TAKE ONE, VOL. 2
Hey, welcome TAKE ONE, where we take you down the week in recruiting. Well, it's more like the last week and a half, but as you probably know, some thing have happened recently that got us a little busy, but we're bringing it to you today.
Ok, we had seven official visits this last weekend and let's run them down.
Came in with no expectations and came away super impressed. As Jeremy reported, he thought his visit was "awesome". That's huge folks. Not long ago, he wasn't even thinking about NU and now he thinks they are awesome. Watch out for Georgia Tech and Virginia as they get visits from him, but NU did good on this one
Friend of Cunningham, his visit was the antithesis of Ian's as he came away "very disappointed". Why? Well, when you love a school your whole life and you take your first official there, you are expecting heaven and what Will got was reality. Don't look too much into this, but the experience does put Northwestern as a much more viable candidate for Oliver and that makes sense. When he visited the Wildcats, he was their only official visit. Hence, the God-like treatment.
A CB out of Texas, the only thing stopping this kid are his grades. Those will be an issue right up until the final day, but his visit was just as good as Cunningham's if not better. As Jeremy reported, he almost committed to Nebraska, but didn't, wanting to make sure with his mom. He's still got some visits to go, but right now, NU is a huge leader.
Offensive lineman out of Illinois, he wasn't bowled over by his visit. While he had a good time and considered the NU fans the best, NU isn't a clear leader right now and with this being his first visit, that could spell doom for NU in trying to get Martin to be a Husker.
OL out of California and from the JUCO ranks. Either this kid is one of the best JUCO lineman out there, or NU doesn't need him. With all the returning depth coming back for NU (if everyone is healthy) and with some studs coming up like the Big Smooth and Jermaine Leslie, NU doesn't need this kid unless he's God's gift to linemen. Just my opinion.
Liked his visit, NU is amongst his favorites and he even got an offer while he was here, but first visits stink and NU didn't leave a large enough impact on Donnell to think that it would last as he has visits set up to Miami and Florida State. I think this one slides by the way side.
There was as seventh official visit and one that if it's who I think it is, could create some rather bizarre drama and bring up some even more bizarre (if not bitter) memories, but until then, I will just keep that one to myself.
I will let you know though once I am sure who this kid is.
What are they going to do to recruiting?
Not much. I mean that. Bohl's loss is no loss to recruiting and didn't do any. Barnes was brought in because they thought he could pull some kids out of Texas. Nelly didn't pan out. Darlington would be the one big loss in recruiting, but right now, what he has is a pipeline of information to the west coast, but Darlington hasn't closed the deal on a major kid from out there in a long time. He's still going to be missed, but my personal opinion is that it's because of his recruiting prowess as to why he was at NU as long as he was.
As for the effect on recruits, the changes seem to be remarkably uninteresting to most of the ones Jeremy and I talked to. Ok, they were interested, but let's say they were also indifferent.
Donnell Livingston said, "It didn't matter. None of those guys were recruiting me anyway."
Mike Jenkins said, "If they were recruiting me, it might make a difference, but whoever was there if I went there would be new to me, so it doesn't really affect me."
Brett Byford said, "I'm not going to a school for a coach. I am going there because I feel that's where I should be."
Reynaldo Hill said, "None of them were recruiting me, so it doesn't matter. It's nothing personal, but as long as they play man-to-man, it doesn't matter." His teammate Donald Defrand stated something almost exactly like Hill in reference to the changes.
Marcus Woods who has had to deal with two schools he likes (Michigan State and Nebraska) both going through coaching changes and he does care, at least to an extent. But, it looks like Marcus could be looking at Colorado State now and we know how good of a recruiter Sonny Lubick is.
Also, out of all the kids I have talked to or Jeremy has talked to, I believe Marcus is the one that hadn't received any notice from the NU coaches about the changes taking place.
If you want a kid really badly and something like this happens, you tell them as quickly as you can. They didn't with Marcus. That tells me something.
Tommy Zbikowski was his usual self in that he not only didn't look at the changes as a negative, but actually found a positive way to spin it all around. Jeremy reported that he stated that NU has a tradition of winning and this must have been an effort to fix what was wrong so they could keep winning and maybe, just maybe that made him like NU that much more. Tommy is being recruited on the defensive side of the ball by NU, but NU is looking to have him try out for QB first.
