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Game of telephone.... what i'm hearing

Scoob N Lincoln

Recruit
2 Year Member
Isaac Gifford has been working with the 2nd team at a couple of spots as relayed to me by his dad. He's a smart kid so I'm guessing his football IQ might give him a chance to play earlier than most freshman. He's a gamer but has battled injuries in the past. Hopefully the starters stay healthy so we don't have to put a blueshirt freshman in the mix too early.
 

ShortSideOption

All American
10 Year Member
Thanks for the info. I think our RB situation is much better than described in the OP. We should be 5 deep at RB this year. But I do agree that the Linebacker position is of great concern. No major game changers other than JoJo.
I think we will be fine at RB as well... I have a hard time believing we will be 5 deep though. We will have a solid #1 with Mills and a solid #2 in my opinion, after that it will be a bit dicey.
 

ShortSideOption

All American
10 Year Member
Isaac Gifford has been working with the 2nd team at a couple of spots as relayed to me by his dad. He's a smart kid so I'm guessing his football IQ might give him a chance to play earlier than most freshman. He's a gamer but has battled injuries in the past. Hopefully the starters stay healthy so we don't have to put a blueshirt freshman in the mix too early.
Yep, being in the right spot can get you on the field a lot quicker than having the physical tools sometimes. I'm just glad we found a way to take him.
 

wheat

Scout Team
5 Year Member
Not allowed to go to practices (thanks Covid), but here's what I heard. We all know how the game of telephone works, so when I talk about how great someone has been in fall camp and then we don't even have them on the team, try to go easy on me with the backlash!

Quarterback:
As i've been saying all 2020, this is Martinez's. I stated about a month ago on here that I saw him this summer at the golf course and he looked to be in much better shape, sounds like that's holding true with how he's performing in practice. For those of you on the McCaffrey bandwagon, what I stated a few weeks ago about us finding ways to get him the ball even if it's not at QB, sounds like that is still coming to fruition. Thinking about having him out there with Robinson, Martinez, and Mills is pretty exciting.

Runningback:
Mills is a beast, really excited about how his hands have came along to go with his downhill running. Austin being the running game coordinator who was frustrated with our east/west run style last year due to him thinking it wasn't what he thought our OL was good at will highlight our advantages not only on the OL but with Mills. I do get worried about our #2 situation. I think we will find someone to do it, but Robinson and/or McCaffrey as our #2 option isn't what we want (not saying that's where we are at). Rahmir running with 2s, but let's see how our 2020 guys do with the pads on. Free year, don't have to worry about 4 games or less.

Tightends:
Went here first because how we play this is what dictates our WR situation. Stoll will still be the man, but Vokolek is what we thought he would be. He's a combo of good blocker and good receiver, but not quite ready to take over for Stoll (yet?). Allen and Rafdal, for those guys it basically comes down to who gets more consistent. They both show flashes depending what practice it is.

Wide Receiver:
This is where it gets a little dicey. Even though losing JD really hurts, our 2020 WR core is better than 2019 if for no other reason than we are healthier as of right now. The unfortunate thing is when people say that, the automatic response is almost "well no kidding." I am only slightly exaggerating when I say Bellevue Wests WR core is better than 2019 Nebraska WR core. Falck is going to be a better grad transfer than Noa was, Warner is finally feeling good and is Martinez's security blanket, Robinson would have been our best WR in 2020 anyway and if he gets healthy we are good. From there grab some 2019 or 2020 recruits to fill in the gaps.

Offensive Line:
Austin has done a really good job of creating depth here. Even though we are starting a bunch of "Riley guys", I like where we are with #2s behind them as well. We could literally start all 5 guys that started last year, so we could go with experience if we wanted. But we have so many options, and it's been reported as such, that we won't. I worry about backup tackles, but other than that we are fine on the interior. Benhart can hopefully get used to his height at this level, but is Gaylord recovered? Will Corcoran be ready? Banks or Fritzsche feeling up to it? Either way, we are fine.

Defensive Line:
Can never tell if we are that good or that bad when you go against each other. But we do feel pretty good about our front line. After that we are piecing it together a bit. Robinson is really the only one consistently getting the better of our offense. Hopefully Damion Daniels can get 20% of the snaps at NG for us, that would be great. Backup DE is what we need help at. If Keem Green is ready, this should be slightly better than serviceable.

