JACKPOT!

Many might argue whether Nebraska is right or wrong in taking only one quarterback this year and then another argument might ensue about which quarterback that has been offered is best suited for this year. I happen to think that the tandem commitment of Josh Freeman and Menelik Holt was just what the doctor ordered for this year's recruiting class and for year's to come.

Many wondered what the Nebraska coaching staff might do as an encore performance to last year's recruiting class. It was ranked as high as number one by some sources and was in everyone's top ten. A performance that many wondered if it was possible and other were left to speculate could it be duplicated.

College football is about the short-term. In the day and age of Playstation II, XBox and fantasy football; the football world is "what have you done for me lately." Maybe that is why USC and Oklahoma are continuously listed among recruits who at their positions would be 8th string as a top 100 player out of high school.

So what needs to happen? Well, Nebraska found out last year. Success may be the key ingredient to being successful in recruiting today, but needing that talent may be just as useful of sales pitch.

Last year at this time Nebraska was so convincing to every recruit that they had offered that zero players had committed to Nebraska. A stimulus was needed. A person or persons had to be the face of the class and be the encouragement and the reinforcer that things are about to happen in Lincoln.

Nebraska needed Harrison Beck last year like it needs Josh Freeman and Menelik Holt this year.

While many will look back, like Tom Lemming said, and credit Nebraska's future success to Nebraska's 2004-05 recruiting class, I believe that without a solid and maybe even better 2005-06 class that many wouldn't be looking at Nebraska at all.

There are few positions last year where someone could take what we got and say, never mind who is on the depth chart now or who I could bring in next year, these are my guys. Last year Nebraska was in a situation at many positions, including quarterback, where the only depth that was at that position was just the starter.

Now, people will point the finger and say that comment isn't fair to Beau Davis and the others. There were too many times that if another option had been there that Dailey would have been on the sideline to make me think different.

Without more quality depth to a nucleus of current players and a good group of recruits and difference makers coming there would be the same problems that we had last year. We will have those problems at some positions this year to a lesser extent in most cases because of last year's class.

But, that is what makes Josh Freeman and Menelik Holt so important to the success of this year's class. You have two players that it appears are difference makers in the success that Nebraska has on the field and in this year's recruiting class.

A buzz is needed to get things going. When people start to see and hear about great recruiting classes then more begin to consider that team. While many would argue that getting blanked in the U.S. Army All-American game was a bad thing last year, I am here to tell you that it was a great thing.

You need people to talk about you and see your school's name wherever they turn. You need people to know that the type of talent needed to play in the U.S. Army All-American game is considering coming to Nebraska.

There are two needs that Nebraska has to have from it's players to continue to get great players. The first is success on the field. Of course the Nebraska coaching staff knows that their task at hand means winning the Big 12 North every year and ultimately the Big 12 and to challenge for the National Championship.

You don't get there over night and for a team that wasn't more than a guy deep at some positions last year it is going to take some time. The changes are in place though and a commitment has been made to the offense and the idea that Nebraska can be great again.

Beyond the immediate success though that everyone is giddy about when it comes to having Marlon Lucky, Craig Roark, Chris Brooks and now Josh Freeman, D.J. Jones and Menelik Holt on board now is the success of making these recruits into fine players and getting them into the NFL. That type of success will further encourage high school players to choose Nebraska.

Tell me how nice it will be to have a 6-foot-5 quarterback who is 240 pounds when he is done in Lincoln and runs a 4.8 after having been a two year starter in a West Coast offense under a former NFL coach if you were a pro scout? Now that is a complete package.

The idea now that Nebraska is bringing in the big quarterbacks and big wide receivers just makes me giddy. Look at the players on USC's team last year at those positions and they will average over 6-foot-3. Nebraska is well on it's way to getting there.

So the "JACKPOT" is more than a day, it's more than 4-5 years. Like Uncle Eddy said to Clark Griswold, "It's the gift that keeps on giving Clark." Get these players to commit to Nebraska, to have success in Lincoln and then onto becoming future pros and that is when you will be able to compete year in and year out for the national title.


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