There is something about expectations. If you have them set real high and what you expected doesn't happen, it can be kind of a disappointment. If you have them set too low, though, every place looks like the best place in the world. For running back Dalton Hilliard, he had expectations, and talked about whether or not the visit to Nebraska met them or not.
Not exactly how you draw up the ideal official visit atmosphere, but that's just what Husker fans and recruits alike got Saturday evening.
Fans will instantly react saying that recruits will probably never want to look at the place again, never want to hear the name "Nebraska" and get out while the getting is good.
The moral of the story? It's a good thing recruits don't think like many fans.
Point of fact, when it came to what Hawaii running back Dalton Hilliard was looking for in a program, he said Nebraska couldn't have done it any better. "The game wasn't what everyone wanted, but that's how it goes and they aren't even half way into the first season with Coach Pelini and the rest of the staff. You can't bring back a tradition like Nebraska has overnight," Hilliard said.
"I can honestly tell you that of all the expectations I had coming in, Nebraska met them and more."
One of those was just being able see the place firsthand, visit with the coaches and see what a game night in Lincoln was really like. Hilliard said that the facilities were the best he's seen, the coaches were all great and at least for a while, the atmosphere was something to see indeed.
But one forgets that the ambiance of a game is what it is, but that's only seven or eight games out of the year. Dalton had bigger things on his mind, like what life was like the other 350-plus. To find that out, there is only one place to go.
"I talked to the players a lot. My host was Prince Amukamara, and he talked about the change of lifestyle, about how it's laid back and just how much he loves it here," Hilliard said. "I know the coaches are being honest with me, but there's just something about talking to the players, where you feel that you really get a good idea of what life was like in Lincoln."
There was one other big indicator of what he would see, but this came straight from the Head Coach. Not in a formal meeting, mind you, but in front of the entire team after the humiliating loss. Even someone who already has developed a relationship with a recruit might still be a mystery when it came to something like this, because let's face it, this wasn't a really happy time.
But Bo Pelini had all the recruits in there, and Hilliard talked a bit about what he said. "After the game Coach Pelini just went up and said that this was all on himself, that the players just had to think about the next game, and this game was going to be on him," he said.
"That's a players coach, to me. You could tell that he really supports his guys, and that players will really play for him."
Aside from the academics, facilities and all the other things which Hilliard came to experience, he said that on his way to the airport to leave for home, he was excited about his trips in the future. He'll have UCLA on the 18th of this month, Arizona on the 25th and possibly Colorado on the 5th of November.
He was excited, because it's another chance to explore, see what's out there and realize just all the options you have in front of you. But Dalton said he wanted to see how these teams stacked up to the big red. "I was expecting everything to be great, but everything just blew my mind. Nebraska definitely set the standard for me," he said.
"It's going to be hard for anyone to top it, from the athletic side to their academics. I know I am going to visit some great places, and this was just the first visit for me. But right now I think Nebraska is going to be hard to top."
Based on whether or not Dalton does take his trip to Colorado will more than likely be a major factor in whether he gets his decision over by the end of his month or perhaps after November.