may 07, 2013 03:18pm
After years of snubbery, Tommie Frazier is finally in the College Football Hall of Fame. Arguably the best option quarterback ever to play the game, all Frazier did was lead the Huskers to back-to-back national titles, coming within mere points and seconds at a third in a row. Eric Crouch and Trev Alberts were the other Huskers in the list of nominees for the HOF. Chances are good it will take them awhile to actually enter the Hall, with our money on Crouch getting the nod before Alberts.
Now, about that Heisman Trophy, Eddie George. That's right. It belongs to Tommie as well.
february 25, 2013 10:28pm
Kenny Bell tweeted this photo out earlier today. His new tattoo. What are your thoughts?
february 24, 2013 02:35pm
Rex Burkhead put up some pretty impressive numbers at the NFL Combine today. His vertical jump was 39 inches and he broad jumped 125 inches. The disappointing number will be his 40-yard dash time, which was 4.73 seconds. Given his vertical and broad numbers, he should have turned in a lower 40 time. In fact, Burkhead had been running 4.4-4.5 dashes in his training workouts leading up to the draft. To see what NFL scouts think of Burkhead, read the commentary at this link.
There are some interesting comments made, including Rex is "not the most powerful of backs." Most Husker fans would take exception with that statement, but the NFL is another ballgame.
february 06, 2013 12:42pm
Today marks another signing day, when future Huskers actually sign on the dotted line. This year more than any other has seen it's share of recruits changing their minds. There have been commitments, de-commitments, re-commitments, and the usual grandstanding and media attention-seeking behaviors I'm sure we all love. On the whole, Nebraska put together a solid class. We're not of the opinion that this is a Top 10 class nationally, but somewhere around 15th would be about right.
Here's a look at how we rank the Top 10 commitments in terms of who will have the biggest impact for the Huskers over the next two seasons.
10) David Knevel (OL) - The best prospect out of Canada and he's coming to America...Nebraska actually. Knevel turned down offers from Alabama, Missouri, and Wisconsin to become a Husker. David is a huge specimen, standing 6'8" and weighing near 300 pounds and has a very high ceiling. He's already in Lincoln, which should help David will add much needed depth to the offensive line and will be a force to be reckoned with for opposing teams.
9) Josh Banderas (LB) - This spot easily could have gone to Marcus Newby, the Huskers other good linebacker who signed on the dotted line today, but we chose to spotlight Banderas because of his family connection to the Big Red (Josh is the son of former Husker tight end Tom). Josh played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl this year as one of the 90 best players in the nation and figures to be a key contributor for the Blackshirts a couple years from now. There's a decent amount of talent ahead of him at linebacker and barring any injuries at that position, Banderas will most likely see his playing time on special teams before the linebacker spot.
8) Maliek Collins (DT) - The Huskers were notoriously thin on the defensive line last season, evidenced by a 265 pound defensive end (Cameron Meredith) playing the tackle position. Collins will have some young talent ahead of him in Vincent Valentine and Aaron Curry, as well as seasoned vets Chase Rome and Thad Randle, but it's our opinion he will be in the two deep by the end of his freshman year. By most accounts, Collins was a top target for the Huskers for quite awhile and a good get for Nebraska considering Maliek hails from the Kansas City area.
7) Cethan Carter (TE) - At 6'4" and 235 pounds, Carter has a chance to get into the mix quickly at the tight end spot for the Huskers. Interestingly, he was moved to fullback two games into his junior season to block for his school's All-Metro tailback. Carter was such a team player about this move he never uttered a word about it. LSU and Ole Miss also offered Carter, but he spurned the SEC to head to be with the Children of the Corn. With Nebraska losing both Ben Cotton and Kyler Reed, they are a bit thin at the position. Look for Sam Cotton and Jake Long to be Carter's competition at the TE spot, as well as fellow 2013 commit Greg Hart.
