Does losing Blake mean losing Townsend too?

The rumors persisted, and it was confirmed today per a conversation that Big Red Report had with Nebraska defensive line recruit Joseph Townsend. John Blake will reportedly take the job at North Carolina. For someone that was interested in Nebraska primarily because of Blake, how does this effect the brother of former Husker Larry Townsend?

Foothill defensive lineman Joseph Townsend is set to visit Nebraska this weekend. That would seem a little anticlimactic to most. For Townsend, though, after hearing the news, he might have thought differently for a bit. "Coach Dennis Wagner called me at about 8:30 this morning and told me coach Blake took the job at North Carolina," Townsend said of Nebraska's offensive line coach informing him of the news. "I was obviously disappointed, because he's one of the reasons I have been interested in Nebraska."

That interest does go a little beyond the third year D-line coach, however, as Townsend has some family ties to the big red.

During the mid-90s, Joseph's brother Larry Townsend played defensive line for the big red. And that connection meant that Joseph, even though he was a native of Austin, Texas, grew up liking the Cornhuskers. "I remember being at games, the fans and all the players," Townsend said in a previous conversation. "Nebraska was king of the hill back then, so it was pretty exciting around there."

Nebraska is quite different now, different coaches and even a different philosophy on both sides of the ball.

Joseph originally committed to Washington State, but after being at Foothill Junior College, he's been exploring other options he has. And it was one person that got him to take a much harder look at where his brother used to play. "Coach Blake was a big reason, maybe the biggest reason why I was so interested in Nebraska," he said. "He was my position coach, but it's just the kind of person he is too."

With Townsend learning of Blake's apparent departure to the Tar Heels, one would have to assume that the luster of playing for Nebraska has wore off, if just a little. "Yeah, I mean, he's a big part of why I was so interested in Nebraska, so it's a big thing that he left," he said. "But I am still going to visit there."

Townsend is coming, and says of his continuing interest that despite the loss of his position coach, Nebraska has a positive situation for him. "They need defensive linemen. They lose all of their starters after this year, so there's a real good chance to play," he said. "And I don't know who is going to take coach Blake's place."

That's a question everyone will be asking, and already is, even though the ink hasn't officially dried on the Blake to North Carolina deal. But it's one Joseph hopes they answer soon. "I want to see who it is, so I can check out their resume' for myself," he said. "I want to know who it is, what they like to do and how I get along with them."

Asked about the thought of dropping Nebraska completely once Joseph heard the news this morning, he said that while it may have instantly popped into his mind, he figured it was better to give Nebraska a good look. "Hey, it's still Nebraska, and I know they need defensive linemen," Joseph said. "If you look at it that way, I think you have to take a look."

"Coach Blake not being there is obviously a bad deal, but I can't close the door just because they lost a coach. It could still end up being a good place for me. We'll see."

Townsend will have four years to play three

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