Call from Osborne a surprise for NU commit

For current Husker commit John Levorson, what's going on in Lincoln is interesting, but ultimately not of real consequence. He's been locked in as a future Husker and is going to stay that way. So, when he got a call from Tom Osborne yesterday, it was a bit of a surprise. But for Levorson, it said a lot of Osborne himself.

There are probably more than a few kids who are almost expecting a call or even visit from interim Athletic Director and acting Head Coach Tom Osborne. They aren't sure what they are going to do. They are out there testing the recruiting waters and the unsettled atmosphere in Lincoln feels similarly to each of these kids looking at making a monumental decision for their future.

John Levorson wouldn't be one of those

Yes, his decision was just as important to him as it would be to anyone else, but once he made it, that was all she wrote, so to speak. John has been quite outspoken about not really caring just what the coaching situation will be, because he's going to be a Husker no matter what.

With that in mind, Levorson was thinking that he wouldn't be real high on the priority list for Osborne as he heads out on the road to perhaps keep interest alive and calm the waters to a degree. So, when the phone call came from Osborne last night, it was a surprise, but a pleasant one.

"I think everyone knew that I was going to go to Nebraska no matter what, so I wasn't sure I'd get to talk to him at all. I figured he had more important things to do," John said of Osborne. "But he called last night and we talked for awhile."

This wasn't Levorson's first encounter with Osborne, as he said he had a chance to talk to him briefly on his visit to Lincoln for the Oklahoma State game. But this was easily the most extended conversation they had. Levorson said that as personable as he is, you still think about just who you are talking to at that moment. "He's a really soft-spoken person, well mannered and everything you'd expect, I guess. And he just talked to me about how things were going, what sports I was doing and all that," Levorson said. "But I was thinking that I just kind of wanted to come out and ask for the inside scoop about what's going on.

"But I didn't."

While Levorson's mind is made up as to where he's going to go, it doesn't lessen his desire to see this situation resolved as quickly as possible. He's heard all the rumors, seen all the news and is well aware of all the names who are considered the primary favorites for the job. "I ignore it or at least, try to. It's not going to do a lot of good to get all caught up in that stuff," he said. "I'm just waiting like everyone else. I want to know, because even though I know I am going there, I wouldn't mind getting to know the new coach as soon as possible."

John will have to wait along with the rest of us when it comes to getting to know the head coach. But he's getting to know another coach in the meantime. During the early part of Levorson's recruiting, he got to know a couple of coaches from Nebraska , but the most recent contact has been from someone else. "Coach Cosgrove was really the first to recruit me and I also talked to coach Jordan ," Levorson said of Nebraska 's Defensive Coordinator and Running Backs coach, respectively. "But it was coach (Dennis) Wagner who offered me and he was at my school yesterday.

"My coach (Chuck McGinnis) and him were at Wayne State together, and he just told me what kind of person he was."

When it comes to the candidates, as Levorson indicated, he's trying to steer as far away from it as he can. He's heard the names, though, including the person who seems to be the favorite for the job, current LSU Defensive Coordinator Bo Pelini.

John said that he obviously didn't know the coach personally, but does recall a couple of things from when he was the D.C. with the big red. "I know that when he was here that one year, our defense was pretty darn good. And I know that he's known as a pretty intense guy. But that's pretty much it," he said.

And unfortunately for the Crete superstar, who just came off leading his team to its second consecutive state title, Osborne wasn't volunteering if anyone currently had a lead. Point of fact, a situation which seems to have everyone in Husker Nation abuzz, didn't even come up. "He asked about me. We talked about school. I mean really, football didn't come up until the very end," he said. "He just wanted to talk about how things were going with me, which was nice, because it lets you know that he cares.

"The fact that he called me at all, when he didn't really need to, that tells you a lot. That tells you what kind of person he is."

It seems that with any new hire at a place, especially one as steeped in tradition as Nebraska is, the melodrama doesn't stop in describing the so-called "new" direction of the program. Frank Solich was a new era, Bill Callahan was a new era and whoever gets this spot, they will have one of those all to themselves as well.

That's how Levorson looks at it, but he feels that when the dust settles on this one, it could be the start of something special. "When something happens with the football team around here, it's always a big thing, because Nebraska football means a lot," John said. "But I think the difference now is; with coach Osborne doing the picking, people are going to look at it differently.

"You never know what is going to happen, but with him there I think everyone feels this will be different. I think everyone will feel pretty good about it, no matter what he decides."


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