6) Adam Taylor (RB) - Along with Terrell Newby, Taylor could see some action as a true freshman, especially if there is an early injury to a running back. Taylor is considered by some to be the best running back out of Texas, which brings up the question, when was the last time Nebraska stole the best running backs out of both Texas and California in the same year? And the answer to that is I don't know, but I would guess never. Adam is 6'2" and 200 pounds, so a bigger back than Newby, but still smaller than Imani Cross.
5) Gabe Miller (OL) - Hey, why not. Long snappers don't tend to get too much love, let alone scholarships, so we'll give him some pub here. Yes, he is a long snapping specialist and considered to best among the best in the nation. He hails from Indiana and stands 6'1" and weighs 240 pounds. Gabe doesn't have much competition awaiting him at Nebraska, as Joseph Rotherham is the only other listed long snapper. There you go, Gabe. Go make Husker Nation proud.
4) Chongo Kondolo (OL) - We don't need to tell you how awesome his name is, but we will anyway. Chongo has three years to play two for the Huskers on the offensive line and he comes to NU by way of Fresno City Community College. Kondolo stands 6'4" and weighs 290 pounds, and figures to be a versatile addition to the line. He played tackle at the JUCO level, but may very well get moved to guard, or even center during his time at Nebraska. The Huskers were able to rescue him from having to wear orange and white for the next three years at Tennessee.
3) Terrell Newby (RB) - With the unexpected departure of Braylon Heard, Newby has a great chance to avoid a redshirt year and see some significant playing time spelling Ameer Abdullah and Imani Cross. Considering how the Huskers schedule sets up, we would expect Newby to get into the mix very early on. Many consider him to be the best running back in the state of California, which is quite a haul for Bo Pelini & Co. Newby chose the Huskers because of their brand. That's right, a kid from California who was two years old when Nebraska last won a national championship says the Husker name is still gold. Throw in the fact this guy loves Walter Payton and we think Nebraska got a good one in Terrell Newby.
2) Matt Finnin (OL) - The Huskers held off a late push by Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes for the services of Finnin, a 6'8" 330 pound offensive lineman from the College of DuPage (JUCO). Finnin will have two years of eligibility remaining and will plug a hole for the Huskers at offensive tackle, likely working his way into the mix in 2013 and figuring to be a mainstay in 2014. Matt was also recruited by Oklahoma, Kansas, and Florida State.
1) Randy Gregory (DE) - Matt Davison called Randy the best pure pass rushing defensive end that Bo Pelini has recruited to Nebraska. As a JUCO transfer, Gregory has three years of eligibility remaining and should see significant playing time in 2013, if not start against Wyoming. Remember Barry Turner as a freshman? There's a lot of similarity. Quickness off the edge. Long and lanky (Gregory is three inches taller at 6'6"). Now, if only Gregory can build up his strength without adding a lot of weight, which we maintain, made Turner less effective after his freshman campaign.
The biggest needs for the Huskers and their 2013 class were clearly in the trenches. The offensive line needed replenishing and added depth, while the defensive line just plain needed bodies. The Huskers are bringing in two JUCO offensive linemen that should factor into the mix right away, but NU missed out on some higher profile JUCO defensive linemen as well as a tight end that could have really vaulted this class.
It's nice to see the geographic diversity in this class, something reminiscent of the great Husker teams. States like Texas, Florida, California, and Ohio are well-represented. Throw in recruits from Maryland, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Indiana, and even one from Ontario and you can see how hard the staff has been hitting the trails.
Our overall grade of the class would be a solid B, with the offensive recruits earning a B+. Spring practice is only three and a half weeks away. Hard to believe. GBR!!
february 01, 2013 08:23am
The University of Nebraska Athletic Department put out a press release on Spring Game tickets. Here is what it said.
Nebraska fans will have their first opportunity to purchase tickets for the Red-White Spring game beginning Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 8 a.m. The 2013 spring game is set for Saturday, April 6 at Memorial Stadium.