To tell you the truth, I am surprised by the overall reaction. Bo Ruud, future LB for Nebraska said on TV that not only did the changes not effect him, but he thought that it wouldn't effect any of the current NU commits.
With such sweeping changes on one side of the ball, I would have thought there would be a larger backlash, but it's logical to assume that because Bohl didn't recruit, Barnes wasn't very good at it and Darlington's recruiting prowess has waned over the last few years, it turned out to be a good thing in the end.
LET'S TALK RECRUITING
Ok, first an apology. While I almost always follow up all information I get, with the Hill update last week, I didn't. Well, it figures, it bit me. It wasn't Tennessee he visited, but Vanderbilt and this was a couple of weeks ago, so the update was inaccurate. It was my bad. I should have followed it up like I always do, but it's another learning experience.
Let's move on
I actually did talk to both Hill and Defrand last night. I wanted to talk to them about the coaching changes, but I also wanted to talk to Hill about his visit to Tennessee which DID take place this last weekend. He liked it, but it didn't overwhelm him. Honestly though, this kid is pretty laid back, so I am not sure much does get to him. It looks like NU is very much in it still for Hill's services.
One thing though that could be an issue is that Reynaldo may not qualify to be able to sign Dec. 18th, the first signing day for JUCO players. He may have to wait until Feb., which means he wont' be able to enroll until May.
Donald doesn't have that problem and will be signing in less than two weeks and guess who still leads. Oh yeah. NU all the way so far baby!!!!
I think that will help much to pull Reynaldo along when he is ready as the depth at CB for NU or lack thereof has to make any potential CB for NU drool with anticipation.
Just last night, Turner Gill visited Brett's house. Of course, he was told about the changes at NU, but that was actually the day before. This night was just one for a little chit chat, talking about what's important and going on from there.
GOOD NEWS - Brett's visit is now right back to the 20th of this month as NU's Bowl should take them to the 27th if it's in Shreveport. That also means Georgia Tech's visit will be a week before that, making NU his last visit.
Brett still has one visit to go and it might go to Oklahoma State, but he's still unsure as to whether he will take that visit or not.
Look for him to pull the trigger before he ever visits OSU.
THE FUTURE OF NU??????????
Believe it or not, things are looking up for NU. Yeah, they just dropped three guys that had either no involvement in recruiting or were having a minimal affect at best. That's good for NU. Now, they just have to bring someone into the mix that can recruit and actually close the deal.
Tim Ablin is in his last year of his GA work and is expected to join the staff in a more permanent capacity. You will find out that he has some recruiting prowess as well as shown while on the road with this limited amount of time. Those details to come in the next TAKE ONE. But, he's a good recruiter and potentially a great one, so that in and of itself shows promise.
Solich can recruit more? Yes he can, but ironically enough, as he sought to find more time for that and his players by stepping down from O.C., he has anything but time until after the Bowl season is over.
He's got to find a DC, appoint an OC and try and prepare for the bowl season should none of that or just some of that happen prior to that time. He's got to address recruiting in there somewhere, but you tell me where.
With a HUGE, HUGE visit month like December always is (especially this coming Dec. 13th), Solich will not have time for anything else. Also, JUCO singing day being on the 18th of this month, there ya go, yet another log onto the fire of burdens for Solich that is already at inferno status.
You better take a breathe folks, because this is where it really heats up. From this point on, don't expect any lulls in the recruiting movement, because it's going to get hotter and hotter until after the Bowl game and WHAMO, it's going ballistic.
As a Nebraska fan as well, you might not be able to take another breathe all the way into Summer Conditioning, because with all the changes being made (and possibly still more to come), NU fans aren't going to be short on entertainment.
This is the time where it gets really good and it needs to. NU has a ton of scholarships to fill and not a lot of time to fill them with the kind of players they want to get. NU has to score big this month. Whether it's commits this month or commits from visits this month, NU has to make that impact, so it can at the very least get their typical class which is all the good in-state talent, solid players from around the country and a few marquee names.
Now is the time folks. Now, is when it starts getting good.
Thanks for taking the time to read this edition of TAKE ONE. Check out the audio version of TAKE ONE for even more stuff that we didn't cover here.
Steve Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-730-5619
Make sure to check out the Inside NU&Recruiting board for all the up to date information on some of the best recruits from around the country that have interest in your Nebraska Cornhuskers. Also, check out the four part TAKE ONE audio clip where you will hear everything you have read here and even more as we take a comprehensive look at the week that was and the weeks to come.