Nebraska Summer Camps - Session 1, Day 1

The first day of the first session of Nebraska's summer camps started today, kids from all over the country coming together to learn and compete. This was also a chance that Nebraska fans got to hear about some of those bigger names interested in Nebraska. It was good fortune then that a few made it to town today.

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Jordan McMichael

Last year it was all about Reggie Smith and the buzz created around him, despite the fact that he was at Nebraska 's summer camp for one single day. Well, Jordan McMichael was also just at the camp for a single day, but didn't do so badly himself.

In this evening's 7 on 7 competition, McMichael's size and athleticism proved too much for the defense, Jordan catching three touchdowns in a single game. He also showed good acceleration off the snap on defense and pretty good mobility at running routes.

McMichael tested well on the day, running a 4.7/40, recording a shuttle time in the mid-fours as well as vertical jumping over 30 inches. With his measurables along with his size (6 foot, 5 inches, 230 pounds), McMichael at first glance appears to be a solid overall athlete with an even more solid up-side.


McMichael has been looked at as one of Nebraska 's top tight end prospects, but could easily be seen as a rush end prospect and Kansas along with Wisconsin are some of the chief competitors for the Minnesota star.


Another out of the land of lakes was linebacker Tommy Becker. Perhaps a little unsung, Becker didn't let that stop him from impressing enough to warrant an individual drill after the initial day-session of day one was done.


Becker tested well, the 6 foot, 2 inch, 242 pound middle linebacker running a 4.42 shuttle along with jumping an impressive 30 inches. Becker didn't do the forty. Last year for Wayzetta high school in

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Tommy Becker

Wayzetta , Minnesota , Becker tallied a whopping 139 tackles along with 3 interceptions.


Right now, he's holding an offer from Minnesota , says that Iowa State and Michigan State are very interested and that he's heading to an Ohio State camp within the next couple of weeks.


Becker's individual drill was actually a duet of sorts, Tommy joined by fellow linebacker Scott Bayer. Bayer is an in-state product, playing both LB and fullback for Howell high school, the state's leading 8-man football power. They have not lost a game in the last 5 years.


Bayer, probably for me was the most impressive as I didn't really expect a lot from him, despite his impressive physique. You start off with the 4.68/40 he ran inside of Cook Pavilion, Bayer also showed that laterally, from a three-point stance and from the up-position, he was quick to the ball, exhibited pretty solid feet and his style of play is very aggressive.


For the evening, his team went 3-0 in 7 on 7 competition.


Right now, Bayer said that he's gotten the usual form letters from a few places, Iowa, Iowa State and Kansas State amongst those sending him material. But at least at this point, he's keeping his options fairly wide open.


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Scott Bayer

As a part of an eight-man program, regardless of how successful, even the best can go unnoticed, which seems to be what has happened here. It probably won't happen this year, Bayer looking to better his mark of 91 tackles on defense, but on offense, instead of playing fullback and getting just a fraction of the reps at carrying the ball, he'll get brunt of the work running on a team that does basically nothing else.


It's likely that if Nebraska were to show any major interest in Becker, it would probably be was a preferred walk-on as his size and speed make him not quite fast enough for outside and not quite big enough for the middle.


Scott has the potential, though, and the athleticism to make for a potent prospect for someone and you never know, this year could be his year to shine.


Howells high school has one 5 consecutive state titles and while Bayer has been there, he's never known a loss.


Speaking of loss or actually, the opposite of it, standing at 6 foot, 9 inches tall and weighing around 390 pounds, Wisconsin 's Eric Spiekerman was the largest man at camp; probably any camp.


What surprised me initially was the fact that this mountain of a young man could reach all the way down, knees not bending a bit and he could touch his toes. For you gymnasts out there, that's not a big deal, but for most of us average people, that's almost amazing.


What I found even more amazing was my speculation that Spiekerman would be around 6.0 seconds or worse for his forty was actually too high, Eric actually posting a 5.9 and when you look at the extra

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Eric Spiekerman

weight this young man is carrying, that's pretty darn good.


After what little he has done, Eric still has much to prove, but I've already seen in him something I didn't think I would see; potential and decent potential at that. If you take just 30 pounds off the kid, I think you see someone that might have a bright future and the lack of that extra weight would help on his knees, Spiekerman already having undergone two scopes on both of his knees.


Speaking of bigguns, another made it from Washington, Cody Habben, coming home, so to speak, the Nebraska native actually from Omaha . At around 6 foot, 5 inches tall and weighing in at around 275 pounds, Habben has the size and didn't do too badly with the speed. 5.53 in the forty, 5.24 in the shuttle and a vertical of 21 inches.


