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Offensive Line

KleinTxHusker

Blackshirt
10 Year Member
Very possible that all the listed heights for those guys are a bit higher than reality.
Yes, but this is liars poker. Or at least everyone has an optimistic tape measure. Usually heights are measured wearing cleated shoes. Especially the ones for a muddy field! Oh they may even be wearing helmets in some cases.
 
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KleinTxHusker

Blackshirt
10 Year Member
In zone blocking schemes it's imperative that the OL get their hands on their defender as soon as possible while moving their feet to establish position. Longer arms allow that to happen more easily, and it gives a bit more cushion for when someone unexpectedly shoots a gap. Nebraska ran zone blocking in the 90s also, but almost every play began with a step forward in run blocking, and that means shorter, stronger guys will do fine with that leverage. With an Outside Zone running play (or any number of other more complicated running concepts in Frost's offense) the O-line's first step is lateral, and they need to be able to pick up defenders on the fly while passing off guys in double-teams in order to climb to the next level. Longer arms mean a longer radius with which to work, and even if a defender shoots a gap, the O-line can still steer him out of the play if he can get his hands on him, and the RB reads the blocks correctly, which is usually not an issue on that play even at the high school level.

If this doesn't make sense, let me know, and I can go deeper into it, but I don't want to bore people.
I guess it is safe to say then, that Greg Austin isn't looking for any Greg Austins or Aaron Taylors out there... I would guess we didn't exactly go out looking for 6' 1" O-Linemen, but do we keep an open mind?

Back in the 1970's we heard TO talked to at least two All-State BB low post players who didn't play football about considering walking on. They didn't, but even then he was trying to sell some 6' 7" plus guys on O-Line work.

Sterup was an interesting case IMO. He had a relatively disappointing career. Obvious athletic ability to go with his height. I don't think too tall was the issue so much as poor development, scheme and coaching. I can think of too many misused players on the lines over the past 15 years. That has been the overwhelming story for too many years at DONU.
 
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Frosty1980

Recruit
I guess it is safe to say then, that Greg Austin isn't looking for any Greg Austins or Aaron Taylors out there... I would guess we didn't exactly go out looking for 6' 1" O-Linemen, but do we keep an open mind?

Back in the 1970's we heard TO talked to at least two All-State BB low post players who didn't play football about considering walking on. They didn't, but even then he was trying to sell some 6' 7" plus guys on O-Line work.

Sterup was an interesting case IMO. He had a relatively disappointing career. Obvious athletic ability to go with his height. I don't think too tall was the issue so much as poor development, scheme and coaching. I can think of too many misused players on the lines over the past 15 years. That has been the overwhelming story for too many years at DONU.
What’s amazing is guys like Sterup, Slauson, Murtha all are in the NFL or where once the NFL. There’s a couple other guys who’s names I can’t remember. I agree Nebraska just couldn’t develop them while in college.
 
I guess it is safe to say then, that Greg Austin isn't looking for any Greg Austins or Aaron Taylors out there... I would guess we didn't exactly go out looking for 6' 1" O-Linemen, but do we keep an open mind?
I've thought about this a lot, and I've got a few thoughts to share, but some of them start getting into borderline pop psychoanalysis, so be warned: this could get into the weeds a little bit.

First, I hope that they're still open minded to the Aaron Taylors of the world who don't have the exact right measurements but have championship qualities that can't be measured. I suspect that they will keep an open mind with that. There's no obvious reason that I can see for vetoing a powerful prospect with quick feet and an attitude. The interior linemen don't have to be as long as the OTs.

I've thought especially about whether Greg Austin the coach would recruit Greg Austin the player for this offense. If I get the chance at the coaches' clinic, I'm going to ask him that in private because I have a hunch that he's thought about it. Here's where I get into the psychobabble: As a coach I recognize my own weaknesses as a former (high school) player, and I often steer away players from being put in the same compromising situations. Is it possible that Austin does too? Who better than Austin--who worked as hard as anyone, and who was as coachable as anyone--to understand the limitations of playing in the O-line when your height (and knees) are a handicap. I would be shocked if he doesn't pay especially close attention to the health of the knees of the guys he recruits after all that he had to work through; is it a stretch to wonder if he might avoid recruiting prospects who would have had to overcome his height limitations, too? I don't know, and it's possible that he doesn't either, but I'd like to ask him that over a beer and hear what he has to say.
Back in the 1970's we heard TO talked to at least two All-State BB low post players who didn't play football about considering walking on. They didn't, but even then he was trying to sell some 6' 7" plus guys on O-Line work.
I hadn't heard that before, but I'd bet a large sum of money that he wanted them to be OTs, especially in the 70s when we were slingin' the ball all over.
 

Huskerthom

All Legend
5 Year Member
I've thought about this a lot, and I've got a few thoughts to share, but some of them start getting into borderline pop psychoanalysis, so be warned: this could get into the weeds a little bit.

First, I hope that they're still open minded to the Aaron Taylors of the world who don't have the exact right measurements but have championship qualities that can't be measured. I suspect that they will keep an open mind with that. There's no obvious reason that I can see for vetoing a powerful prospect with quick feet and an attitude. The interior linemen don't have to be as long as the OTs.

I've thought especially about whether Greg Austin the coach would recruit Greg Austin the player for this offense. If I get the chance at the coaches' clinic, I'm going to ask him that in private because I have a hunch that he's thought about it. Here's where I get into the psychobabble: As a coach I recognize my own weaknesses as a former (high school) player, and I often steer away players from being put in the same compromising situations. Is it possible that Austin does too? Who better than Austin--who worked as hard as anyone, and who was as coachable as anyone--to understand the limitations of playing in the O-line when your height (and knees) are a handicap. I would be shocked if he doesn't pay especially close attention to the health of the knees of the guys he recruits after all that he had to work through; is it a stretch to wonder if he might avoid recruiting prospects who would have had to overcome his height limitations, too? I don't know, and it's possible that he doesn't either, but I'd like to ask him that over a beer and hear what he has to say.

I hadn't heard that before, but I'd bet a large sum of money that he wanted them to be OTs, especially in the 70s when we were slingin' the ball all over.
You're last sentence is a key point. Most people (especially those born after the early 70s.) Only remember TO the option officianto. They forget that he ran a power I pro style offense through most of the 70s. Thus why Vince Ferragamo was a Husker before being a Super Bowl QB.
 
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