Inside Linebacker:
I think Ruud has done a good job getting this room up to snuff with talent. The issue becomes we feel good about 3 or 4 guys here that we are trying guys at OLB (reported that Henrich is shifting out there a bit). We can go with experience and stopping the run with Miller and Honas, or can get a little more athletic with Reimer, Henrich, or Snodgrass. I literally have heard nothing about Hannah which sucks as I was really high on him.

Outside Linebacker:
This is where I worry. Domann is our best defender, but we are in a world of hurt at our other spot. We have guys that are really good at one or two things, but not overall. For example, Nelson can help set the edge and stop the run, but he's still learning coverage. Same with Damian Jackson. Tannor screws up his assignments from time to time. They even moved Pheldarius Payne here. If i'm the staff I have Mauga-Clements as my third and long OLB. That should help us. But we need to find someone opposite Domann here. It will be by committee to start.

Defensive Backs:
We are mixing and matching to find our best 4. As I said a couple weeks ago, we really like our starting two safeties, but what do we do after that? Someone brought up Isaac Gifford to me a week ago and he was mentioned a couple times to me as someone to look out for. That doesn't encourage me, if we are relying on him our depth isn't great. Not saying he isn't going to be good, it's just the guy that was an "afterthought" offer may be looked on for playing. Kind of crazy. Corner I still feel ok about as long as Bootle, Joseph, or CTB stay healthy. If one of them go down like Clark we are in a world of hurt.

Good stuff.

There were a few names conspicuous by their absence. On offense, I sort of expected to see Alante Brown mentioned in the receiver group as his name popped up last spring. Is he taking a little longer to get the playbook down? I realize you said we would grab one or two of the 2019 or 2020 recruits to fill the gaps. It just felt like he might be more than a gap filler based on previous buzz. Also, do you think McCaffrey gets more run at WR or RB? Or do you think he will he be used as the ultimate "slash" player?

On defense, I was hoping to hear something about Niko Cooper at OLB. It's hard to have a really good 3-4 defense without studs at OLB. It's been an issue since we switched alignments. I was also hoping Rogers and/or Wildeman would be ready to step up on the DL.

In terms of building the program, with the exception of one OLB, it feels like we have solid starters across the board. I hope over the next couple of years we get to the point where we aren't saying "We're in a world of hurt if player X gets hurt."
 
Not allowed to go to practices (thanks Covid), but here's what I heard. We all know how the game of telephone works, so when I talk about how great someone has been in fall camp and then we don't even have them on the team, try to go easy on me with the backlash!

Quarterback:
As i've been saying all 2020, this is Martinez's. I stated about a month ago on here that I saw him this summer at the golf course and he looked to be in much better shape, sounds like that's holding true with how he's performing in practice. For those of you on the McCaffrey bandwagon, what I stated a few weeks ago about us finding ways to get him the ball even if it's not at QB, sounds like that is still coming to fruition. Thinking about having him out there with Robinson, Martinez, and Mills is pretty exciting.

Runningback:
Mills is a beast, really excited about how his hands have came along to go with his downhill running. Austin being the running game coordinator who was frustrated with our east/west run style last year due to him thinking it wasn't what he thought our OL was good at will highlight our advantages not only on the OL but with Mills. I do get worried about our #2 situation. I think we will find someone to do it, but Robinson and/or McCaffrey as our #2 option isn't what we want (not saying that's where we are at). Rahmir running with 2s, but let's see how our 2020 guys do with the pads on. Free year, don't have to worry about 4 games or less.

Tightends:
Went here first because how we play this is what dictates our WR situation. Stoll will still be the man, but Vokolek is what we thought he would be. He's a combo of good blocker and good receiver, but not quite ready to take over for Stoll (yet?). Allen and Rafdal, for those guys it basically comes down to who gets more consistent. They both show flashes depending what practice it is.

Wide Receiver:
This is where it gets a little dicey. Even though losing JD really hurts, our 2020 WR core is better than 2019 if for no other reason than we are healthier as of right now. The unfortunate thing is when people say that, the automatic response is almost "well no kidding." I am only slightly exaggerating when I say Bellevue Wests WR core is better than 2019 Nebraska WR core. Falck is going to be a better grad transfer than Noa was, Warner is finally feeling good and is Martinez's security blanket, Robinson would have been our best WR in 2020 anyway and if he gets healthy we are good. From there grab some 2019 or 2020 recruits to fill in the gaps.

Offensive Line:
Austin has done a really good job of creating depth here. Even though we are starting a bunch of "Riley guys", I like where we are with #2s behind them as well. We could literally start all 5 guys that started last year, so we could go with experience if we wanted. But we have so many options, and it's been reported as such, that we won't. I worry about backup tackles, but other than that we are fine on the interior. Benhart can hopefully get used to his height at this level, but is Gaylord recovered? Will Corcoran be ready? Banks or Fritzsche feeling up to it? Either way, we are fine.

