Oh yeah, if that doesn't describe the situation for NU and NU fans, I don't know what does. Desperately wanting recruits, desperately wanting commits and desperately wanting some coaches to appease those wanted recruits as one of the biggest visiting groups this calendar year comes into Lincoln this week.
What are the coaches going to tell them if something isn't at least said this week about the defensive side of the ball? Rush ends are coming in, linebackers as well and oh yeah, just a few guys from the secondary to make this all a little more salt in an open wound.
There's no coaches for those positions and for officials, it's kind of important. I can just see it now.
Coach: "Well, the coaching is fine. Well, I'm not your coach, but it will be fine. Ok, I'm not the defensive coordinator, but trust me, things are well in hand. Oh and I actually don't know where I will be coaching on the team, but I know things are just fine and you have nothing to worry about."
That's the only defensive coach left (Jamrog) trying to appease the constantly questioning recruits about what is going on in the Capital city.
What is going on?
This is one of the biggest months in terms of recruiting, there are a bazillion prep and JUCO everything athletes coming in and because the staff is a shadow of it's former self, if something isn't addressed about that situation come this weekend, you might see prep all everything players walk in and walk right back on, but with more questions coming out than when they came in the door.
That's not good.
Well, let's leave that aside for a moment and concentrate on the week that was in recruiting.
Hey, guess what, he changed his mind. No, he hasn't dropped Nebraska for a better school in North East Montana, but the emotion of the visit from NU wore off and he went from a "I wanted to commit" to a "everyone is even" state of mind. Don't panic recruitnik that are Husker fans. This happens every time and did you really want an emotional commit after all? You know how those go. They don't. Emotional decisions have de-commit written all over them, just as Will Oliver.
Adrian is simply back to reality and the recruiting game is back on, as they say and now if NU wants him, they got to hammer back at him like they would with any other.
Offensive lineman out of California, one of the creme de' la creme of all linemen in the country, he wasn't going to visit NU, now he is, props to Tim Albin for making it happen when George Darlington couldn't.
That says something for the early evaluation of the prowess of Albin in the recruiting arena. Having never met the young man, he got him to schedule an official to NU. Not bad at all. Bodes well for future Husker interests if Albin can show that kind of recruiting moxy as his career blossoms at Nebraska.
He's always liked NU. He's always had a firm connection with Fabian Washington, but the question has always been, will he qualify? If not, is he the partial or is he a placement? Odds are in the favor of NU for his services, just when those services can actually be offered, well, that's a different story.
One of the best linebackers in the country and he wants to be a quarterback? Well, he does like the position, but come on folks. He's from Florida which makes NU getting him a tall task already. Plus, when every school is telling him he could start right away as a linebacker, NU is saying they would like him to "try" out as a QB first. Yeah, if he didn't make QB, he would be moved to LB, but does the childhood affection of a position obviously not his strength really sit as a potential marketing ploy for NU to exploit to get his services to Lincoln?
Probably not. Everett may have an interest in being a QB, but this kid is a LB all the way and given that scenario, the depth problems for NU may give him a chance to play RIGHT NOW, however, he will have to cross about ten borders to get there.
Man giant meets Bilbo Baggins. Nope, he doesn't have furry feet, but he's got the calm, soothing disposition to lull you into the confidence that this behemoth can be nothing but one of those huge teddy bears that could crush you just be stepping on your back. Well, he's got that nasty side to and don't let the soft voice fool ya. Schools haven't shied away from him, that's for sure. He's coveted, desired and being wooed all over and for him, right now, he's got one more visit to go.
Virginia is left with Nebraska and Georgia Tech in the bag already and he said that he's ready to get this thing out of the way. He wants to make a decision not long after his visit to Virginia, which begged the question prior to that visit, who's leading now. "I think Georgia Tech is leading, just because I think there's more need for me there right now than I see at Nebraska." Cunningham stated.
Whoa!. If you are Georgia Tech, look feeble and needy and if you are Nebraska, well, they are feeble and needy, at least defensively, but they just need to show that on the other side of the ball. Whoever is thinnest gets the big guy? Could be.
Don't forget the Aggies though. That's right. The hiring of Franchione has made an impression on him, but he's not going to go looking for them, he's waiting to see what they do. "If they offer me, everything changes." Cunningham stated. "They won't be my leader, but they will be up there."
The Aggies have to offer though and their window of opportunity is winding down. After the Virginia visit, don't expect Ian-Yates to wait around, because he's going to be pulling the trigger pretty darn soon.
CHRIS LEFLORE/XAVIER OMON
X-Factors or non-factors? These two could probably get offers from NU, but will they? Nebraska plays this game every single year as they try to stoke their legendary walk-on classes and use those oh-so valuable schollies for kids they know they can't get just by showing up at the door. Thus far, both LeFlore and Omon haven't apparently wilted in anticipation by saying they are willing to do that, holding out for offers from other places.
Does NU play the game, waiting for the offer and then, offer if schollies do come from abound? That's the question, but LeFlore seems to have the advantage, having a brother on the team. Of course, that could be looked at as the other way as well.
Xavier Omon is a good player, but kind of a tweener, not sure as to whether he would make a good WB, RB or even special teams player. He will probably need an offer from other places that could scare NU enough into offering, but I wouldn't hold your collective breath on that one.
He's good and LeFlore is potentially real good, thus advantage goes to Chris. For now.
