be on the phone with just about every recruit they can think of trying to let them all know just what is going on.
The irony behind the after-effects of a single story can't be measured in fan reaction. No, not a story like this. The ramifications and implications behind the fact that this story even exists might well be felt for years.
It seems like we did this last year, doesn't it? Wondering, pondering and even growing a little angry because the coaches couldn't make up their mind or rather, Frank Solich couldn't decide on which coaches to hire. That turned out ok, but this time, if there is any validity to this story at all, it will be Steve Pederson that has to be as expeditious as possible.
Right now, recruits are just curious, but pretty soon if they haven't been told a thing, that phone will start to ring and then.........well, that phone will stop ringing altogether.
The story is out. Nothing anyone can do about that now, but for the sake of not just those committed to Nebraska but those NU wants to commit, whoever has the ability to bring an end to this as quickly as possible better do just that.
After all, if something isn't said, well, you know how it goes. Coaches need talent and talent needs coaches. Pretty soon, Nebraska might be real short on both.
Steve Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 402-730-5619