When Delbert Ferguson broke his leg early on in his season, you could understand if he might have been at least a little nervous after that. Some schools won't come out and say they are pulling a ship because they don't know that you will come all the way back, but suddenly, the phone rings a little less, there are fewer knocks at the door and before you know it, you went from fame to famine, schools coincidentally enough filling up at your position like wildfire.
A little of that happened to Delbert, but his pre-season ranking of being one of the top backs in all of the Midwest couldn't be so easily worn off, even by a broken leg, at least from the perspective of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. They still had faith that Ferguson would indeed be back
When Delbert finally decided to get going on his official visits, the first visit was a no-brainer, but the experience he would have wasn't so obvious or at least, so expected by the Ohio standout. He found that the faith shown in him wasn't a false confidence, rather a feeling that went from the top, down to the players, seemingly pervasive amongst every person with a jersey.
"If you want answers, you don't go to the coaches, you go to the players." Delbert said. "They will tell you what's going on and every single one of them was ready to go through a wall for coach Pelini. Some even said that if he asked them to do it, they wouldn't even hesitate."
"That's something you don't see many places and it makes you want to be a part of that."
So much so that Ferguson said something that is already well known in that if Bo Pelini was indeed named the official head coach of Nebraska, there would be someone that would be following quickly after. "That's what I am waiting for." Delbert said of the announcement that Pelini is the head coach. "I'm ready to visit Syracuse and Ohio State, but I am hoping this pans out."
Don't think Delbert is alone though or at least, that he plans on being alone in his pledge to the Scarlet and Cream.
He plans on bringing some with him, if he can.
QB, Daryll Clark and OL, Brandon Braxton are like Ferguson, amongst the best at their position in the usually talent-heavy state of Ohio . His closeness with them have prompted him to want to show these two friends what he experienced at Nebraska. He wants them to be a part of what he described as a family away from your actual family.
"I haven't had a chance to talk to them yet, but I plan to." Ferguson stated. "I think I can convince them to at least go down there and take a look. After that, I think the place sells itself."
That's something that Bo Pelini himself has said of Nebraska in that the program sells itself. While the tradition, the titles and the home crowd may get the foot in the door however, even Ferguson will agree it's what you see when you actually make it there that decides if that's the place for you.
"You have to be down there and talk to the players to really feel the kind of bond they have." he said. "They play for each other and will do anything for their coach. It's hard to beat that."
Nebraska is in the midst of a transition right now, one that nobody except Athletic Director, Steve Pederson really has any idea as to it's possible ultimate conclusion, but there's little doubt that while the official Nebraska recruiters are trying to smooth the waters over with the prep-elite across the country, there's one of those prep-stars that's doing his best to keep the faith not just for himself, but for others he hopes will join him in Lincoln should Pelini ultimately be the coach.
"I know if he's the head coach, that's where I want to be." Delbert said. "I'm going crazy though. I just wish they would get it over with right now."
As do we all.
Steve Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-730-5619