Defensive Line:
Can never tell if we are that good or that bad when you go against each other. But we do feel pretty good about our front line. After that we are piecing it together a bit. Robinson is really the only one consistently getting the better of our offense. Hopefully Damion Daniels can get 20% of the snaps at NG for us, that would be great. Backup DE is what we need help at. If Keem Green is ready, this should be slightly better than serviceable.

Inside Linebacker:
I think Ruud has done a good job getting this room up to snuff with talent. The issue becomes we feel good about 3 or 4 guys here that we are trying guys at OLB (reported that Henrich is shifting out there a bit). We can go with experience and stopping the run with Miller and Honas, or can get a little more athletic with Reimer, Henrich, or Snodgrass. I literally have heard nothing about Hannah which sucks as I was really high on him.

Outside Linebacker:
This is where I worry. Domann is our best defender, but we are in a world of hurt at our other spot. We have guys that are really good at one or two things, but not overall. For example, Nelson can help set the edge and stop the run, but he's still learning coverage. Same with Damian Jackson. Tannor screws up his assignments from time to time. They even moved Pheldarius Payne here. If i'm the staff I have Mauga-Clements as my third and long OLB. That should help us. But we need to find someone opposite Domann here. It will be by committee to start.

Defensive Backs:
We are mixing and matching to find our best 4. As I said a couple weeks ago, we really like our starting two safeties, but what do we do after that? Someone brought up Isaac Gifford to me a week ago and he was mentioned a couple times to me as someone to look out for. That doesn't encourage me, if we are relying on him our depth isn't great. Not saying he isn't going to be good, it's just the guy that was an "afterthought" offer may be looked on for playing. Kind of crazy. Corner I still feel ok about as long as Bootle, Joseph, or CTB stay healthy. If one of them go down like Clark we are in a world of hurt.

Any thoughts if Noa Pola-Gates will be servicable this year? I just remember his film as well the final game he played in high school and he tackled hard. Has he been able to come back from last year's injury and learn the system enough to compete with the others?
 
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RedSaidTed

Red Shirt
If i'm the staff I have Mauga-Clements as my third and long OLB. That should help us.

I have mentioned him at OLB here before. I’m with you 100 percent on this. Based on his prior film, he’s a guy who can rush the passer for us. Are you hearing this or speculating? Either way I hope you’re right.
 

N2FL

Varsity
10 Year Member
Wandale just got banged up a bit, nothing serious at all. Quite honestly probably just protecting him.

I think Thompkins is making some really good strides but I do think they are still trying to be careful with him.

Damian Jackson still trying to find his spot. Started at LB then they moved him to DL then to long snapper then OLB. I do think we see him this year, but i'm not entirely sure how awesome I feel about that.

If you're seeing Damian Jackson getting significant PT and it isn't 49-7, you've got SERIOUS issues at OLB.
 

Rain Man

Recruit
10 Year Member
Some players dont have to run a 4.6 to make an influence. Maybe Jackson is our next guy. He is the last one I'd count out. Lots of players dont have sexy numbers then they see the field and they change the game.
 

Hville

Junior Varsity
5 Year Member
Nice summary shortsideoption. Right now our offense is playing against our defense and vice versa. While your summary certainly lays out some individual talent our problems lately have been tieing the units and coaches together against opponents. Maybe this year.
 

HuskerNdfw

Recruit
5 Year Member
No mention of Manning. Seems a little concerning considering everyone expected him to be our #1 out wide. (Wandale is a slot not out wide. He will likely be our #1 receiver)
 

ShortSideOption

All American
10 Year Member
Any thoughts if Noa Pola-Gates will be servicable this year? I just remember his film as well the final game he played in high school and he tackled hard. Has he been able to come back from last year's injury and learn the system enough to compete with the others?
NPG needs to put on weight, and trying to do that after coming off a season ending injury can be tough sometimes. I'm hoping he steps up and can be the guy we all saw on film, but I think he's a year or two away yet.
 

ShortSideOption

All American
10 Year Member
I have mentioned him at OLB here before. I’m with you 100 percent on this. Based on his prior film, he’s a guy who can rush the passer for us. Are you hearing this or speculating? Either way I hope you’re right.
I'm speculating. I don't think there's any way that guy ever plays a down for us at ILB unless it's passing situations rushing the passer. Good to bring a four star in though.
 
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