Practical approach for new Husker quarterback

When Brian Hildebrand saw the developing situation with Harrison Beck, he had to empathize a bit with the former Husker QB. Not about just up and leaving without a word, but the situation itself. It's what put him at Mt. San Antonio College and what ultimately now has him heading to Nebraska. In hindsight, for him, it was the right decision to make.

Just over a year ago Mt. San Antonio College freshman Brian Hildebrand was at Oregon State, trying to work his way up the depth chart. As schools are going to do, though, another quarterback came in and the competition got that much stiffer. Hildebrand thinks of that time and it wasn't the competition that bothered him. It was the fact that this new addition to the team got instant recognition with the coaches.

 

"They brought Matt Moore in and he instantly got most of the reps," Brian said. "I already hadn't enjoyed my time there, because it just wasn't the place for me. But when Matt started getting most of the reps after having just gotten there, I figured that it was time for something new."

 

Brian informed the coaches, made arrangements and made his way down to Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California.

 

Hildebrand thinks about his impending trip to Nebraska after he finalizes his schooling at Mt. SAC, having to take an Oceanography lab. The Huskers will be over a week into fall practice, looking at just around three weeks before the beginning of the actual season when Nebraska hosts Louisiana Tech. Three weeks? Heck, that's old hat for Hildebrand.

 

"I got to Mt. SAC and I had like two weeks to learn their offense and I was starting the first game," he said. "Nebraska is a lot different, but I know what it's like to learn on the run."

 

While Brian started the first game, he would eventually split reps with two other quarterbacks as the season went along, Hildebrand ending the season with five games played, leading the team in completion percentage (56.6) and yards per game, averaging 158.2 yards. Brian totaled 791 yards on 56 completions, throwing three touchdowns.

 

It wasn't a wealth of experience, but from the hurried fashion in which he was thrown on the field, he thinks it will have taught him a lot about what he's going to be dealing with very soon.

 

"Coach Norvell said that in the NFL, they get free agents and have to gets these guys into the system as quickly as a week sometimes," Brian said of conversations with quarterback coach and offensive coordinator Jay Norvell. "I guess they are used to teaching guys on the run."

 

That's what Hildebrand will be the instant he arrives in Lincoln and while he's anticipating a very fast introduction followed by a force feeding of the offense, there's no nervousness with the JUCO QB. "I'm anxious, not nervous. There's a lot I will have to learn, but I am excited to learn it as quickly as I can. I have heard all kinds of stories about the west coast offense, but it's not intimidating," he said. "It's exciting to learn something new."

 

Obviously Brian wouldn't have thought of himself as a Cornhusker, even after he had made the trip from Oregon State to Mt. SAC. He didn't know much of the big red, outside of what little you see on TV. As he has learned about them, though, and the direction the program is going, he said that it didn't take long for him to figure out that Nebraska was where he wanted to be.

 

"It seemed like a good opportunity for me and really the kind of opportunity I was hoping to get," Brian said. "I know they have Zac Taylor there, so it's not like I am going to be thrown right on the field. I want to play. Everyone does, but I know that I still have a lot to pick up."

 

Back to the Beck situation, again, Hildebrand felt a little empathy toward Beck, but only from the situation of where he stood on the depth chart. Beyond that Beck tread into areas Hildebrand wouldn't go. He thinks back to his own situation and while he admits that sometimes you just want to go, taking the long road can ultimately be the best choice.

 

"For me, it's just that if I did that or something like that, how many schools would have really been looking at me right now," Brian wondered. "It was frustrating at Oregon State, but you have to do things the right way."

 

"It's only fair to the coaches, your players and everyone else. Sometimes it's hard to do that, but in the end, it's really the only thing I could do."

 

As for his future at Nebraska, the 6 foot, 3 inch QB said that he's not thinking about big numbers, big opportunities and big-game moments, where he can show what he can do. He's not thinking of luster, TV time or how quickly he can move up the chart. He's thinking about a playbook, his teammates and school, because those are all things that he knows will matter the most once he steps on campus.

 

It's not about the future. It's about right now.

 

"When you are younger it's easy to look a little too far ahead, but I have learned over time that you just concentrate on what you are doing right now," he said. "I have goals, but I know that everything is one step at a time and that's how I plan to treat this."

 

"I'll do the best I can, learn as fast as I can and hopefully have a chance to play early. But I won't worry about that, because that doesn't help you or your team. I'll just do whatever I can to be an asset and just take things as they come."

 

"I'm just going to take it one step at a time."

 

Hildebrand will have three years to play three, having used his redshirt year at Oregon State


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