One of the reasons 2011 commit Ryne Reeves got his offer from the Huskers was due to how he did against this player. Maybe it's irony then that how this player did against Reeves was why he got an offer as well. He's for the year 2010, but it begs the question: will he be another future Husker?
Arbor View (Las Vegas, NV) defensive end Kenny Mack
has a unique situation.
Until around the age 15 he was in Heidelberg, Germany, living with his dad, who
as a member of the United States Army, was stationed there between his tours in
Iraq. He went on his third tour, and at that point Kenny made the decision to
come back to the states to live.
And yes, to play football.
You see, the recruiting services might
seemingly be everywhere, but it wouldn't be out of the question for people to
miss a football player in Germany. "My dad went to Iraq, and I knew I wasn't
really going to get noticed over there, or it would be harder," Kenny said.
The only problem with that was, even though the
grading system was the same there as it is at Arbor View, the classes aren't.
That's led to Mack, a 6-3, 260 lbs. defensive tackle/end, knowing that while his
team will be on the football field his senior year, he won't. "It was just that
some of the classes I took there don't fit what the NCAA requires me to have.
So, I have to take some additional classes to qualify," he said. "I have a
government class I have to take, and then there will be one
Mack may not be able to compete this year, but
he did last year, totaling 53 tackles, 13 of those solo, including one sack.
That total was good enough for an average of 5.3 tackles per game, ranking him
second on his team by the end of the year. His performance was also good enough
to warrant an offer from UNLV
, the school he's currently committed to.
But Mack came back to get his name out there,
and that's just what he did, and it's what the entire trip to Nebraska
about. But Nebraska being the choice as to where he'd camp was a bit "weird" as
Mack recalled. "Yeah, it was kind of strange, because it was just a school I
heard something about, but the more I looked the more I liked," he said. "It's
really all about football there. There isn't much to do. It's a great place for
me to start over, work hard and show everyone what I can do."
Obviously, he did that at the camp he attended
during the month of June. And what amazed Mack the most was stuff other coaches
tried to drill in his head over years he actually soaked in at the Husker camp
in just a matter of days, and from the Husker Head Coach himself. "It was just
stuff that I was being taught, but I wasn't quite getting it, and they had been
beating it over my head forever," he said. "But Coach Pelini, a couple of days
with him and it just happened," he said. "He has this way of talking to you,
telling you how things are, but teaching you in a way that he's going to let you
know what you did wrong. He's not going to sugar coat it. But he's got a message
that you have to listen to."
Just talking about it was something that got
Mack excited, especially when he got a chance to strap it on and go at it in the
one-on-one drills. It was a chance to do something he won't be able to do for
this entire year. It's where he said he got to show what he believes makes him
the kind of player he is and will make him an even better player down the road.
"My hands are good, and I have a bum-rush
technique that I think
works really well. Plus, I think my strength is coming off the edge," he said.
"But it's also my mentality, because it says that once the ball is snapped I'm
there, I'm going the distance and the guy I'm going against isn't going to get
off that line, he's not pushing me off the ball and I will get into the
backfield if that's where I'm supposed to be."
|Mack said Pelini may be stern, but he
said there's a purpose behind his
Mack got that tested during this camp. And not
by a kid the same age as Mack, but someone a bit younger.
Ryne Reeves, a Crete offensive lineman and the
first Husker commit for the class of 2011, was the showcase, if you will.
Actually, it was when Reeves and Mack faced off. Mack remembers it well, and
said that the kid may be a bit younger, but he's going to be something down the
road. "That kid is a beast. We were going at it really good. I called him out a
couple of times, and he got me. But it was fun," he said. "He's a monster. He's
going to be really good."
Tight Ends Coach Ron Brown is the primary
recruiter for Mack, and is a person Mack said is unlike anyone he's met in that
profession thus far. "He's by far my favorite coach, ever," Mack said. "He's
just a guy who has a message, is sincere about what he says and you know he's
going to give you good advice."
To be honest, and I had to ask the question
myself, this experience that Mack had, which was topped off by the offer from
the Huskers, seemed to be just what he wanted. Everything he said, it revolved
around wondering how this situation in regard to his academics would work at
Nebraska. Even now, today actually, Mack is going to call Brown to see if they
got his transcripts, got the results of his SAT (Mack said he scored a 1500) and
see if he's good to go.
If he is Nebraska has offered him a greyshirt
his first year, which Mack says is just fine, because it would give him a chance
to get really familiar with everything about Nebraska. "I would have the time to
get to know everyone, and even though I couldn't work out with the team I could
get to know the guys, see what they do and just get a feel for the town and the
entire program," Mack said. "I would also be able to take the one course I need
at the Community College there, if everything they get right now is what they
But he is a UNLV commit still, and Mack isn't
ready to change his mind about that. They were the first school after him, after
all. And they have been with him since day one. But Mack stated that there is
some loyalty there, but in the end he said it will come down to what's best for
him. "Loyalty is great, but it has to be a decision which is also better for me
in the end. It's got to be what is going to put me in the best situation to
succeed," he said. "The UNLV coaches have been great, and I am still a commit
there. But I have to do what I have to do for me."
As far as where Nebraska sees him playing, Mack
knows he'll be asked to get pressure in the backfield, but from where isn't
entirely certain. "They said the three, five and seven-technique, because they
think I have the versatility to do it all," said Mack who ran a 4.8/40 at the
camp. "I like the edge, but I'll play wherever they need me to
So, Mack could become the next Husker for the
class of 2010 as early as today. That's not completely unrealistic if he gets
good news from Lincoln. But Mack isn't making any predictions about that,
because he wants to know what is going on, and once he's thought about things
some more he'll figure out the rest. "Well, like I said I am still committed.
That's what I can say for right now," he said. "I can't say how this will all
turn out. We'll just have to see how it goes."