How much drama can a recruiting fan take?

There's drama in Lincoln. Yes, I know; there's always some kind of drama, but this drama could very well determine the fate of the Huskers' offense in two maybe three years. It's about the quarterback position, of course, and right at this moment, Nebraska sits on the precipice, ready to either cement the future or leave it very much in doubt.

Stangel did everything he
was asked to do at the QB
Academy, but at this point,
it doesn't seem to have
been enough.
When Chasen Stangel won the Elite Nebraska Quarterback Academy, I had a pretty good feeling that his performance, and more importantly, his potential, would be good enough to get an offer from the big red.

Up to this point, that hasn't happened.

What that basically means is, Nebraska has a strategy already in play. What that strategy is, of course, is only known by those directly involved, but I'm going to give you a few ideas.

And don't think that the pressure at recruiting this position is the same as any other or the same as any other year. Thanks to getting just one quarterback two years ago and losing their only QB commit last season, what happens now with this position could have dramatic effects on Nebraska's future.

What we can surmise from Stangel not having an offer is Nebraska believing that they have a shot at someone they have rated a little higher. Off the top of my head, I would say that the candidates for that are Columbia, Missouri's Logan Gray and Stephen Garcia out of Jefferson high school in Tamp, Florida.
Logan Gray seems to be the QB the
Nebraska coaches are waiting on.

Garcia is a long shot at best, but there seems to be a building confidence amongst Husker fans as to the chances of getting Gray, even though Nebraska has only been recruiting him for approximately a month and a half, whereas other schools like Georgia and Florida, have been on this young man since way before that.

This is where it gets dicey:

Let's say that safety coach Bill Busch, who is recruiting Stangel, wants to offer the San Jacinto QB. And let's say that QB coach Jay Norvell wants to offer Stangel. You'd think that would be enough, but what do you do if you believe that you do honestly have a legit shot at Gray? And the kicker here is, Gray is planning on deciding before his final season of prep-ball begins.

If you think you can get Stangel with the offer, do you hold off, not wanting a commit at this point, fearing you would scare off the Missouri QB?

I don't know about you, but to me, that's one hell of a gamble.

If you do get Gray, fine, great, you got the guy you wanted, but you still have the problem, which stems from the last two years of recruiting this position. You only got one two years ago, none last year, so regardless of whether or not you get Gray, you still have to get at least one more, and you could make a good argument for two.

Logic would say that Nebraska would go at this similarly to what they did two years ago if they did get Gray, opting to go to junior college route for a player who can feasibly come in and compete right away.

That gives you another two year QB more than likely, with Gray playing the role of Harrison Beck, as he potentially redshirts his first year, watching on as Beck and this JUCO QB battle it out to see who starts in 2007.

Of course, after the 2008 season, the only quarterbacks you have left are Gray, should he commit to Nebraska, and this junior college QB.

Dicey just turned into damn risky

Stephen Garcia is at best, a long shot
for NU
The staff at Nebraska will go from only getting one QB in the last two years, to having to get two QBs each of the next two years, just so they aren't completely depleted on the depth chart once 2008 arrives.

Or, they could try and get three QBs this year, one from the junior college level and two from the prep level.

Which brings us back to square one

The first question you have to answer as to how shaky this situation is, how good is Chasen Stangel. If he's not that good, this isn't that big of a risk and it's nothing to wait and see what Gray will do. But if he is someone you feel can do the job, waiting for Gray to make a decision, when you don't know exactly what decision he'll make – that's a heck of a risk.

Stangel is set to visit Washington this next week and they are what I consider the biggest competitor against Nebraska for the services of this young man. If he likes his visit there, there's a better than decent chance he might opt to be a Huskie. If Nebraska tenders an offer toward him before that visit, though, that could sway the favor back to Nebraska, but how will that affect Gray?

You see the problem, and it's not a good problem to have, because if you make the wrong choice here, you could be in even worse shape at arguably your most important position, than you are looking at right now.

And it's already not looking very good

When Lyle Moevao decided on Oregon State, Nebraska lost their one legit shot at a kid, who could come in right now and be that stop gap measure for the position, a safety net if you will, if Zac Taylor were to go down. Not wanting to take anything away from Harrison Beck, but with as little actual playing experience as he has had, as a staff, you simply can't take any chances.

Ironic then the situation they are in now, where they could be taking a monumental one.

But if the gloom of what could happen if Zac Taylor was to go down isn't quite gloomy enough, imagine this scenario, something that is unfortunately very possible at this point:

Nebraska doesn't offer Chasen Stangel and he ends up committing to Washington. Logan Gray ends up going to Georgia. The JUCO QB doesn't end up being Zac Taylor, which is to say, he isn't the kind of miracle Taylor proved to be.
Heiman's stock has gone up, but has it
gone up enough to get an offer from NU?

That would mean you have a true sophomore neck-and-neck with a junior, but actually a freshman to the Division 1-A level, neither with more than a full quarter of experience at this level, as the most realistic options for the 2007 season.

Yes, I know there are other names out there like Marvin McNutt and let's not forget Steve Heiman, who increased his stock dramatically from last year. But McNutt has even said that Nebraska having just offered this month hurts them and if Heiman was the answer, he'd have an offer right now.

So, what do you do? If you were the Nebraska staff, what would you do?

Would you offer Stangel right now and hope that if he commits, it doesn't scare off Gray? Would you not offer Stangel and risk losing him, so you can have your best shot at Gray? Also, if you are not offering anyone else in the hopes you get Gray, if you do get him, how confident are you that he'll stick as a commit if you go after more quarterbacks, which you know Nebraska has to do?

I don't know about you, but there's no easy answer to any of these questions. It would seem that Stangel is a safe bet no matter which way you go, but it's possible they see Gray's upside so much higher, that he's worth waiting on and taking the chance he'll see the obvious opportunity for early playing time for the big red.

As it is, we won't have to wait a very long time before we see at least part of this played out, because if Stangel makes it to Washington without a Nebraska offer, the Huskers could easily get traded in for the Huskies. That will leave Nebraska with no "safe" choices left. They would simply have to recruit their butts off and hope for the best.

That's recruiting, basically putting it; drama intermixed with angst, turmoil, ending in either jubilation or despair. It's a wonder every college coach in the country isn't on Prozac.

If Nebraska guesses correctly here and the scenario does turn out how they hope, the Husker fans can rest easy or as easy as a college football fan can rest. If they don't, you've got a seriously bad situation in the making.

Normally, this kind of situation is just business as usual in recruiting. You win some, you lose some, and then you move on. Because of the last couple of years, though, the quarterback situation goes above and beyond the natural course of looking at the roster and filling future spots.

This is drama, and the conclusion has all the ramifications you could want for one hell of an ending. Will it be good? Will it be bad? I doubt even the coaches or parties involved know for certain. The only thing for certain is that it's only a matter of time before we find out.

For the average Husker fan, though, I doubt they are looking for a sequel to this one, regardless of how it ends up. One year of this is enough.

Even in recruiting, there's only so much drama one person can take.

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