Rands ready as ever for the future

Robert Rands has already done something this year not done since long before he was even born. To break a record held by the one and only Gayle Sayers, you can almost say you have seen and done it all. The spring game should have been for any in-state player, just like any other. However, even for someone as reserved as Rands, it was an experience to remember.

There's no way that a crowd of 64,000 thousand fans is going to impressive a Nebraska native. Heck, that's not even close to sold out, so it's just another day at the stadium, another glorified scrimmage.

Sure, that's true and for those people so familiar with the traditions at Nebraska, this isn't a break from the norm.

It's still pretty cool, though.

"The atmosphere was great," future DB and punt return man Robert Rands said. "The NFL players, the game itself, it was all pretty cool."

Pretty cool except he watched his future teammates in the secondary get torched for almost 600 yards from all of the NU QBs combined. Rather than take away from that group, Rands opted to give credit where he thought it was due. "Zac had a great day," he said. "I thought they did a great job passing and catching and it was just a really good job overall."

Ok, about those yards given up by the secondary, though. With that and the fact that this is a mix and match group, due to losses from injury and the draft, as a cornerback yourself, you have to look at the opportunities as there for the taking.

Again, Rands takes the more objective route when thinking maybe a little too far in the future. "Everyone has a shot to play," he said. "I don't know that this game means a lot in the fall, so I think everyone is going to get a chance to show what they can do."

What Rands can do amongst other things is jump. A reported 39-plus inch vertical, which is over half his actual height, for any DB, that's an asset considered to be just as important as hips and of course, speed. Then, of course, there's the matter of the fact that Rands now owns a record once owned by the one and only Gayle Sayers.

The long-jump record, one that has stood for decades now, it's been Rands' goal to get it, his thought that he would indeed have it, but now that he does, what's next for the high-flying star. "I want to jump 25-6," Rands said of better his new record of 25 and a quarter. "That's what I am hoping to get before my senior year is done."

Just to give you what Rands has already done this year in respect to some of the best around the country, Jim Spier, a top track and field analyst has as his top five long jumpers in the country, nobody that has jumped even 25 feet, non-wind-aided.

And, Rands sits second overall in the event in trying to qualify for the junior nationals.

With all his recent success, you can imagine that this particular event is occupying a lot of his attention and time. You would be correct. But, it didn't stop Rands from feeling what so many felt as they watched the spring game this last Saturday. "I watching all that and I was ready to go," Rands said. "I was ready to play right now."

He'll have to wait and there's plenty to keep his mind occupied until he takes the field in August as he tries to get on the field. But, that doesn't stop him from thinking about what it will be like when that happens. "You think about it," Rands said of the atmosphere as a player versus a fan. "You kind of wonder what it's going to feel like being out there playing instead of watching."

"It's going to be exciting; I know that, so I'll be pretty happy when that time finally arrives."


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