Recruiting Roundtable: You ask, we answer

What's the hottest recruiting questions right now? Well, we've got them and the answers as well. Check out what people want to know about what's going on with NU recruiting right now and, for the future.

Do you feel that Nebraska will be taking in a steady amount of recruits throughout the recruiting cycle or do you feel they will come in spurts (Maine week, Oklahoma, etc.?)


Bryan: There are some weekends that will admittedly be bigger for different reasons.  For example, with Maine you have the anticipation of the season opener against a not-so-good foe, but the environment sells on home openers and is ALWAYS good for loud crowds in night games.


The Oklahoma game, I imagine, will have some theme underlying or running all the way through it unfortunately.  Four years ago I really felt like the crowd was taken out of the game with the Turn Back the Clock and the Remember the Good Ole Days video clips.


While they were nice to sit there and reminisce, they really took away any momentum that should have been building on the field by taking the crowd out of it.  Always good to remember the past and celebrate it, but I think that idea wasn't real well done.


I would guess that you will still see the bulk of our recruits in the early games (into early November).  This is especially for warm-weather area players.  Come to Nebraska, it doesn't get September.  You also need to show these kids what it's like to play in front of that crowd, on that field and how the city just is abuzz on football Saturdays.


I also think that you may see more "tap target" players get in for the early weekends as coaches then can assess how serious that player is then and there about coming to Nebraska.  If they get the idea that they won't get him or he will be hard to get then you get your #2 guys in later.  I don't know this for a fact, I am just assuming.  Then again, look at the names in for Oklahoma (a later game) and that would contradict what I just said.  So what do I know?


Brandon: I personally feel that there's going to be a steady stream. There will be moments where things die down a bit, obviously because we're not taking 85 kids, but I feel that mostly it'll be smooth with a few bursts such as against Maine and the Sooners.


I believe that official visits are going to play an even more crucial role this year as I feel that the offense will be quite a bit improved from last season and thusly will give offensive recruits a glimpse at what we're trying to do. From the defensive perspective, one really only needs to look at the depth chart at most positions to see the opportunity to become a star immediately.


Steve: Commits almost always come in spurts. Depending on your idea of "steady", there are lulls in the action as much as there are those spurts, where you could see multiple commits within a week's time.


The official visits are key for a lot of reasons, but especially with this staff, the official visit is a way to lock the door on some of the more coveted prospects around.


Remember, at this point last year, Nebraska did not have as many commits in a class that would ultimately reach 31. So, NU has a long ways to go and it's very doubtful, almost totally unlikely that this will be a steady stream.


Between decisions after official visits and those made during the season, you'll continue to feel the ups and downs of recruiting.


Because of the amount of super recruits attending the home opener and the Oklahoma game, have those two weekends become make or break opportunities

for the coaching staff?


Bryan: No, and I will give you a two word answer:  Southern Miss.  Now what happened with Southern Miss?  We lost.  Lost in a game that I would say showed a lack of heart, confidence and desire to play the game of football. It was really hard to see Nebraska play that way at home that day.


But what really happened that weekend?  Anyone remember.  Zach Bowman came

in for an official.  Not only did Zach Bowman come in for an official that weekend, but he committed.  Committed to a team that just lost a game that they barely played and still should have won.


That tells me something.  Beyond wins and losses there is character.  There is convincing that can be done to tell a player, we don't lose that game if you and some more of these official visitors here are suited up today to play.  There are ways to roll with the punch of a loss.


I really don't see any game that we could be an underdog in or a close game as being a must game if we have huge recruiting weekends.  There are more than just the game's results that can convince a player to be part of your team.  It's about being the future and not necessarily a part of it that



Brandon: I believe so regardless of if you look at the rate of return for the week immediately afterwards or the recruiting cycle as a whole. For the former, naturally the coaches are going to have a lot of high profile talent in town and are going to want to get commits from kids as soon as they're comfortable. I think that, in that respect, they are safe because the sheer amount of kids that are going to be in town those two particular weekends suggests that, by probability, at least a few will pull the trigger and with the quality of athlete, you're going to get some studs.


