I have talked to a number of players
who have talked to one coach from Nebraska. That stands to reason,
especially if they have an offer. Saguaro High School (Scottsdale, AZ)
offensive lineman Kody Innes has talked to a few more. "I have talked
to Coach (Barney) Cotton, Coach (Ron) Brown, Coach (Tim) Beck
and Coach (Bo) Pelini," Innes said of the Husker Offensive Line Coach,
Tight Ends Coach, Running Backs Coach and Head Coach, respectively.
"It's kind of funny, because Coach Beck used to be a Head Coach here at
Saguaro back in the day."
That kind of connection and the obvious familiarity means something to him. "The more you know about a place, obviously the more prepared you are to make a decision about them," Innes said. "And it's one of the most important decisions I'll make in my life. So yeah, the relationships are key."
So, Nebraska is obviously interested. There might be members of the media in Nebraska who haven't talked to as many Husker coaches as he has.
But down to Innes himself.
I read 6-4, and I hear "tackle", I'm thinking on the defensive side of the ball. Point of fact, Stanford, one of the eight teams to offer him thus far, has talked to him about that, but most want him on the offensive side of the ball.
How does it work that a kid that "short" could play either end-spot on the offensive line? A couple of things, according to Innes. "I guess I have freakishly long arms, which I know is a big thing when looking at tackles. But another thing is that I know I have the hands and feet to play the position," he said. "Our coach is really big on the proper way to use your hands, to move you feet and just being in the right position.
"Even here where there is so much talent, he emphasizes the little things you need to do to be successful."
Talent? Yeah, I'd say, Saguaro putting out eight kids to the Football Bowl Subdivision last year, including defensive line juggernaut, Corey Adams.
That's a big check mark as well, the Sabercats looking to win their
fourth straight state title this year, and keep the winning-streak,
which stands at 33 right now, going until this season is officially
But being one of only three returning starters on both sides of the line, Innes knows his team has some work in front of them. But he said that where it counts, this team can still get it done. "I'm a big believer in that if you don't have the lines, you don't have a team. That's where it all begins," he said. "And I think that we're still going to be pretty good there. We have a good core group of guys, and now the most important thing is to get the younger guys on the same page."
|Huskers Head Coach Bo Pelini is
one of four coaches Innes has talked
to from Nebraska, thus far.
is where it gets fun for me. Innes, obviously a leader on the team,
talked about right now, a time where many spend working on their tans,
he's working to get ready for Summer football, which was preceded, of
course, by Spring football. Where he's at that's the
norm, and that's just how he likes it. Besides, when you are going to
be a team that wins at the rate they do, now is the most important time
of the year.
"This is where you win or lose the title. This is where you find out what kind of team you are and what kind of players you have," he said. "If you want to win championships there's no break between the end of your last season and the beginning of the next. You can't just take a break and not think about football until Fall.
"Those aren't the teams that win titles. Those are the teams we beat on our way to winning the ones we have."
With that kind of attitude, along with his 4.90/40 athleticism on that 280 lbs. frame, it's not hard to figure why Kody has the offers he has now and will no doubt get some more.
Back to Nebraska.
Kody obviously knows a bit about them, but where he learned perhaps the most about them which put them on the list as something more than an intriguing team, just happens to be a former teammate who visited the Huskers, but ultimately went elsewhere. It was none other than all-everything DT Corey Adams. He didn't end up going to Nebraska, but according to Innes, he had nothing but good things to say about the big red.
"He said he loved his visit up there. He said the coaches were great, the fans were crazy and the academics were really good," Innes said. "He really didn't have one bad thing to say."
That's all well and good, but Adams did eventually opt to attend Arizona State, along with three other players from his school. And yes, they have all been in Kody's ear to join them at a place he knows extremely well.
Innes knows that everyone thinks he's going there, and he won't deny they are one of his top teams. But it's not about them, it's about himself. "There are great coaches there who I get along with very well, and I know the team is going to be doing very good. But I'm looking at a lot more than that," he said. "it's the whole package from the academics, to the coaches to the team. Again, it's the biggest decision I will make in a long time, and I can't make that based on who else goes there or just because it's closer than some others. I have to do all the research and make sure I get it right."
That means time, and Innes knows he's got that and plans to take it. Camps are up in the air right now, but he's not too worried about that either. Honestly, and this shouldn't come as a surprise, he's not thinking about recruiting more than he has too. He's got bigger fish to fry.
"You don't say undefeated and break a state record for the most consecutive wins by thinking about a lot of stuff other than doing your best this season. That's what I am doing right now," he said. "I have some great offers and some great schools to consider, but honestly, my team and my last year means more right now.
"We lost a lot of guys, so people expect us to be a bit down. But I don't intend to let that happen. We have young guys, but good guys, and nobody wants that first loss hanging on them. No way."