Why Not?

He really hasn't been a part of the quarterback picture in Lincoln until a day or two ago when Bo Pelini mentioned his name. While people brought up the health of Zac Lee it took Coach Pelini to mention Kody Spano as being in the picture to really put him on the map. With Cody Green and Taylor Martinez getting the majority of the reps this spring Spano slides in beneath the radar.

It wouldn't have been hard to understand if Kody Spano let two serious knee injuries end his college career.  It very easily could have been a story of a medical hardship, finish up on your degree and giving it the ol' college try.

Not Kody Spano.

How a person bounces back from one serious injury tells you a lot about their character.  How they come back from a second tells you about their determination.  It would have been so easy to quit.

And even then, it seemed like Spano could be the odd man out and his determination would have been moot.  Kody was the guy that wasn't in the spotlight or was at the least overshadowed by players that had more recruiting stars, more hype,  were more quotable and at the very least, less injured.

But Spano has that Rocky-like quality.  He'll take what you want to throw at him on the chin and come right back.  There is something that needs to be said about that in a person's character.  That "pack a lunch" type of quality really is what did players like Joe Ganz and Zac Taylor a lot of good in the system at Nebraska.  It's blue-collar.  It's Nebraska.

And I am not making this out to be Spano came to Nebraska as an unheralded quarterback.  That's not the case at all.  Spano led his team his senior year to a 10-2 record and the second round of the playoffs.  He threw for nearly 2,300 yards, 23 TDs and completed 62% of his passes.

If there is something going for Spano it's been that in the limited time people have had a chance to see him in the spring that he's put together drives.  He doesn't have all the throws, but he's got many of them.  He's shown that he's a decent manager of the game and that could equal serviceable if Lee really isn't 100%.

Serviceable though, might put Nebraska right back into the 2009 season.  No one really knew that Lee was hurt for the majority of the season or the fact that he sucked it up and continued to play with the injury.  An injury that was severe enough to require post-season surgery.

Still, Lee being serviceable won games last year.  They weren't pretty, but it won games.  I think that the line that Coach Shawn Watson used with ESPN for the Holiday Bowl was the ‘offense isn't romantic, but it is who they are'

It still yielded some pretty good results.  But is this year's team a pretty good team coming into the season or are they believed to be better?  I would say a "pretty good team" is a top 25 team.  A very good to special team is top 10 and better getting some national title contender talk.

After reading the articles I have, that would put Nebraska into the very good to special category this year.

And does the "new" offense suit Kody Spano?  Will two knee surgeries allow him to be mobile enough to break the pocket and pick up some yards?  Can he be any type of running threat from the quarterback position?

It's not that Spano was an immobile quarterback out of Stephenville (Texas).  Spano ran for 366 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior and another 532 yards and 10 scores as a junior.  He's not a 4.5 guy.  And I'll break the news to you, Lee isn't either.

Deciding on a quarterback this season might be less about upside and more about who hurts the offense and the outcome of a game the least.  Is the mobility aspect of the offense at Nebraska more important then being an effective passer or a manager of the game?

Being an effective manager of the game seemed to me to be the reason that Lee lost his playing time in spots last year to Green.  Then again, asking a true freshman to manage the game in the Big 12 isn't an easy task.

There are also no new answers after a spring where reps were really split between Green and Martinez when it comes to finding the right guy.  They both do some things very, very well.  Passing the football, though, still isn't one of them. 

Green has a nasty tendency of being high on his throws.  That still may have everything to do with just being naturally wired entering the game.  Still, it's on him to harness that.  Martinez threw a nice touchdown pass early in the spring game, but most of his attempts before and after that included him hitting his drop and scrambling.

While Lee is the most tenured quarterback, arrived in 2008, he and Spano really have about the same amount of time working under center.  Lee showed up to Nebraska with a bum knee and missed the first spring and this past year with the arm/wrist.

When it comes to time in the system and practice, it's about equal.  The definite nod in experience goes to Lee over Spano with the time as a true sophomore in spot time and all of the time last year.

Still, will special consideration be given to the player that hurts the team the least at the quarterback position as opposed to potentially helping it the most because if it does, then Spano might be that guy.

He's not a five star recruit.  You're not going to hear about him having the strongest arm in practice and he's definitely not going to tell you about it.  However you might hear that he's consistent.  Will consistent be enough though?

And while it seemed on paper that Spano might never figure into the mix again at the quarterback position he gets mentioned by name by the head coach at media days.  Even if Spano isn't the guy this year there is always next year.  And there will be the same question of "why not?"


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