US Army - Day One - Recruits/Commits arrive

For Husker fans, they can say what no other school this year can say: They have more commits playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl than anyone else this year. With those kinds of bragging rights, there's going to be plenty of Husker fans watching, near and far. It's just part of what is going to make this a week to remember for all the future Huskers down in San Antonio for the game.

All of the recruits in attendance for this year's U.S. Army All-American Bowl are counting down the days. To the game, of course, but to the days when their next football career begins. Between Rodney Picou Jr., Craig Roark, Jordan Congdon, Leon Jackson, Marlon Lucky and Phillip Dillard, it's even easier for them to look that far ahead, because they are all going to the same school.


For many of the Nebraska-commits, it's a definite treat to be able to meet their future teammates for the first time, but some, for the second or even third chance around. "It's good to get to know everyone you are coming in with." Rodney Picou said. "You start to see what Nebraska is putting together for next year and we're going to have a team, just you wait."


Waiting is the theme for everyone, but tomorrow, the players at least won't have to worry about that as practices will ensue and it will be back to just like playing during the season again. Only, this time the weekend game is be against the best group of individual talent that you have ever faced in your life. "I am so excited to play," Craig Roark said. "Now that we are down here, I just can't wait to get out on that field and play."


That's a lot of pressure when you know you are one of the best at your position and facing some of the best at theirs. It's pressure, well, at least for those that actually feel it. Don't ask a kicker about pressure. They will just smile at you. "You just have to know how to use it." Kicker Jordan Congdon said. "I don't usually worry about it, because it's only a problem if you let it affect you and think too much about what's around what you have to do instead of just doing it."


While Leon Jackson isn't a kicker, he would concur. "You don't think about how you are going to do something or what you are going to do," he said. "You just go out there, do what you do and see what it gets you."


Chances are, for Jackson it won't get him what he got during the regular season, Leon averaging almost 15 yards per carry for Pasco high school in Pasco, Washington. Jackson isn't expecting that, of course, but just because these are the best players around, it doesn't mean he's think any less of his potential. "It doesn't matter how good the guys are across the line," Leon said. "You go out there and you do your job. The coaches, players, everyone depends on you to do that, so you just go out and do what you do best."


There's one thing that Craig Roark does best and that's destroy whoever is in front of him. One of the more punishing point-of-impact guys you are going to see in the entire country, Roark's one goal once in the down-position is to come up when the ball does and just as quickly put at least the guy across from him on his bad.


To that end, Roark has been successful more often than not, tallying close to 180 pancake-blocks this year, but there's no number that could equal the satisfaction he plans to feel after this week has come and gone. "These guys are the best," Roark said of his teammates and opponents for the week. "You have to want to play guys like this, because they best around. If you think you are good, that's when you find out if you are or  not."


Husker fans want to find out to. They want to see for themselves what they have only seen on a couple of film clips, most of those coming from the players' senior year. They want to see what these guys are really made of, but fans don't have to worry according to Picou, because they are going to get to see just that. "We've got something for them," he said. "The west team is bringing it this weekend. When you look at the team we have, there's no excuse. We are coming like crazy."


Crazy is what Husker fans are hoping. Crazy, plus maybe a few more future Huskers to add to the mix. While potentials like Adam Myers-White, Raymond Henderson and others aren't saying anything, Roark didn't hide his optimism for the week. "I think we get at least two more guys," Craig said. "I am really confident, because Nebraska has done such a good job sticking with people and it just feels to me like they are going to get a couple more pretty soon."


If that happens, the total of commits for Nebraska fans goes from more than anyone else to more than anyone else, plus two. That's good news all the way around. Phillip Dillard considers any additional players just a good decision by them, because he smiles a little and think down the road. "It's going to be great to get this thing going," Phillip said. "The closer it gets, the excited you get and you just want everyone to join you."


"It's going to be exciting this week, but for quite a few of us, we are going to be doing it all over again pretty soon."


"That's the greatest part."

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