One of the Midwest's Best Takes Visit

With more and more kids making decisions earlier and earlier, the importance of these off-season unofficial visits can't be overstated. For one of the top athletes in the entire Midwest for the class of 2009, it's not just important, it's mandatory as he'd like his decision done before his final season of prep ball even begins. And the latest stop for Brandon Wegher: Nebraska

Some kids hope to get just one offer. Others, whose exploits might be such that they are hoping to perhaps get one from a certain school. And some are just trying to make sense of the ones they have right now.

That's hardly a dilemma, because who wouldn't give just about anything just to get one? So, to have double-digit offers to choose from right now, that's a heck of a statement. That is the situation confronting all-everything-two-way star, Brandon Wegher. The Sioux City, Iowa standout has already visited a few schools, all who have offered shortly after he and his dad made the trip. Nebraska was the latest visitor and Brandon's father talked about how it went.

"It was everything we expected and more. I know we were both thoroughly impressed with everyone we met, from coach Osborne and even the strength coach," Rick Wegher said. "We had visited there last year with the old staff, and all I can say is that I am glad they made the change.

"I had heard great things about that staff, and that was the biggest thing I really wanted to see, and I came away a firm believer in the culpability of those coaches and I think they are definitely going to get Nebraska going in the right direction."

Living only two hours from Lincoln, nestled against the Missouri River, Wegher has a definite familiarity with the program. That close to the Husker state, even if you don't follow the big red, it's hard not to learn a few things here and there. But hearing is one thing, and even seeing a year ago is another, but seeing the new staff, some of the newer facilities and even visiting with a person who isn't so new to the program – are necessities for a parent and their kid. "The reason I am tagging along is really to get a sense or feel for the coaches, that I know he's taken care of, and he can get advice about school, nutrition or just life in general, twenty-four hours a day,"

Wegher said. "It's just knowing that my kid is going to have people who are there, who care about him as a person, look out for him as a student and make him better, on and off the field.

"The football part is great, but there's a lot more to all this than football, and those are really the things, that as a parent, I consider above all things."

But there is football, of course, and why wouldn't there be with Brandon, the 5-11, 190 pound prep-star rushing for approximately 2,400 yards last year, scoring 34 times, while also serving time as a receiver and as a full-time starter on defense as well. With reported 4.4-speed, you can see why when this kid visits, offers usually follow suit. But for some, especially Nebraska, the offer didn't come on this visit and may not immediately after, because they honestly might not have any idea just what position they would like Brandon to play.

As has been noted, head coach Bo Pelini has said that he didn't want to watch too much film on the team he was taking over, because he didn't want to have any preconceived notions about players and their ability, as they get ready for spring ball. That is going to make it hard to figure out just what you need when you don't know, man-for-man, exactly what you have.

"That was really the impression we got, but that's fine, because we are only two hours away," Wegher said of the pressure to find out everything on this particular visit. "It would probably be different if we were 1,200 miles away and it would have been hard to get back here. But coach Pelini was very straightforward with us, I thought, and the great thing was that it was just a very comfortable situation. They didn't offer, but they explained their situation and that's fine.

"Because of how close they are, it makes it a good situation just to sit back, get to know the program and coaches a little better and just see how it all plays out."

As for Pelini himself, Rick Wegher, who once was a recruit himself, playing some smaller college ball, but also playing in the Canadian Football League in the mid-80s for the Calgary Stampeders, said that he'd seen enough and heard enough, but felt very good that what he experienced firsthand was on par with all the scuttlebutt about Nebraska's new head coach. "He was awesome. He was just a really down to earth guy. He wanted to personally stay in touch and we wanted to do the same," Mr. Wegher said. "Some schools you might walk away with thinking that you have to grab the offer now, because you might not get back there, but it never felt that way with coach Pelini. Again, it was just a very comfortable situation."

The comfort level is good, and this visit to Nebraska adds itself to a growing list, comprised thus far of Kansas, Iowa and Iowa State, of those schools they have visited thus far. And there are visits to Wisconsin, Auburn and potentially Oregon in the next couple of weeks. If there seems to be kind of an urgency about this, you could say there is, because both Brandon and his dad wouldn't mind having this decision out of the way before his senior season officially begins. And then there is the issue with the track-season, which starts just a little over two weeks from now.

"Yeah, we kind of want to know as much as we can know about these schools before track season begins. That means we'll miss some spring games, because most schools seem to play on the 12th or 19th of April, which crosses some events Brandon has in track," he said. "But Brandon, he's not one of those kids who wants the attention or wants a lot of offers. He'd actually prefer just to have one offer, but that coming from a school which really feels right for him. That's what we are trying to figure out right now."

As for where Nebraska resides on this list, the elder Wegher wouldn't speak for his son as to if anyone stood at or near the top. But he felt comfortable in speaking for him when it came to the Huskers being a place he could potentially be. "It's a great place, and I think the changes they made are going to really be beneficial for the program," Wegher said. "I know Brandon came away impressed and so did I.

"I don't speak for him, but we kind of think alike in a lot of ways, and I know I was impressed. I know he was, too. It's hard to say what that means when it comes down to a decision, but Nebraska has a lot going for it right now. I think those fans of the program are going to like what they see from that group of coaches they have there now."

Wegher currently holds over 10 offers, including Penn State, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State and Kansas.

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