Here’s this week’s Big Red Breakfast CorNFlakes!
Ross Els – Linebacker Coach – Special Teams – Recruiting Coordinator!
BIG RED BREAKFAST
CorNFlakes, 5th Edition: NU vs. Illinois (Illini)
10/04/13 (Doug Law, filling in for Lisa Runco) Recruiting Report – Sean Callahan
Not a busy week of recruiting.
No true official visitors with 11:00 am game. Official Visits: One official visitor last game - Deandre Scott – from Philadelphia - 4 star receiver – currently committed to Washington Unofficial Visits: (2015 Class) - There will be one unofficial visitor Saturday-- Grant Schmidt – offensive tackle – 6-7, 290 lbs. - from Sioux Falls – only a junior - but already has 3 D1 offers. Coach Recruiting Activity: Coach Pelini went out on the road last week recruiting.
Other coaches also hit the road too. Busy week off for recruiting.
With extra Saturday in October, and the extra bye week, the Husker Coaches will get another opportunity for more recruiting in a couple weeks. Coach – Ros Els - Linebacker Coach – Recruiting – Special Teams
First - great opportunity to speak to you this week.
Please turn off all of your recording devises. HaHaHa
Who was here speaking to you two weeks ago? Rich Fisher? Let me tell you a story about Fish.
Went to Houston last week to an area near where Fish grew up. So one of the days we go golfing. Fish says let's do something different! So, we're playing along … and on one of the holes I pulled a shot … and found it lying on the cement cart path. I went to give myself relief, and Fish asks what I’m doing. I told him, you know the rules of golf. Fish responds, Golf rules … no, no, no, for this match you have to play the shot where it lies. So I said … ok … I see where we’re going. I returned my ball to the cart path … and pull out a club. I took a practice swing, and when the metal club hit the cement cart path, I saw sparks fly … but not satisfied … I do it again and again … until the club was really roughed up. At the same time I’m hammering the club into the cement … I can see Fish laughing at me. Then, I approached the golf ball, hit it towards the green, and it lands to within 1 foot of the pin. Fish asks in amazement how I did that. I told Fish … I used a pitching wedge … from your bag. HaHa! Practice Report
This week we've worked hard.
I'm an optical guy. I’m going to get into what we do after practice … then we'll talk about recruiting … then we will talk about special teams … then defense. Recruiting
Two groups we're working on now- 2014 and 2015 classes.
2014 Recruiting Class
Our 2014 class – are seniors now.
No matter who we've recruited … the positions on the board are not set in stone. We will not fill numbers on the board just because we have or don't have a need at that position. We look for the best athlete that we can find and if he’s available, then we’ll consider taking him. If we are not comfortable with the pool of players for a position, then we’ll wait.
This year we're looking at taking five defensive backs since we lose four guys at the end of this year. Also looking at defensive line since we lose three players two years from now. We may take up to five offensive linemen but will sign a minimum of three. We'll also look at taking three receivers since that is an area that is subject to injuries.
We have a lot of people on our Coaching staff calling recruits. We do team recruiting. For example, if a player, doesn't like Head Coach then he is not coming…. If he doesn’t like the coach assigned to recruiting that area … he’s not going to sign… If he doesn’t like the position coach … if not strength and conditioning … etc. We work hard on trying to connect to the player we’re trying to recruit.
We also write hand written letters. This is intended to be a personal touch towards the recruit. The biggest way to hit recruit is to use social media … Twitter, Instagram (photos of practice, facilities, etc.)
We have to use social media to introduce them to University of Nebraska. We can also go to football games to watch, but can't have contact with players. We can talk with the High School coach.
Finally, we bring them into official visit. We pay for flights, hotel, food, etc. …. but not parent’s transportation. We usually bring them in for football game, but that doesn't always work out.
Coach Question to Big Red Breakfast Crowd:
How many have been into new stadium addition? It is impressive. It's a modern stadium that kids like. The sports performance center and concussion center.
The Hay Market and new arena in Lincoln is good for recruiting. It is a cool area for college kids to hang out. We can tell the player to look at new concerts that they can go to now. This is huge for us!
2015 Recruiting Class
Second group is 2015 class. - Juniors in High School
We can't pay for official visits until they are seniors. We have to get into their top choices so that they pay for a visit on their own. We have Big Red Weekend and other events to make a connection with them so that they want to visit weekend.
Other Recruiting Comments
Last weekend, we went west. After next week we'll head east. We're seeing a broad spectrum of guys. We'll visit 2014 kids that are offered and also targets that we need to see play or practice. We also go see 2015 guys to evaluate them or to build relationship. Overall - we're fine in our recruiting.
We may not be even with SEC schools, but there are still a lot of great players out there. There are a lot of kids who are near commitments and we expect that there may be a larger number coming in near the same time. Sometimes it is good to bring them in early, and others to bring them in later. It depends on the individual. That's where we're sitting in recruiting.