Nebraska fans may purchase tickets online at Huskers.com, by phone at 1-800-8-BIG-RED or in person at the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office, located in the Stadium Drive Parking Garage (8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays).
All tickets for the Red-White Spring Game are reserved and cost $10 each. All individuals must have a ticket for the game. With the exception of the new seats in the East Stadium all seating areas will be available for this year’s spring game.
Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets early to ensure good seats for the contest. Each of the past several years, more than 20,000 tickets were sold by the end of the first day of sales.
Nebraska will once again conduct the Drug Free Pledge at halftime of this year’s game. Youth (eighth grade or younger) are encouraged to take part in the Drug Free Pledge on the field, and those who do will be admitted to the game for free. Drug Free pledge participants must secure a ticket in advance of the contest by calling or visiting the Ticket Office. Parents or sponsors of the youth taking part in the pledge will need to buy a reserved ticket ($10).
A limited number of $15 club seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. UNL faculty and staff will be able to purchase reserved tickets to the spring game for $5. Faculty and staff should purchase their tickets in person at the Ticket Office or over the phone, and will also be asked to show their staff ID at the gate on game day. UNL student will be admitted free to the game, but will need to have a ticket in hand for admittance. UNL students may also visit Huskers.com beginning Feb. 6 to secure their ticket.
Fans who met the deadline to return tickets from the canceled 2012 Red-White Spring Game for credit will receive an e-mail before Feb. 6 to explain the redemption process.
2013 Red-White Spring Game
Date: Saturday, April 6
Tickets: $15 club seats (limited availability); $10 reserved tickets go on sale on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 8 a.m., UNL Faculty & Staff, $5; UNL Students, Free (must secure a ticket)
Drug Free Pledge: Youth 8th grade and younger are encouraged to take Drug Free Pledge at halftime (admitted for free, but must have a ticket)
Radio/Internet: Husker Sports Network/Huskers.com
january 31, 2013 07:58am
Drake Martinez, younger brother of Taylor, has committed to the Huskers after being recruited by Michigan State among other schools. Drake is rated 3 stars by Rivals and is listed as an athlete, with the likely position for him being in the defensive backfield. Martinez is the 23rd commit in Nebraska's 2013 class and stands 6'2" and 200 pounds.
january 29, 2013 03:27pm
Junior-to-be running back Braylon Heard is leaving the Husker football program. As first reported by MyValleySports.com, Heard is heading somewhere closer to home and no doubt seeking more playing time.
During Heard's two years at Nebraska, he showed flashes of brilliance but was mired in position changes and buried on the depth chart. Even though he had the second highest average yards per carry last season, Heard was getting less than five carries per game. Playing behind Ameer Abdullah and Rex Burkhead, Heard didn't get the number of touches he deserved, for whatever reason. We were always of the opinion he was the Huskers most fluid runner.
Braylon had even moved to defense before the transfer of fellow running back Aaron Green necessitated a move back to offense.
Given the number of transfers and decommits, Bo Pelini could sure use a strong finish to the recruiting season. National Letter of Intent Signing Day is next Wednesday, February 6th.
january 14, 2013 03:52pm
We've already taken a look at the new faces we may see next season for the Huskers at defensive line and linebacker. Now our attention turns to the secondary. Significant returning experience from Ciante Evans, Andrew Green, Stanley Jean-Baptiste and Josh Mitchell means the corner spot will be pretty deep. Safety is another story. Historically, Bo Pelini hasn't played too many freshmen (redshirts or true) unless they have a firm grasp on the schemes, even if they are more physically talented than others at their position. Here are four guys to keep an eye out for in 2013.
Charles Jackson - He originally signed with Nebraska in February 2011, but didn't qualify academically. Jackson participated in the 2011 U.S. Army All-America Game and was the second best cornerback prospect according to Scout.com. Hand it to Charles for getting his classwork done, staying in shape, and still wanting to be a Husker. Although listed as a cornerback, he may get a shot at safety since Nebraska is overloaded at corner heading into the 2013 season. Nicknamed the "Energizer Bunny" by secondary coach Terry Joseph, Jackson brings it all day at practice and looks upon playing at Nebraska as a privilege, no doubt due to the adversity he has faced in qualifying to play college football.
