Well, not anymore, of course
With the change in offense, the emphasis on run-blocking maulers has changed as well, the team now attempting to sport a more pass protection style of blocking, with the run as a compliment and not what sets up everything else.
However, that doesn't mean they are necessarily going for a bunch of finesse-like players and their most recent commit, Cruz Barrett, can attest to that. His attitude when he gets down on that line is that whatever illusions you had as a defensive linemen are about over.
"You have to dominate," Barrett said of the mind-set towards your opponent during a game. "You have to be nasty, but you also have to be smart."
The intelligence factor keeps you from making mental mistakes like false starts, holds and some penalties that occur after the play. It doesn't keep a lineman from keeping that attitude, though. If you want to see if playing smart has made Cruz play soft, ask him what he does whenever he gets a chance to pull.
"That's when it gets good," Barrett said laughing. "You come around there and whoever I am hitting, it's not going to be good, because I am about to make him look bad in front of everyone in the stands."
"You lay ‘em out. That's what you do. You don't talk, because that could get you in trouble. You just hit the guy and make him not want to get up."
Everything that Cruz brings from his attitude, to his 6 foot, 4 inch, 315 pound frame, to his extremely good feet and hands – Husker fans are drooling knowing that he's going to be a Husker.
That's a heck of a statement, too, especially with in-state power Florida State having offered Barrett, but he said that for him Nebraska was the place he wanted to be. "I knew they needed someone like me and that if I wanted a shot at getting on the field early, it would definitely be there," he said. "The coaches have been great, the recruiting has been good and my whole visit there was real nice."
His visit to see the Kansas State game saw another electric atmosphere for the Huskers, Nebraska having to go down to the wire in yet another game. Like many of their close contests, though, the Huskers pulled out a win. That was great and all, but what Cruz remembered the most about the visit wasn't the game itself, but who was at the game.
"The fans are something else," Barrett said of the "sea of red". "They had a billboard with all of the recruit's names on it and they were chanting our names. That and the walk they do before the game, was just a great atmosphere to be in."
All good reasons to go, but based on what the Nebraska coaches told him and what he seen himself before that game, told him that this wasn't just where he wanted to be, but where he needed to be as well. "They have this little drill they do before games where the offensive line goes against the defensive line," Barrett said. "It seemed like the defensive line was winning most of those battles."
"That's something we need to change."
- Barrett indicated that he has a 3.1 core GPA, should have his ACT results back this week and that the coaches of Nebraska are recruiting him to play anywhere on that line that suits him.
- Barrett said that he would ideally like to redshirt his first year, but is open to playing if he's the best guy for the job.
- Florida State is still recruiting Cruz hard, Barrett stating that the coach recruiting him from the Seminoles has been trying to call him this evening after hearing about his commit to the Huskers. Cruz did say that he was actually trying to cancel all the rest of his visits, but wasn't sure if he wasn't going to take a visit to Florida State. He said he is 100% solid to NU.