Over the entire course of the recruiting cycle, it is as well because while you may not get everyone to commit immediately, the experience at Lincoln may make others pale in comparison or just make other visits not feel as comfortable or as much like home. Either way, they are make or break weekends and this staff, no doubt, is aware of the significance of both games both from a recruiting and coaching standpoint.


Steve: With all the emphasis this staff has put on going all out or as much as they can, on official visits and the honest to goodness rapport they have with kids that come in for visits, this is a key this class filling needs to the extent that last year's did.


That doesn't mean the same numbers, but as long as the needs are met, that's what matters in the end.


The official visits are the golden goose for coaches as the facilities and game time atmosphere can be and has been intoxicating teenagers by the allure of it all. You can't put a price on that. Heck, you need that, because it sells everything about the program right there on a Saturday in Fall.


How does Sausman fit into the picture and what does this do to possible OTcommits?


Bryan" Sausman is a jolt of caffeine right into this offensive line for obvious reasons.  Matt has the size and ability, from what I understand, to step in and do things for this team right now.  Have I not said that this kid at 325 pounds can two-hand slam a basketball?  Yes, he's athletic.


Sausman will allow Coach Wagner to have some freedoms now.  There is a need for an eight man rotation along this offensive line.  A line that last year was lucky to have had seven different people play all of last season.  I would look for Pasteur, Sausman and Thomas as my OTs.  I would look for Seppo, Koch and Austin as my OGs.  Then you have Mann and Roark for your centers.  That is a lot better than last year.


Now, take this one step further and look at the future needs of this line. This year we are guard heavy with Christensen and Huff not even making the eight man rotation by my eyes or either of the Picous.  Is that disheartening?  No, not really.  The eight is a minimum.  I have been told that Christensen has been seeing time with the one's so "simma don na".


Now, Huff is out of position at OT, move him back inside and look at what happens at OG after losing Seppo and Koch to graduation next year:  Picou, Picou, Christensen, Huff, and Austin.  At OT you will get back Thomas after he gets his waiver and then back with Sausman, Pasteur and Murtha gets another year.


You then have Jones to help out at OT, Henry at C with Mann being a SR in Henry's TR FR year and the need is really at OT, but not as bad as it might be without Sausman.  So does this affect a SR this year from picking Nebraska as a school for early playing time?  I don't think so.


There is still as much of a need at OT as there was without Sausman. Remember, Huff is out of position and behind Sausman, Pasteur and Thomas (if those are our three) is Chris Patrick (a converted DE).  Not good.  Depth concerns and quality of depth concerns should still sell this position to any of the OTs that Nebraska has offered.


Brandon: I think Sausman gives the offensive line a legitimate 8^th man on the line and will do well, especially now that he's been able to drop a few pounds. In terms of what this does to possible OT commitments down the road, I don't think they'd necessarily see Matt as much of a threat initially due to his "walk on" status and besides, competition is key here. If a prospect doesn't want that, I'm not so sure we want them.


Steve: For the lack of a better way to put it, Sausman is just what the doctor ordered. It' s no secret that there isn't a whole lot of confidence in the starting line up on the offensive line, especially at the tackle postions.


Players like Brock Pasteur and even Jordan Picou are going to be looked at very, very hard to see if they are ready to step in and give it a shot.


What Sausman gives you is the perfect build for his assignment, sporting long arms and enough size that there should be a "Caution, Wide Turns" sign on his back. Now, he just needs to get into the system.


Now, with him arriving so late, it's  going to be hard to get even just a rudimentary understanding of what he has to do, but more importantly, what do certain calls on the line of scrimmage mean.


With his size and reported speed, Sausman could be the biggest steal Nebraska gets for awhile.


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