Q. What gets a kid to commit? And has the pitch changed?
No .. Except for form of communication. The presentation differs by recruit. They want to be around guys that want to win. Some will tell you that they want to play. For example, we tell them that they have the opportunity to compete. The reality is that any kick has opportunity to play right away if there is talent and ability. Parents are critical to recruiting process. That's good with us since we want them on a visit if possible.
Q. What if current commitment wants to take another visit?
We view that as … not a commitment! We tell them … this offer is not like a reservation at a restaurant that you can cancel at 6. We tell them that if you take other visits then we have to pursue other players. To be fair, we don't tell them at this point in the season … “if you go …you're done.” But we impress on them the importance of the commitment. Most players understand it!
Q. What are parents looking for?
Majority - safety, taken care of by football department… and others. When we take them down to academic area, the parents like the structure and set up. Most people tell us our life skills program is different than other places. We require community service and other citizenship classes.
Q. How much do you analyze the amount of weight that you want to put on a kid?
More about recruiting speed. We look at weight at some positions, but need more kids who are near ready to get into the program. Special Teams
Our special teams doing ok. Not totally satisfied. We can improve. Field goals are a little goofy. Pat Smith - a kid sent me a dvd from Western Illinois … I usually go through them and in this case we were looking for someone to compete with Mauro Bondi. Pat’s better at long field goals, Mauro is better closer in. It’s a tight competition. We chart everything.
Punt Team - Sam Foltz would kick in practice and he'd boom them. We moved to a shield that permits us to hold back three and then our front five can release earlier. The first game a freshman long snapper was a little shaky, but we've fixed that now.
Punt Return – We’re using different players back there this season. This rotation includes Jamal Turner, who will still be back there, but also Newby and others. We're working harder at that. On punt return we had trouble early in the year.
With wind there will not be too many kicks out of the end zone. We debate whether to kick it through end zone … or short and try to hold them inside 20.
We're doing well. We are trying to improve.
Q. What percentage hit the ground? and What percentage would you like it to be?
They are up this year. We don't want any on ground. We can put two guys back, but when we did that last year we dropped the ball. The problem with two back is that only 9.
Q. Did you make call with Brodrick Nickens fake punt?
Yes. But UCLA had a different alignment. Our guy missed a block since he wasn't sure about how to block him. If it works it is great. If not, we look foolish. That was my call. Defense
We have cut down a lot of our defense out this year. Compared to last year we have less plays. We have a young defense. However, we need all players to get on the same page. This two week period has been good to get back to fundamental of our positions. We can teach concepts about how to adjust to what the opponent is doing. Also communication is better. What we see is happening in past games is that one or two guys are out of place. The guy next to the player needs to understand the play. We need to communicate more.
After UCLA game. Coach Bo said we need to get away from players getting to down on themselves after they make mistakes. Instead, we need them to keep their heads up, and emerge leaders who will lead on the field. (i.e., get guys lined up right, adjust to other team adjustments, etc.) Baker Steinkuhler was example of guy on the defensive line who rarely made mistakes in alignment. We need more guys on line to get more consistent. This week we may see six defensive backs out on the field. We expect them to spread us out. We don't know who will start, who will finish. We're also looking for leaders at linebackers.
Santos and Anderson were not looking good in early games, but looked better in So. Dakota State. Banderas is a good player, but needs more experience. Last year we had too many guys taking too many snaps. This year, we have a revolving door at linebacker, but we need lots of guys to play.
Q. What make our defense complex when other opponents are quoted in the papers that they can figure it out.
First - post game are interesting things. We have tried to simplify our defense this year due to younger players. Over the past few games, we have made adjustments. Most of our errors in early games have been execution issues. They know where to go, but have not been lined up right, or made other mistakes on the fly. When we look at the young guys who will play, the future looks great. They will improve! Illinois Preview
Offensively - they are a good offense.
Very versatile offense! We'll see play action, … we'll see downhill running. If you see heavy set … all in crowd should yell … "watch out for the pass!" Their QB does a lot of double moves. Showing game film of Illinois – breaking down film.
We have a lot to defend. They have a tight end lining up like he was a tackle … if you're not paying attention … then they will get past you. They do double passes. One has to be disciplined. They run the football well. Two really good running backs. They are a great screen team. We better have people on the screen. We’ve prepared for as much of these plays as we can.
Q. How do you prepare for all that we're going to see Saturday?
We start with base defense and base offensive plays, and then show them all of the "what if" off of that formation. For example, a player needs to make quick decisions. Look for run vs. pass … vs. boot let … etc. A lot of decisions to be made in a short amount of time. We can handle this offense, but it will take huge discipline.
Thanks for coming to Big Red Breakfast.
I appreciate the opportunity to be here.
Enjoy the weekend! Go Big Red!
GO BIG RED!!!! Blackout Saturday!
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