Ok, where in the heck are these guys going? Walter might not fit into this equation, but NU seems to be the common denominator, but only if one thing happens. They all graduate. That's right. Both Hill and Defrand don't seem to confident about that happening, thinking already to the February signing date rather than the one coming up in just over a week. Walter appears to be ready to go come the first day of JUCO signings, so I will reiterate that he should be an odds on favorite to end up at NU. KSU you say? Well, considering the reputation KSU has with JUCO players, that's a safe bet, but let's go with a hard bet on this one. Walter to NU come JUCO signing day, IF he graduates.
If he doesn't and if Hill and Defrand don't, all bets are off. They could end up anywhere.
What in the hell is going on here? Mater Dei. I said MATER DEI. That's one of the biggest of the big dogs in high school football. The closest team to beat Concord De LaSalle in almost ten years. They are part of the CIF league, one of the elite leagues in all of United States high school football glory and Rafael Rice is the starting RB. Grades? He says that's a non-issue and this kid actually loves the Huskers. No offer from NU and heck, no offer from just about anyone else. I don't know about you, but that's just plain weird. Draw your own conclusions to this one, because though I can speculate on many aspects of possible "issues" here, it's not going to happen.
The DT out of Florida that I said NU couldn't get out of Florida and why mostly? Because First Visits SUCK. That's right, but what do you know. Thanks to the timely reporting of our own Jeremy M and the Insiders' own Jamie Newberg, it looks like Donnell has taken them out of the picture all by himself.
As for his most recent visit to NC, he said he liked it. He actually liked the people and the campus a little more than Lincoln. The people might be a bit surprising, but the campus comment isn't.
But when Jeremy asked him if he had to commit today (I love that question), where would it be?
Tradition, wins, titles and all that still take precedence, but he's got much of the south to visit, he's from the south and oh, by the way, first visits stink.
If any recruiter out of Nebraska can get Livingston out of the South, give them the medal of honor, a badge of merit or whatever. That would be an accomplishment. Equivalent I would say to LeKevin Smith.
Fresh off his visit to Notre Dame, HE DIDN'T COMMIT. That is something I bet some of you thought would never happen. He's a shoe in for ND. He's a domer to be, no question. Well, with all the allure of the banquet and the reputation ND has for getting commits when they roll out the red carpet, Tommy Z is still without a college and I will tell you what, for once, that favors NU.
Normally, when the recruiting process drags out, NU finds itself on the losing end, especially against ND. Tommy's liking of the QB position along with the fact that the NU visit comes after ND, well, NU fans should be smiling at least a little bit more.
Sometimes, things aren't always Green and Gold.
A HUGE WEEKEND AND WHERE IN THE HELL DID WE PUT OUR COACHES??
Ok, a little role playing here. You are a school. You have maybe the biggest recruiting weekend of the year (by volume) this coming weekend and amongst those, some of the elite of the elite on the defensive side of the ball.
You got some kid named Kyle Caldwell and don't kid yourself, this kid is a flat out player. I won't put him in the same context of a Missouri's Justin Smith or an NU's Grant Wistrom, but his "up-side" just keeps going up. You get him, you got yourself a potential super star.
Ok, back to the RPG. That's Role Playing Game for you non-video game fans.
All these defensive studs are coming into town and guess what, you have two coaches, only one of which is officially at a position and it's not the position NU needs the most on that side of the ball. In fact, he's a coach in limbo, because there's no defensive coordinator, there's no linebacker coach and the rush ends have no coach as well. Oh yeah, no secondary coach to boot.
The rumors abound as to Bo Pelini getting the job? You think Bo is going to leave a playoff bound Green Bay team to stop down in Lincoln and say, "Hey, I'm your new DC, I'm just hear to say hi. I haven't hired anyone yet, but READ MY LIPS, there will be new coaches. I just don't know who has of yet."
How about Rhoades and Pederson. Does the tandem come down? They have the time. Can they be announced this week and stop the on-going rush to the noose shop by Nebraska fans as they see yet another recruiting year slip into an abyss of dismal returns?
You got around 25 holes to fill folks. This could be the biggest need in terms of numbers NU has had in quite a long time. On top of that, it's mostly on the side of the ball you don't have any set coaching staff.
Talk about Murphy's law going into full effect.
Pity the coaches that are in this position as it's good and bad, but mostly bad. Yes, it was good timing when planning for the immediate future, but what will be walking in the door this weekend could be a big part of the long range future for the Huskers.
One more mediocre recruiting class and NU's 7-6 year will start looking good. I'm not kidding. They need to do a slam dunk on the coaching situation right now.
I know they like their secrets and I realize that NU needs to find a good staff rather than one put together for the sake of expediency, but the time is now and if Solich thought calling plays stunk, that has to be a dream compared to the anvil sized weight on his shoulders right now.
One actual defensive coach and lots of defensive recruits. Paper thin depth at almost every defensive position and no position coaches there to tell them what their future or at the very least, the plan NU has in place for them.
It's questions and recruits have enough questions coming into that door, the last thing you want them leaving that door with, is more questions than answers.
NU has to have some answers, even if nobody else knows them, because NU fans want to know that at least the recruits have some comfort as to the future of stability at NU. If they don't know, all they have are answers that leave a shallow impression.
Solidity in the answers translates from solidity in the staff, even if it's just a fledgling one. It's about potential and convincing high school and JUCO kids that there is some.
Right now, NU just has to put up.
Check out this week as it's going to be an exciting one as we lead into what promises to be for NU the biggest weekend of visits thus far. The potential is there and from this week, there could end up being an awful lot of smiles. Or yes, an awful lot of frowns.
Stay tuned to find out which way your face will be turned come next week.
Thanks for taking the time to read this edition of TAKE ONE and stay tuned for our next week's version which should be a DOOZY.
Thanks to Jeremy for pitching in as always as I used a lot of his info to make this thing complete and we will see you next time around.
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619