Cody said that he's certainly interested in Nebraska , would be sorely tempted if the Huskers were to offer, because it might look better than the other offers he possesses, those coming from Washington State , Utah , Idaho , Indiana and Colorado .


Nebraska is also in need of at least three more offensive lineman to fill some voids that exist and will exist even more-so in the future.


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Cody Habben

Aside from Bayer, another local product looked very good, Lincoln Northeast's John Fisher "showing out" in the 7 on 7 competition. Exhibiting excellent acceleration, feet and hips, Fisher took over and was easily his offense's most potent weapon, but was their defensive star as well. The 5 foot, 10 inch, 180 pounder has the usual recruiting attention thus far, with letter from schools around the region, but is turning in a solid camp at this point.


Fort Morgan 's Seth Jensen was also in attendance today and we'll have more on him in tomorrow's camp report. Jensen along with McMichael were the two players in attendance holding NU offers at this point.


As first sessions and first days go, this one was textbook, Tim Cassidy once again putting on an organized and methodical testing session for local and national preps. And with first days, it's the chances for those never having been to a camp like McMichael to get their feet wet with the experience.


McMichael's was just a one day experience, most of the rest going for two more days before they'll finish off their summer experience with the fastest man competition along with the 7 on 7 title game.


Tomorrow, everyone will don the pads and helmets and this is where you should see the men separate themselves from boys.



-                      Jordan McMichael tweaked either a hamstring or a calf muscle towards the end of 7 on 7 competition, but appeared to be fine, leaving with only a moderate limp

-                      In attendance were a variety of future Huskers; Frantz Hardy, Barry Turner and Chris Brooks taking in the show. Current Huskers helping out at the camp were some of the usual suspects like Greg Austin, Le Kevin Smith and Titus Brothers.

-                      There were approximately 300 kids in attendance from around 20 different states in the continental U.S.



For another view of camp and a more in-depth look at Jordan McMichael, here's staff writer Justin Stoller's report on the day that was at NU:



Whenever you gather 288 kids who want to get better and possibly play football in college, you're bound to find a few studs.  Day one of session one for the Nebraska football camp was no exception to that.  A handful of kids stood out from the others.  In fact, two kids who traveled a long way, stood out to Steve literally and he only has one functioning eye at the moment.  6'6 385lbs Charles Smith towers over 286 of the kids at the camp.  Smith probably hasn't seen competition in terms of size, but he will get just that opportunity throughout the three day camp as he goes against 6'9 390lbs mammoth lineman Eric Spiekerman.  Spiekerman was the player Steve mentioned in his earlier tidbits about being able to touch his toes while stretching.  He has some very impressive flexibility and actually ran a solid 40 yard dash.  Nothing overly impressive for his speed, but if you want to talk about pound for pound speed, this guy might win it all.


The first day of this camp was more about administration according to Tim Cassidy and so the competition aspect was lower than normal.  The kids did get the chance to complete all the testing the coaches wanted done.  There weren't any blazing 40 yard dashes but a few solid times were turned in by kids who are actually some of the biggest there.  After testing the kids went through an hour of "practice" in which they broke down into positions and went through a few drills.  Next came a short break and the nightcap was seven on seven while the offensive lineman lifted over at the stadium weight room.


Probably the most impressive person at day one of the camp was TE/DE Jordan McMichael.  I watched Jordan do all of his testing and his drills.  He didn't test as well as he can and he stressed that to me.  Jordan didn't have a great pair of shoes and so running on turf in Cook he had problems keeping his balance.  I started to wonder about the kid at this point, and then he showed why he has an offer from Nebraska once the real stuff began.  He bursts off the line of scrimmage extremely quick and has those amazing first couple steps that actually reminded me of Barry Cryer.  McMichael showed a lot of other great attributes that Coach Scott Downing wants in a tight end.


 During the drills, McMichael had more than a few fancy catches and all this was without his special gloves.  He joked about saving those for the seven on seven drills.  It wasn't funny for the defense though once he put them on during seven on seven as McMichael scored three touchdowns.  He also flashed great athleticism as he lined up at OLB during seven on seven and chased down a lot of ball carriers.  Good footwork and a great frame for the position shows exactly why McMichael has the impressive list of offers.  This was his only day of camp though; he plans on visiting other camps across the Midwest throughout the week. 


McMichael admits he doesn't have any favorites and is very open still to all teams recruiting him.  He plans on going to a few other camps and isn't in a hurry to make a decision.  He liked what he saw here in Lincoln and now only time will tell if it was enough to secure the signing of a potentially great tight end.         


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