Shooting Point Blank

Character is a word bandied about by nearly every football coach on every level that has ever or will ever coach. The thing is, it's not always backed up and is often just lip service given to a recruit's family in the search for the next big thing. A number of Cornhusker fans were and are worried that perhaps the character of the team they follow was gone when Bill Callahan was named the head coach, but I'd like to contest that not only is it still here, it's strong than ever.

Character is a word bandied about by nearly every football coach on every level that has ever or will ever coach.  The thing is, it's not always backed up and is often just lip service given to a recruit's family in the search for the next big thing.  A number of Cornhusker fans were and are worried that perhaps the character of the team they follow was gone when Bill Callahan was named the head coach, but I'd like to contest that not only is it still here, it's strong than ever.

 

Missouri fans flood their boards and chat rooms and use some pretty colorful words to describe the de-commitment of four-star wide receiver Chris Brooks to Nebraska.  Unfortunately for Tiger fans, their perceptions couldn't be more wrong.  When Coach Callahan took over the reigns of the University of Nebraska's football program, he had several points that he wished to address over the course of the season and off-season.  Love, commitment, honor and character were amongst these.  The final one is what I wish to discuss today. 

 

In having the privilege of speaking to recruits, often times you get to learn a lot about them before they ever announce a commitment to a particular school.  The old adage that "actions speak louder than words" can sometime come into play here.  It can be as simple as putting off film study to talk to a guy you don't know covering recruiting.  It can be simply always having the time for an interview, being able to hear the smile on a kid's face over the phone lines.  It can be found in what isn't said rather than what is said.  Each of these can be found in current commitments to the University of Nebraska. 

 

We've been able to cover Harrison Beck a lot because, well, he was a main target of the recruiting class and he was a guy that many schools fought for rather diligently.  In speaking with Harrison, he had some unique qualities that were rather admirable.  Harrison wasn't necessarily interested in an interview so much as he was interested in having a conversation with me.  The other thing you can notice when speaking to Harrison is his love of the game, those around him, those he surrounds himself with and his high character.  He's very polite, one trait that is near if not totally unanimous amongst the 2004-2005 class, he's very intelligent, very confident and is just fun to talk to.  His character will take him far, forget football, in life.

 

Leon Jackson is a kid that can't stop smiling.  He reminds me of Cory Ross in a few ways, but that constant smile is a reminder to the plucky senior-to-be from Denver who juked and jived his way into the hearts of the Nebraska faithful during a pretty down 2004 campaign.  Leon always makes time to stop what he's doing just for the benefit of the interview.  Trying to get Leon to talk smack about anyone or anything is about like convincing a Penn State fan that they didn't win a national championship in 1994.  It can't be done.  Jackson is the kind of kid that you want to meet just so you can say you shook his hand once.  Quality kid with high character.

 

With the MidWest Coast Offense came a lot of different changes, new faces and a large chunk of unfamiliarity across the Cornhusker State, but one thing has always remained in its football team: the character.  It's a main component and it shall pay dividends in the future.   Of course, the fact that these kids are so gifted and talented won't hurt either. 

 

Questions, comments and feedback can be sent to Blankman71@cox.net

 

===Brandon a.k.a. Blankman #71===


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