Jonathan Rose - Potentially the best cornerback Bo Pelini has recruited to Nebraska. Rose transferred from Auburn (and who wouldn't want to escape Gene Chizik) and looks the part of a big time corner. At 6'1" and 180 pounds, he's the perfect size for the position, not too short, not too slow. In fact, he will make a strong push for the starting job, likely opposite of Ciante Evans. He will have plenty of competition though, as we noted earlier. Rose was recruited by Terry Joseph out of high school and knew of Husker running back Ameer Abdullah from his high school days as well, leading to Jonathan to sign with the Huskers without ever visiting campus. Since Rose played during his true freshman year at Auburn, he will be a sophomore in 2013 with three years of eligibility. Like Charles Jackson, Rose was a participant in the U.S. Army All-America Game as a senior.
Mohammed Seisay - Seisay played two seasons at Memphis before moving on to Eastern Arizona Community College. He joined the Huskers in January 2012 as one of the top junior college cornerback prospects. Thought to be an immediate contributor, Mo saw playing time in a handful of games in 2012 at cornerback, but failed to become a starter. He will be battling Evans, Green, Baptiste, and Mitchell, but should see more playing time in 2013.
Daniel Davie - Davie is another cornerback like Charles Jackson who will likely get a serious look at safety in 2013 for the Huskers. Davie is a product of Beatrice, Nebraska and stands 6'1" and 185 pounds. He redshirted in 2011 and became a standout scout team player. He recorded one tackle in the 2013 Capital One Bowl. Keep an eye on him for 2013.
So there you have it. Our early look at the 2013 Blackshirts. To review the defensive line and linebackers, click on their respective links.
january 12, 2013 03:11pm
At the end of the 2012 season, Husker fans saw Cameron Meredith, a 260 pound defensive end doing his best to take the place of injured Baker Steinkuhler in the middle of the NU defensive line. Considering Meredith had to go up against the behemoths of Wisconsin and Georgia, this man deserves a few free beers.
Early in the season, true freshmen Avery Moss and Aaron Curry saw some action on the d-line before disappearing completely once conference play began. Along with these two, here are a few names to look out for next season on the defensive line.
Randy Gregory - The 6'6" and 230 pounder is a long and lanky rush end from Arizona Western Community College. On paper, he's perhaps the best pure pass rusher that Bo Pelini has lured to Nebraska. Gregory was committed to Purdue before switching to Nebraska, but he appears to be a solid commit in the 2013 class. He will have three years to play for the Huskers and will likely be opposite of Jason Ankrah at the other end spot. There is a chance Ankrah could be moved inside, however. Given the Blackshirts problems with getting a natural pass rush the last two seasons, Gregory comes in with high expectations and should see action early in the season, if not be a starter the first game.
Vincent Valentine - The 6'3" and 320 pound freshman who redshirted in 2012 will likely see a lot of playing time at defensive tackle next season and will likely be a starter. What makes him special, other than his size, is his quickness, according to line coach Rick Kaczenski. Coming out of high school in Illinois, Valentine was recruited by Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Penn State, among other schools. That shows the projected talent he brings to the table. It's just a matter of developing that talent and turning Valentine into a potent interior defensive lineman.
Avery Moss - The true freshman defensive end stands 6'2" and weighs 260 pounds. Coming out of Corona Del Sol High School in Tempe, Arizona, Moss was offered scholarships by Stanford, Washington, Arizona, and San Diego State. Moss saw action in three of the first four games for Nebraska in 2012, but was shut down with a bum shoulder. He will likely receive a medical redshirt as a result.
Aaron Curry - Saw playing time during the first four games of 2012 and was set to be a significant contributor on the line before injuries (ankle and wrist) derailed his progress. Still his future appears bright according to Bo Pelini and Rick Kaczenski. The 6'1" 280 pounder out of Texas may get a medical redshirt as well.
