Top 100 Jr. surprised at attention from NU

Before his written offer, Courtney Viney admitted that he didn't know a lot about Nebraska. Where it was might have been about the gist of it. He's gotten to know a lot more about them since. One thing, though, that has continued to surprise him isn't what he's learned, but what they have tried to learn from him. When it comes to interest, Nebraska is definitely tops on the list.

Cornerback Courtney Viney made the pre-season Top 100 Juniors in the country. Not only that, he's on of the top cornerbacks, period. How does that make Viney feel knowing that he's one of the best? Oh, it's good and he appreciates it…………but….

"I guess it's kind of selfish, but when you are trying to be THE best, if there are guys ranked ahead of you, that gives you something to shoot for and those are the guys you look at as who you have to beat," Courtney said.

It's not a long list he'll be eyeballing right now as there's two cornerbacks that are ranked above. One of those players ranked along with Courtney in the pre-season top 100 happens to be a friend of his, Polytechnic high school's Donovan Warren.

That's a nice surprise for Viney as it's always good to have some friendly competition with those you know. What isn't a surprise, though, is that when Viney does look at this list, he sees something eerily familiar when it comes to where certain DBs are ranked.

They are all taller than him

At 5 foot, 8 inches tall, Viney has had that wrap since he started playing football; he was too short, too small and wasn't going to be able to play the position the way he needed to, especially against the always-growing wide receivers around the country. That's more than ironic considering the fact that a fellow Edison high school DB, who is exactly the same height as Courtney, isn't doing too shabby in the NFL.

Ricky Manning Jr., a third round selection of the Carolina Panthers is just one of many great defensive backs to come out of Edison High. He's particularly inspiring to Courtney, though, because at 5 foot, 8 inches tall, he doesn't seem to be having any problems dealing with the monstrous receivers in football's most elite league.

Quite the contrary, actually.

Going into his third year, Manning can already say he's picked off four balls during the playoffs (2003), something only one other rookie has bettered in the history of the NFL. In addition, during those playoffs, Manning intercepted Philadelphia Eagle quarterback Donovan McNabb three times in the NFL Championship game, a post-season feat that hadn't been done since 1944.

The moral of the story is obvious, but it seems that everyone needs to be reminded that when it comes to this position, size does matter, but not always in the way you think. "I know everyone seems to think that you have to be six-foot or higher to play DB nowadays, but I think that hurts you sometimes," Courtney said. "They can't move quick enough, they don't have the hips and they don't always have the explosion."

"It's ok, because it always seems that people keep thinking that my size hurts them, but when they think that, I know they aren't going to have a very good game against me."

The consummate professional out there, Viney doesn't wait for you to make a mistake as a wide receiver, because he figures he can get you to make one far earlier than that. Like those NFL bound defensive back's before him, he knows that physical ability will only get you so far. So when he knows someone is underestimating him, because of his size, that's just one part of his advantage. The rest of it comes from the fact that he's just that darn good.

"I get receivers that look at me and they actually ask me why the coach has me covering them instead of someone bigger," Viney said. "I won't say too much, because I know something that he doesn't know, but he will by the time the game is over."

"He's about to have his worst game of the season, but I'm not going to talk to him too much during the game. I might let him know afterward, though."

Usually for recruits, even the good ones, it's usually weeks to months at a time at this point of their career, before they see attention go from a little to a lot. Viney has already passed that, watching the mailbox fill up daily, while his mother comments that she can't find her mail, because of all his.

The offers have also increased, UCLA adding themselves to the list, joining Cal, Washington State and Nebraska. Also, Viney said that from what coaches at Arizona have told him, he should be expecting one from them very soon.

What's that all mean to Viney? "It's great, but I don't think about right now, I'm thinking about the future and not just college either," he said. "I'm thinking about this year, about us going out in style and finishing off my final season right."

The recruiting does get attention, though. It has to considering just how much he's gotten. What has surprised him the most was just who was giving him the gamut in attention right now. Letters, both hand-written and the fancy brochures, visits, conversations and just about anything else that they are allowed to do, Viney's been pretty surprised with the Huskers.

"Man, I don't even know why it's Nebraska and not someone else," Viney said. "I didn't really know what kind of attention I was getting, but compared to Nebraska, I'm not getting near as much from anyone else right now."

"I remember coach Wagner (Offensive line coach Dennis Wagner) saying that he just wanted to throw me in his trunk and keep me for a year until I am ready for college."

While Courtney has been getting letters since even before his sophomore year, he said he's continually surprised now that the "real" recruiting has begun. It's an honor, a privilege and something he knows most people don't have the gift to be able to experience themselves. So, if you ask him if he's grateful, he'd quickly say yes, but he'd tell you that grateful doesn't mean he's satisfied at all.

"The last thing you can do is look at what you have done and think that was pretty good and that's it," Viney said. "It doesn't matter what you did last year or even in your last game. You have to step up and get better every single game, because if you don't, you'll slow down and you'll lose, and your team might lose because of it."

"That's not happening with me, because I might want to be the best, but right now I want my team to be the best even more."

Viney is a huge team guy and you don't have to talk to him very long to realize just how devoted to his guys he is. If you ask him who else is on his team that he thinks deserves attention, sit back, because he's got a few.

For you Husker fans, there's one more that they are looking at – Jacarri Bowen, a 6 foot, 220 pound linebacker, who averaged a reported 10+ tackles per game last year. And it's just one of the many players that Courtney said schools will be looking at this year.

As for Viney, he already knows, whether it's by the pre-season ranking or just looking at the offers and mail he's getting right now. He knows that just like Ricky Manning before him, he's got a recruiting drama to experience and he plans on making it a little fun.

He wants to be the best, yes, but his personality won't let him get so obsessed with it that he loses focus on the biggest picture at hand. He's got that clearly in his mind right now. "Our goal is to win and my goal is to be the best in the country," Viney said. "The team goal always comes first, though. No matter what I do, as long as the team wins and we come out with a state title, I'm going to be just as happy as anyone else on the team."

"If we can get that and I am the top rated cornerback in the country, well, that's a bonus I'd definitely like. That's what I am going for this year."

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