If there is a player that fits the physical mold of the throwback NU offensive linemen, it's James Septak. At 6'2" and 300 lbs., he's got that "mauler" body, but with the important things in good feet and of course, good hands. What also benefits James is time at the position. "I did pretty good (this last season) because I had a lot of experience from my Sophomore year." James said. "I thought that I would be one of the helpers on the offensive line." Helper would be understating it, but that's how James is. Truth to tell though, he was easily one of the keys for Millard West along with Ryan Ewing as Millard West didn't have a great year this last season, but won the whole thing the year before. Septak was a big reason for that along with Ewing and company.
Sometimes, when you evaluate recruits, you like to see them against the best players you can, just to see what they can do. James had that opportunity for himself as he got to face one of the best in the state on the other side of the ball, DL, Brandon Teamer. As touted as Teamer was and as high of expectations are put upon him as he heads to the Huskers, if you do well against him, that says a lot for you. "I loved it." James said of facing Teamer. "I love challenges like that."
And how does James think he did? "I thought it went well." James said. "He got me a couple of times, but I got him a couple of times to." If you can say that you went against someone like Teamer and held your own, that's saying a lot.
Ironic though that is probably one thing you won't see or in this case, hear from Septak, that is a lot of talking. He's one of those actions speak louder than words kind of guys and isn't much for all the verbal exchanges that take place out there on the field. "You have to get pumped up for the game, but you don't need all that swearing and yelling." James said. "You need to spend your energy playing, not talking."
Fairly no-nonsense, but that's what you expect or at least, I did from my brief conversation. James doesn't candy coat things, but also, he doesn't find more than what there is to any one thing. Take the recruiting process for one fine example. To James, it's not something that will floor him, because he had a brother go through it and as touted as Chris was, he's already got a good idea of when the recruiting process is at it's best. "All I remember is that he (Chris) was glad when it was over." James said jokingly.
Chris does have an influence as you could imagine, not just in certain aspects as to how James plays the game, but possibly in where. The pressure for any in-state standout in Nebraska to go to Nebraska is the Huskers want them, well, it's considerable. But, when you already have a brother playing there, that's just more weight on this ever-existing burden. It's one that James takes with a grain of salt. "My brother is there, so that is something, but I am really keeping my options open right now." James said.
Those options range beyond Nebraska of course, but most of James' letters have indeed been from the Huskers. This early though, that's hardly a surprise and James is taking it all in stride. He's got eyes on the future and a place to play football, but in a very close second, there's the education side of it as well. "If football doesn't work out, you need something else, so an education is important." James said.
Some would say obvious, some say refreshing, but we say, it's still pretty darn early. James will be attending the Nebraska camp again this year, but has yet to decide on other camps, visits and the like. Septak should be rated as one of the top linemen in the state of Nebraska this year.
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619