There's these guys at the carnivals, those ones with the freak shows anyway. Well, these guys stand on a podium and try and convince passers by that what is inside the mysterious tent is worth their time and of course, hard-earned money.
You have to be good. Not just good, but infomercial good. You have to be able to sell anything.
Craig Roark doesn't have the issue that he's been trying to sell something that people don't necessarily want to see, because he's selling the same thing he bought into himself.
The Big Red.
Since his commitment to the
Huskers, Roark has been easily the most adamant about his pledge and about
trying to get others to join him in
From unofficial visits and talking to recruits to his official, talking to yet more recruits and then to the phone where he's calling the same recruits he talked to on the visits or recruits he hasn't talked to at all.
Come the second week of January, now, he gets to meet all of them in person. "It is going to be great." Craig said. "All these guys you hear about, the big names, it's just going to be great to meet all of them in person."
Craig will meet the current commits to NU, but he'll also be hunting down those that have yet to say just where their future lies. "I've met a few of those guys, but not everyone I want to meet." Craig said. "I'll try to get to know them all."
The "All" includes players he's already met like Raymond Henderson, Adam Myers-White, Reggie Smith and Nyan Boateng, but if there are other players out there that he thinks could be swayed, he's not shy about taking the bull by the horns. "I'm not going to be pushy or anything like that." He said. "But, I'll just get to know some of the guys out there I haven't talked to before and you never know."
There is a game, of course, one that Craig is even more excited about than he is of his self-imposed duties as an extra recruiter. It's a game where Roark will face the best competition he's faced in his entire career. "That's what I like the most about it, the competition that I am going to face." Craig said. "It's a way to see how you stack up with a lot of guys that are considered the best in the country."
Roark is amongst that elite group, widely considered as one of the top interior linemen in the country. For a born perfectionist, however, it's never going to be enough. "I just want to be the best I can be and beat whoever is in front of me." Roark said. "I don't care what game it is or who it is against; I want to win every time."
He'll be facing some staunch competition during the game, but it's actually practice he's looking forward to the most. That's when Roark will go head-to-head with some of the names he respects the most. "Guys like Ekom Udofia, Demarcus Granger and Jerrell Powe – those are the ones I can't wait to face."
"After you face players like that, you know you've faced the best."
That's what this is all about. The fun you have in the week up to the game, that's great. Even all the sensitivities surrounding the atmosphere regaling all those competing, yeah, that's fun to. What's the most fun, at least for players like Roark, that's when you get to strap it on, run out and start smacking people around.
Roark has an idea about his strategy so that he'll get off to a good start.
"My coach says that when the game first starts, it's pretty evenly matched." Craig said of the match-up between him and whoever lines up across from him. "But, he says that when I just get mad, that there's nothing to worry about after that."
Almost hulk-like, Roark's anger is his motivation and this mild-mannered person says of his fiery on-field persona, that it just comes with the uniform. "Actually, it's not that hard to get mad in a game." He said. "Someone says something or does something or I just get like that just because. It pretty much just happens."
"After that, all I want to do is cream whoever is in front of me."
He'll get his chance for that and
for more as there's an entire week of build-up before the game even arrives.
It's also a time where Craig will meet players that when they depart
Craig is eager to meet them all again, but as always, he'll try and help all he can so that 6 turns to 7, 8 and maybe more and even more than that. "I hope everyone commits to NU." He said. "I know why I did and this class, it's just incredible."
"I am confident if people see
"It's a great time to be a Husker."