I'm new to Huskerspot.com, but I have had a blog devoted to the Huskers for a while now. This is my latest entry in that blog. To read other posts, just click here
and you will be directed to my blog.
Originally I planned on breaking down the recruiting class at great lengths in this post, but when I realized that every other single Husker blogger had already done that, I quickly soured on that idea. Speaking of those breakdowns, I wanted to quickly give some props to Double Extra Point on their well-done analysis. By the way, does anyone know what that means? I've always given "props" to friends/people who have done a good job at something, but I'm not sure what it stand for, or if it is just another phrase white people stole from hip-hop culture....if anyone knows, fill me in. It's evident that the guys over at DXP have studied the film of all the recruits (something I am currently working hard on while I'm supposed to be doing actual work), and their capsules on all the guys are great.
Anyways, instead of breaking down every guy, I just wanted to pass along my thoughts on a half-dozen or so of the players, the ones I am most excited about or who I think have, in the words of ESPN's Bill Simmons, "Tremendous Upside Potential" (TUP from here on out). Also, I'll pass along some assorted college football links that I thought were worthy of a read. Not that my opinion validates these articles, but still, if I like, them, they must be pretty f-in sweet, right? No? Damn. You'd think my status as a 3rd-string Husker blogger would get me some clout.
Annnnyways, on the recruits.
Most Likely Immediate Impact
Baker Steinkuhler, DT
Ok, I know that this guy is a bookend offensive tackle, our #1 recruit, and a bona-fide stud. But let's not forget that our defensive tackle position is about as deep as a kiddie pool. Add to that the fact that Pelini is a defensive-minded coach who has done some special things with tackles before (Glenn Dorsey, anyone?) and you have to think that they'll give the kid an early look on the d-line just out of necessity. If we weren't in such dire need, he probably would be slated for offense (and still might be), but I can't help but fantasize about having Steinkuhler and Suh completely negating opponent's inside running games.
Ricky Henry, OL
With two years of CC football under his belt, he has the seasoning to step in and bolster the Huskers' interior line (at least if he can keep his grades up, something he's struggled with in the past). That said, his 6'4", 300-lb frame is impressive and tailor-made for the G position.
Tyson Hetzer, TE
A good pass-catching JUCO tight end who should fit into Watson's offense well and can work the seams really well down the middle of the field. With the loss of both J.B. Phillips and Josh Mueller, this is a position that is relatively up for grabs with relative unknowns Mike McNeill (injured last year), Ryan Hill (true frosh), and Hunter Teafatiller (9 career catches) in the fold.
Will Compton, LB/Mason Wald, S
We don't yet know who will be redshirted, so this is a tough call, but I can see both of these guys getting on kickoff coverage this year (with Compton seeing some PT at backer). Pelini will play the best guys, regardless of age, so I wouldn't put it past him throwing these guys into the fire and hoping for some explosions.
Tremendous Upside Potential (TUP) Recruits
This is for the guys who have the potential to make a big impact down the road depending on how things pan out and them getting in the weight room. I borrowed the phrase from ESPN's Bill Simmons, who stole it from Jay Bilas. During the NBA draft, guys who don't have solid body of work to analyze (like 6'10" foreign small forwards nobody knows about) are often described as having "Tremendous Upside Potential", meaning they could completely suck, or be the next Dirk Nowitzki. So here are my nominees from this year's Husker signees.
Sean Fisher, LB
The 6'5", 210-lb linebacker out of Millard North has the kind of length and size that recruitnicks and coaches drool over. This is the type of kid you immediately recruit on your NCAA dynasty, knowing he will turn into a beast. With that height, he has the potential (there's that word again) to get up to the 250 range and be an absolute monster. Can you imagine in two years a linebacking crew composed of him, Compton, and a beefed-up Blake Lawrence? How much fun would that be? And how would any QB find a throwing lane with a couple 6'4"/6'5" guys on the outside? It's a tough call on how it will all pan out, because Pelini often uses shorter, quicker guys on the outside because of his constant blitz calls, but still, it's fun to daydream about the possibilities. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with Fisher, a home-state kid who turned down OU (among others) to stay with the Big Red.