Greg McMullen - The 6'3" 280 pound defensive end from the state of Ohio was redshirted in 2012. McMullen was offered scholarships by Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Oregon, and Michigan State coming out of Akron's Hoban High School. He ran a 4.6 40-yard dash as a high school senior, so speed is clearly one of his traits. Along with Ankrah, Moss, and Gregory, expect to hear McMullen's name at the DE position next season.
All four true freshmen defensive linemen had the physical talent to play in 2012. If the mental side comes along this could be an exciting group to watch in 2013. Kevin Williams, Thad Randle, and Chase Rome will be battling these guys for PT in the middle next season.
Compared to the 2012 defensive line, next year's bunch looks deeper and faster. The big assumption here is that they get the playbook down. Bo Pelini hasn't been known to play a lot of underclassmen if they don't know the schemes, even if they are more talented. We'll look at the 2013 secondary early next week.
january 11, 2013 04:48pm
Much has been written and said about the 2012 Blackshirts and whether they even deserve to be referred to as such given their propensity for allowing too many points, yards, big plays, etc. The criticisms leveled their way are myriad: too slow, took bad angles, poor tacklers, no pass rush, and on and on. What's most frustrating for Huskers fans is that the defense was full of seniors with significant playing experience.
But don't fret Husker fans, there's a good chance next year's crop of defensive players will be a significant improvement on the 2012 group. What makes next year look more promising? We'll highlight 10 defensive newcomers who stand to see significant playing time in 2013 for the Big Red, starting with three linebackers. We'll follow that up with a look at the new faces on the defensive line and in the secondary.
Michael Rose - The highly touted linebacker from Kansas City was redshirted in 2012, but has a good chance to be a starter by the end of the 2013 season. Rose was recruited by USC, Ohio State, and Missouri, but he was the first player to commit to NU's 2012 class. What makes him special is his speed and tackling ability. Nebraska clearly lacked speed throughout their front seven, but especially at the linebacker position. UCLA, Ohio State, and especially Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship exposed these weaknesses. Along with David Santos, Zaire Anderson (see below), and Thomas Brown (also below), the Husker linebacker corps will gain a few steps in the speed department, which should help to improve the defensive stats next season.
Zaire Anderson - He garnered several SEC offers coming out of junior college, but chose to be a Husker. His first season with Nebraska was short-lived, when in mid-September he tore his ACL during practice. Four days later, Anderson took over the starting duties from senior Alonzo Whaley and recorded three tackles against Arkansas State on that torn ACL. He had season-ending knee surgery, but will be ready for fall ball. What got Anderson on the field in place of Whaley was his speed, after the latter struggled in running down and covering UCLA's backs. Anderson displayed his speed in the limited action he saw, as many Husker fans were hoping he'd be the second coming of Lavonte David.
As an aside, very few rookies crack the starting lineup at linebacker in the NFL and you can probably count on one hand the number who were making defensive calls their first season in the league. The one positive to Anderson's injury is that it gives him another year to learn the defense.
Thomas Brown - Named Scout Team Defensive MVP for 2012 at the team awards banquet, Brown is another linebacker with speed and good tackling ability. Thomas also played running back in high school and was recruited by Colorado, Utah, SMU, and Arizona State. Brown will likely be in the mix, either as a starter or in the rotation at the LB position, with the option of using him off the edge as a pass rusher as well. John Papuchis said Brown may end up taking the role that Eric Martin played for Nebraska in 2012. David Santos, who saw some action in 2012, will be a likely starter, knocking one of these three into the first off the bench role, unless Bo & John Papuchis utilize their 3-4 scheme more next season. Santos was recently named as one of the Top 5 Big Ten defensive players to watch in 2013 by ESPN.
The future appears bright at linebacker, assuming these four can stay healthy and learn the defense. We'll review the defensive line tomorrow.