Husker Nation Tour 2005 Report - Omaha, NE

As the Husker Nation Tour spread out across the state of Nebraska, several rabid Cornhusker fans descended upon the Village of Boys Town in Omaha to meet up with some of Nebraska's athletic coaches and were treated to refreshments along with some lessons about what it takes to play for the Cornhuskers and not just in football.

Even a solid downpour of rain couldn't hold back the unruly love of all things Nebraska that the Cornhusker State holds dear to her heart.  A group that helped pack the Palrang Field House was treated to punch, cookies and a lesson in Nebraska football and basketball.  The teachers were Offensive Line Coach Dennis Wagner, Defensive Line Coach John Blake, Graduate Assistant Angus McClure and Assistant Basketball Coach Scott Spinelli.

Wagner and McClure both spent their time demonstrating basic offensive line stances and positions to the crowd showing not only ideal measurements for Nebraska's recruits go above and beyond the average of a human male, but proper technique for a Cornhusker offensive lineman once he has entered the system.  Wagner also discussed proper timing on pass protection while McClure continued to show perfect poise protecting the "pocket".

The soft-spoken Blake explained the basics of the defensive line to the crowd including the importance of watching the ball before the snap as to not jump offsides, lest you end up doing push ups.  A few of the younger participants ended up getting some extra exercise following the snap, but probably not as much as the standard Cornhusker.  Coach Blake also led a lecture on the art of Bone Throwing ending the seminar with a drill in which the defensive line prospect swam past his man, "sacked" the quarterback and crossed his or her arms.  Finally, as the group disbanded, Blake shouted out, "Blackshirts don't die," to which the crowd responded, "They multiply!"

Spinelli sat the group around the three point line and, after taking three young prospects from the throng, packed about as much defensive fundamental work as any human being could into a 15 minute span.  He was able to demonstrate, to the prospects and the group on hand, proper defensive stance, side-to-side movement, remaining alert and other important aspects of the game.  Spinelli continued to stress that the techniques learned, once practice, could help a person play basketball at any level. 

All three coaches took plenty of time to encourage the many young people in attendance and finally the day was capped off with a group picture of those who came to the event.

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