Kyler Reed, ATH
While it's tempting to see the 6'3", 205-pound Reed at linebacker, the signing of four other players at that position makes the Overland Park, Kansas product (a tight end as well in HS) a likely candidate for Watson's H-back position. Reed's blend of size and speed (plus the frame to easily add an additional 20 pounds) could make him a dangerous weapon in an offense that would constantly have him shifting before the snap.
Justin Rogers, CB
A stud prep tailback in Alabama's largest class of high schools, Rogers knows his potential lies on the defensive side of the ball. With great closing speed and very quick feet, he could develop into a good cover corner a couple of years down the road. Also, CB recruit David Whitmore is an intriguing prospect with great height (6'2") for the position, though after watching his film I think the 4-star rating was more based off of long term potential (which is why I'm making him a TUP recruit). I could see Whitmore getting some nickel-back opportunities in light of the fact we graduated a decent-sized group of secondary players (Grix, Jones, Bowman) this year.
Mason Wald, S
The dozen of you who regularly read my blog know that I'm already a big fan of this kid (a high school teammate of the aforementioned Rogers), so his addition to the TUP list probably comes as no surprise. Yes, I do have him as an immediate impact candidate as well, but I thought he should be a TUP guy because of the the fact he could get up to 220 and become a monster two or three years down the road.
Steven Osborne, WR
The lanky Texas wideout has the height but lacks one thing that makes him an elite prospect: that final breakaway gear. But that's something that the strength and conditioning guys at NU can help with, and aside from that, he looks like a good all-around player on film. He has sure hands, sets up his blocks well, has good vision, and is committed to good run-blocking (an absolute must). Could be a pretty good player a year from now.
Some other thoughts on the 2008 recruiting season.....
Blaine Gabbert has been mentioned in the same sentence as Josh Freeman quite a bit the past couple months, but there is a distinct difference between the two's reneged commitments to the Huskers. First off, let me say that I don't have any problem with either of them switching. They are kids, bound to change their minds about things. But when Freeman headed to K-State, he didn't start calling up other Husker commits and asking them to come with him. It has been said that Gabbert, on the other hand, didn't have any problem calling up guys like Compton and Dan Hoch to try and sway them to Mizzou. I understand that he's trying to help his future team, but dammit man, let them make their own decisions after talking with the coaches. His influence was said to have a big impact on the 4-star Hoch, a Harlan, Iowa product who many thought would stick with the Big Red. One recruiting-site contributor said that Gabbert should have gotten an award for the damage he did (and no, I can't link to anything or comment on it because it's a subscriber matter on one of the recruiting sites). And yes, part of this rant is because I really didn't want him to go to a team we have to play every damn year.
When it comes to Trevor Robinson's going to Notre Dame, I still can't understand it. He's going to play for a guy who is one losing season away from serious job insecurity, in addition to having to worry about super-douche Jimmy Clausen hitting on him all the time. I still don't understand the obsession with Notre Dame, an institution that hasn't been truly relevant in 20 years (I know, I know, we haven't been tearing it up lately either, but at least NU played in a title game just seven years ago). The only thing that would be an enticement is the degree you'd get. It certainly wouldn't be the junior high squad masquerading as the Fighting Irish.
Congrats to Alabama on getting the #1-rated class. It did wonders for our program three years ago!
A couple links before I sign off of here....
- Cool article
over on ESPN.com about ISU's Jack Trice, who is still the only African American to have a D-I stadium named after him. I had no idea who Jack Trice was (and I went to ISU for a year), so this was an eye-opener for me.
-Reggie "3 yards-a-carry" Bush is scheduled to give a desposition regarding the alleged improper benefits he took during his career at USC. Finally, after years of denying any wrongdoing and continuously refusing to meet with investigators, Bush will finally have to answer for the benefits his family received during his Trojan tenure. I know it's wrong to assume guilt before it is a sure thing, but anybody who has read "Tarnished Heisman" or any of the Yahoo! sports reports that broke the story a couple of years ago knows that Bush will be hard pressed to prove his innocence.
Finally, I never really commented about the Super Bowl, but am I the only one who is really pissed off that the '72 Dolphins are still the only undefeated team? I can't stand these guys, and I was hoping that the Patriots would put an end to their reign, but noooo, instead we still will be talking about them any time a team gets to 7 or 8-0 for the rest of history.