Recruiting for Nebraska: Commits selling NU

I knew this recruiting season would be different when it came to this collective of coaches at the University of Nebraska. A lot of NFL backgrounds, mostly a younger staff across the board and just a bunch of new personalities going out there and selling Nebraska in their own particular way. What I've seen this year, however, is something I can't recall seeing much of at all. Recruits recruiting recruits. In an odd twist, Nebraska's getting help from their own commits. Now, does it do any good?

Quarterback, Harrison Beck commits to the University of Nebraska. A significant commit for Nebraska, taking one of the better QB prospects in the country right out of the Sunshine State.

Normally, that would be it. Nebraska got a great player and now, the fans that follow recruiting move on, hearing Beck's name from the myriad updates done over the season as people track Harrison's final year of high school football.

Through his own motivation, Beck's name didn't stay silent for long, Harrison voluntarily adding himself to the staff at Nebraska by doing a little recruiting of his own.

His first contact was with of the very best players in the country, wide receiver Derrick Williams. An e-mail saying who he was and of course, why he was attempting a discourse with the Maryland native. "I just wanted to tell him why I chose Nebraska because I knew he had some interest in them." Harrison said. "Plus, the guy's like the number one receiver in the country, so I want to get his butt to Nebraska."

Now, I have heard of commits selling other recruits on the program they have just committed to. Most of it though comes from them taking official visits and on those visits telling everyone that is attendance the reasons for your pledge to that school.

Calling on the phone though? Writing e-mails? Even writing a heartfelt speech such as the one Harrison Beck wrote, addressing all recruits around the country?

Why?

"You want people to experience what you experienced." Beck stated. "I want other players to see just why I committed there and what it was all about. Besides, you want the best players to go there so we can kick everyone's ass."

Beck isn't alone however, in his venture to be Nebraska's force down in the trenches of recruiting. Recent Nebraska commit, Craig Roark has followed suit and in many ways has upped the ante, stating that he plans on making a video that will show him stating the reasons why he committed and combining that with highlights of the Huskers, examples of the new facilities and everything else Roark found would show what he was impressed with the most.

Roark stated that he thought a player might have more success than a coach simply because players will talk to recruits differently than a coach might. "I know what coaches usually say." Craig said. "They are trying to sell the program, but they also say how much they want you and that's great, but as a player sometimes you have questions that a player can answer a little better."

Eric Hedstrom and Reginald Youngblood would agree.

Younblood, rated as the #2 offensive linemen in the country had all but dropped Nebraska from his list and then came the call from Roark. "It made a difference." Reginald said. "He was just so excited, it made you want to see what's got this guy going like that. It made me want to check them out."

Younblood went on to say that he would contact offensive line coach, Dennis Wagner and as he said, see "what's up".

Eric Hedstrom is another standout lineman-Hedstrom hailing from Illinois. While Nebraska was already a strong team in Hedstrom's eyes, he said that Roark's telephone call certainly didn't hurt. "I already liked Nebraska a lot." Eric said. "But, Craig is a player and around my age to, so he knows how I am feeling, he knows a lot of the questions I have and the guy was just so excited about everything, it made you that much more excited about what's going on at Nebraska."

"I'd rather have a lot of my questions answered by a player, because I know the coaches will tell you what you want to know, but a player will tell you stuff they wanted to know and sometimes that's different."

That would seem to be the overriding advantage for a recruit is that though they are inundated with information about a school from it's coaches, it's the players or as in this case, commits that might have a first-hand look as in the cases of Beck and Roark. What the campus is like, what the facilities are really like and most importantly, what's the atmosphere like on campus. "That's something a coach can't really tell you." Hedstrom stated. "The relationships between players and coaches, what other players already there are saying- a coach can't really tell you what that's like so a player telling you is pretty cool."

Oklahoma linebacker, Phillip Dillard said of Roark's phone call to him, while it wasn't going to play a major factor in his decision, Roark's demeanor throughout the conversation was what probably had the biggest impact. "I actually had Nebraska leading on my list before he called." Dillard stated. "And, what he says doesn't really do much because I am going to there to check it out myself, but he was just excited. I mean, really excited about his commitment to Nebraska. That means something when a player goes out of his way to do that for the school they are going to."

And you can expect that to continue, both Roark and Beck stating that they are and will be continuing their quest for future Huskers along with the coaches hired to do so. The actual effect this has in the end can't be known immediately, but based on what results we have seen, it would seem that Nebraska's amateur recruiters are off to a good start.

It's their message to recruits as to why they thought Nebraska was the place to be. "It says a lot when players that just committed are willing to go out there and do stuff like we have." Beck said of his and Craig Roark's efforts. "I don't know where else that's taking place. We're not just happy about our decision, we're excited about it and the future and we want others to be a part of it. I think that if you wanted to know what kind of program Nebraska is, you just have to look at what we're doing it and why and you get a pretty good idea."

Steve Ryan can be reached at SteveRyan@bigredreport.com or 402-730-5619


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