Reuland ready for road trip east

When you've got Mark Sanchez as your quarterback, things are pretty darn good. When he leaves, you might think a little withdrawal sets in. Not so for one of the best tight ends in the country, though, as his recruiting has only picked up since one of the best prep-quarterbacks in the country departed. And now he's getting ready to hit the road.

You'd think that Konrad Reuland might already be waxing nostalgic, wishing for only one more year with one of if not the best quarterback in the country, Mark Sanchez.


Alas, one of the most coveted tight ends in the country will be going into his senior year without the touted prep, a newcomer in senior-to-be R.J. Toman taking his place.


The loss of the touted signal-caller certainly hasn't hurt Konrad's recruiting, though, Reuland now looking at around 30 offers and counting.


There's a problem with that many offers, of course, Konrad now looking at a formidable list, knowing that he hasn't personally seen most of them. To that end, Konrad has a trip planned at the end of July or early August to address that particular problem.


"I'm planning on visiting Nebraska, Ohio State, Miami and Notre Dame at the end of this month or the beginning of next month," Konrad said. "It's important that I get to see these schools, because I am very interested in them, but just don't know much more about them other than what you can read or see on TV."


Nebraska will be his first stop, Konrad finally making it to see the home of one of the very first offers he received. Point of fact, the Nebraska offer came on the very first day that official written offers can be given, that being the first of September of their junior year.


Reuland looks back on that time now as almost ironic. "Back then, I didn't know what the recruiting would be like or really how I was going to do, so when you get your first offer, that's pretty special," he said. "You look back on it now and it seems like it was so long ago even though it hasn't even been a year."


Since that time, the offers have piled up, all the local powerhouses having offered, along with most of the rest of the Pac-Ten.


That brings up the obvious question, one that has been asked, even poised as ridiculous, because the outcome is considered a given:


When does Konrad commit to USC?


It's been covered ad nauseam, but Konrad counters that with this up-coming trip and if his so-called inevitable reunion with his former teammate at USC was just that, the visits he's taking would be pointless.


"I'm not taking these trips just because," Konrad said. "I am very interested in all of the programs and there's so much I am looking for beyond what everyone else sees."


"They see that Mark is at USC, the success they have and just assume that's where I am going. But, I am not looking at that, because this isn't just me choosing a team, I'm choosing a school and my life for the next four years."


The Huskers are obviously hoping to be a part of that future, much like they have been part of his recent past. Nebraska, having lost the use of their All-Conference tight end in Matt Herian due to a broken leg, now has to look to some players with marginal experience and even to those that have yet to step on the field.


Reuland says that depth charts, opportunities and how he fits in all goes into what he's thinking about and again, Nebraska was there since day one. "I've gotten to learn a lot about them since they offered me," Konrad said. "But, there's only so much you can see from over here."


"I'm hoping that when I go there, It's just a place that I will totally love. But, I guess you hope that for any place. So, we'll see."


You'd think that with Sanchez gone and a newcomer taking his place, Rueland might feel some pressure based on what he did a year prior. The catches (47), the yards (744) and the touchdowns (7); all would seem to loom as marks he has to better in order to prove himself yet again.


Konrad knows that the pressure comes with the package, but his job this year is to help out the person that will have the most pressure of all. "I look at one of my roles this year as making sure that R.J. is as comfortable as he can be and that we are here to help him as much as we can," Konrad said of heir apparent to Mark Sanchez. "This is his one shot and he's only got that one shot to show what he can do."


"There's not going to be another Mark Sanchez, but we have to make sure that he knows he doesn't have to be. He just has to do the best he can and we'll all work together to go out and win some games."


That's the bottom line as always, your successes as an individual dwarfed by what the team accomplishes or doesn't. It's hard to mask the individuals, though, when some are literally household names in the domiciles of recruitniks around the country.


Reuland has already seen the stars, so to speak, so it's no shock to him. In fact, it makes him even more prepared for the future. "You really got to see what being a big-time recruit was like with Mark last year," Konrad said. "I doubt any of us will see anything like that. But, it makes it easier to focus on what's really important when all of this isn't some new thing."


"So, I don't worry about it. I just worry about my last year, how are team can do better and what schools I am looking at. All the rest is just stuff that doesn't really have anything to do with that."




Konrad is easily Nebraska's best prospect at the tight end position right now. There are a variety of other players that are being looked at, including Anthony McCoy, a tight end/wide receiver prospect out of Fresno, California and Will Yeatman; an underrated prospect, the Poway, California native standing 6 foot, 5 inches tall, weighing around 240 and boasting around 4.7 speed.


You can also add to that list Kirkwood, Missouri's Michael McNeil, Jordan McMichael out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, who recently camped at Nebraska, and Uniondale, New York's Andrew Quarless.


It's not a long list and amongst those, there aren't a lot of legit shots for the Huskers, but the big red can take heart in knowing that their probable top prospect at the position is still available and best of all, still visiting.

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