Corn Flakes, 11th Edition
BIG RED BREAKFAST
Recruiting News – Nate Klaus
Busy week. Two prospects that visited for Northwestern game – Robert Lockhart – have been recruiting since high school – dynamic WR, good return guy, good pickup for NU. Another pickup – LB from New Orleans – extremely athletic, plays with an attitude, he is going to hit you, plays with bad intentions – his dad is John Copeland who played for Alabama. 7 official visitors at MSU game – Joe Keels – very athletic, outside LB at Highland, committed to Wisconsin right now, will announce final decision on Dec 1, loved his visit, really opened his eyes to what could be. Another JUCO prospect – Josh Keyes – CB, Mississippi, impressed with his visit, he called his visit a business trip, not concerned with bells and whistles, they want to know how they are going to be used. All 7 had great things to say about Nebraska in spite of our loss. After we lose, what do recruits say about it? They usually don’t say much about it, they think, I could have helped out there……works as a positive…….kids see the bigger picture, the way the program is trending. Coach Joseph talked a little about negative recruiting this week after practice. Other teams see chink in armor of another team and try to exploit it. But kids are smart, they recognize an ethical approach, know the whole body of work. Big game between Omaha North and Westside in state championship coming up – some players to watch, esp on North’s team.
Today’s Coach – Jeff Jamrog – former star DE for NU, now operations guy at NU
Last week was a tough one. Was a game we were all looking forward to. Everyone made a big deal of the troubles with our O-Line, were we going to have enough guys. Great defense on MSU side. Comments that Ameer would not get close to 43 yds which was how many yds on average MSU was giving up. Ameer ended up with 123 yds. 182 yds rushing total. Had 3 TOs in first 3 minutes of game. But we were still 27-21 in Q4. Tough to put a finger on it. They were uncharacteristic and unforced. Tommy would like to have played better. One INT. Fumbles were tough ones. Ball security – two hands on ball. QB exchange fumble – we haven’t had any of these in practice. Jordan – didn’t have good ball security. Had no defensive TOS. When you go minus 5……..after game I was in the office, I thought Bo would be more upset, but I think he was proud that our guys played hard. But we didn’t play like we needed to. Third down conversions – MSU put it right where it needed to be, close to 50%. We came back on Sunday – our goal was to paly for conference championship that goal is out the window. Still have a chance to win 9 games, very few teams have done this 6 yrs in a row. Chance at Outback Bowl, which is a Jan 1 bowl, or Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in late December. Our guys are a close knit group, everyone is on the same page. Excellent week of practice, which is an excellent judge of how you think you are going to do. I think we have seen improvement. Defense in coming around, getting better. Injuries have hurt us – Spencer Long, Taylor, O-line. On Sat of last week, we didn’t know about Sirles. He went out and played almost the whole first half. Impressive comeback, we didn’t think he would play at all. His senior year is so important to him. Jake Cotton didn’t play last week, hope he plays tomorrow. Pelini at center. A-Rod, Zach Sterup. Qvale at LT. Taking 13 guys for the o-line tomorrow because of uncertainty of where we are at. On 70 man travel squad we are bringing 60% freshman and sophomores. Scheduled to leave Lincoln at 11:15, 2 hr flight. We are staying at a Ramada in State College. Two years ago was something I will remember forever with pre-game prayer, Coach Brown. Solidarity that we had, played pretty well against them the past two years. Stat-wise it is almost even with us. Very good receiver – Robinson. Play with a lot of TEs. Playing 18 yo true freshman QB, he is improving. Two talented RBs, both have over 700 yds. We will need to tackle well. They play really well at home. Lost to Central Florida at home early in the year. Have lost to Ohio St, Indiana and Minnesota. They are not going to a bowl, they are playing for pride. Life lessons – goals and targets you want to meet – a lot of people fold. That doesn’t happen at NU. We have tremendous character on our team. One of my jobs is most important – in charge of walk-on program. I am biased. Given an opportunity, what do you do with it, with good coaching and nutrition. We have 17 guys on the trip that were walk-ons originally. You have to recruit difference makers – guys who will play in NFL and other solid guys. Some guys don’t pan out. Walk-ons make up for misses in scholarship classes. Older guys push younger guys. Walk-ons push scholarship guys. Guys pass up scholarships at other places to come to NU.
How has college football changed? Conferences are spending a lot of money on facilities and resources. Recruiting has changed the most. Social media – having access to film. In early 200’a, you would be brining tape to try to get kids’ films on the road, evaluate them in May. Would offer them early in their senior year. Now, there are more diamonds in the rough than there used to be, you can get film easily on most players. 8th and 9th graders are being offered scholarships. You see a lot of de-commits these days. I hope they do change the rule – we need to be able to pay for moms and dads to come on a visit, like they can do in basketball. If we get parents here, we have a big advantage…….we have studied this…….affects decision tremendously when parents visit the school. Window is even less. Dec 16 – Jan 16 is dead period, our coaches can’t go on the road. We try to get as many private planes as we can. Our coaches love to get out on the road, cannot spend too much time in airports, 9/11 changed air travel. Coach Pelini flies private, he has to visit a lot of kids in a very short window of time. The last few classes, I am impressed with what we have done. Playing 7 true FR this year, if they stay with us, they will become stars. Newby, our long-snapper, LBs – Banderas, Bando. Maurice, Collins. We are redshirting some guys. Johnny Stanton has done excellent job on scout team.
Individual execution errors vs coaching errors – at what point do the individual errors point to something more concerning? Let’s take Tommy’s – QB exchange, hasn’t happened much in practice….is it nerves, is it a true FR? Tim Beck said to Bo – Tues/Weds I have been having guys go through gauntlet drill, QBs go through it too. What more can I do? Newby’s – this is a focus deal. Are we too wound up in big games? The ones that are forced – all you can do is teach ball security. You can drill it, then people have to DO it. I went through the years of Coach O – a number of years they had over 20 fumbles. In some of these years, they had great TOs on defense which balanced out the offense. We aren’t doing it on defense the last 5 games, so we are way behind the nation again, Were getting a lot of INTs early in the year, but not lately. In 2003, we were plus 26 in TOs!!! Went 10-3 that year.
Today’s schedule – walk-throughs and meetings this morning. Get on plane at 11:15, direct flight, runway is long enough…ha! 3:30 to hotel. 5:30 team dinner. Going to latest Hunger Games movie tonight. Guys like going to movies, we usually do this unless we have 11:00 game. We usually leave about 6 hrs after the game, plan to get back to Lincoln at 11:00 pm. Sat night. Start whole process again on Sunday.
Study on helmets at NU. East Stadium research – concussions and baseline studies. Will continue to see evolution of helmets, starting with youth football. Hopefully will be huge. I’m sure our athletes will be well taken care of. Anything you can do to have a competitive advantage.
Punt return – hopefully we can get something going. When you look at the film you have to get it started. Back in the day it was tight punt formations, personal protector. Then people went to spread punts with 2 bullets. Now people are going to shield punt or rugby punt. May be going over to Australia to recruit some of these guys…….starts with holding up and giving return man time. They have to be able to break some tackles too. Jam them good at t he line. We need to do a better job. Coach Els is making some personnel changes. If effort is there and technique is not, it’s one thing, give them another chance. If effort isn’t there, there will be changes.
GO BIG RED!! Beat those … Kitteny like … NITTANY LIONS!!!! NO OFFENSIVE TURNOVERS……..
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