I'm here to chat. Fire away with comments/questions and we'll get going in just a few minutes.
@BrianWaller: I think his situation, of all the commits, probably needs the closest watching. And I'm going off a Scout report that's linked in the blog about Signing Day announcements on that. Seemed like Pitt made an impression enough on him to make it interesting. I tried to reach him but didn't succeed the last couple days. It'd be a bad move, though, to try to get into what is in his head from a distance. I can say I think he's a really good pick-up in this class and if the Huskers can hold what they have and add a Damion Daniels late, John Parrella would probably feel pretty darn good about that haul. I think that Deontre Thomas and Watts are prospects who have a lot of upside who don't get as much attention because they committed a while ago and people sort of forget while talking about all the late possibilities.
@Redrealist: Just from afar, with the roster he has and what he has coming in, my opinion is he should have another year. But I totally understand, as someone who sits up in Section 209 for the home games, why people want to see this thing stop running in place. The Huskers have had some tough losses but that 10 minute stretch to end the first half Saturday was just bad, bad basketball. The seven-minute scoring droughts that seem to routinely follow this program sometimes make it feel like Groundhog Day to those who have watched it for many years.
@CombatVetGBR: I know Husker staffers feel they're right there on both. That's all I know. The Jamire Calvin situation in San Antonio is the most recent, but hardly first reminder, that even if any of these recruiting stories seems tilted a certain way, there's a lot of last-hour jockeying going on. What I would do is put in perspective what NU is chasing here: Both Lenoir and and Blades are rated among the top 59 players overall in the 247Sports composite. Lamar Jackson last year was No. 128. Blades is actually one slot higher than Tyjon Lindsey, which is one of the highest rated pick-ups NU football has had. So if the Huskers land even one, it's a big deal. If they land both, I suspect a few grown men locally might be seen weeping as though a fullback trap just caught the defense with its pants down.
@Redrealist: It's a rough slate ahead, no question. I just think a big picture view is in order here, and while I am sometimes down on people selling the future when the present isn't looking too great, I think you see some young players and recruits he has brought in where you want to see what happens with them over the next 14 months.
@Colby: Riley's recent quotes have suggested he'd like five coaches on offense and five on defense (if the 10th assistant is approved) with special teams duties split among staffers. That's not an uncommon approach, and there were multiple hands involved in the process even when Read was here.
@carl: They'll win a few, they'll lose a few, but I sure don't think a big O-fer is coming. As I say, it's not over until it's over, but there's a couple out there who might not publicly count as commits who I think are expected with some high degree of confidence to jump in the boat.
@JimNE: No, probably not, actually. I get the nature of the question, but I don't like the hot seat guessing game to begin with so I would have frowned at being asked to do so. One thing I'll note is I don't know that I would say Stewart was asked to leave, from what I've heard after the fact on that one. That might have just been a personal decision based off how he viewed the situation after NU brought in a new corners coach.
@bofromohio: My bet is there's a name that emerges late that most people don't know except maybe the analysts who cover it every hour. That's the one bet I'd make. It's a bet only based off past history and not current inside knowledge. There often seems to be some off-the-radar guy who emerges in the last couple days or makes a final weekend visit. There's some strategy by coaches in doing that sometimes, too. On a separate note, credit to reporters like Nate Clouse, Mike Schaefer, Michael Bruntz and Josh Harvey, who tackle that recruiting bear all the time and do it very fairly and professionally despite the occasional weirdness that accompanies it all.
@HairyGary: There's no debating that. That's how you want your D-coordinator to look stepping off the bus, no question.
@smigel: Still think they've got a really good chance at Kurt Rafdal, though he is visiting LSU this weekend. I understand the concern, because it is a completely unproven position this year. But this is where the development of some solid recruits of the past needs to show itself. Snyder, Engelhaupt and Stoll were all good gets. And Tyler Hoppes is a nice bridge piece as a senior, probably the No. 1 TE going into spring if you go by how the depth chart ended last year. The position is sort of like the football team in general this year. Potential and mystery combined, which can be both a little worrisome and exciting at the same time.
@Johannes: I'd be really, really surprised if either weren't starting, yes. Now, it's possible someone else is the corner opposite Jones with Kalu playing nickel in those packages. Big season for Lamar Jackson. For Eric Lee, too. And also we'll see if one or two big-time four-stars are out there when fall camp starts. Corner is a spot where occasionally you'll see a really gifted true frosh make a run, but NU has to sign one or two of them before that hype machine starts making noises.
@SoSuhme99: Newell is already on the D-line. Riley mentioned the Davis twins and Stoltenberg as potential guys there. Someone like Damion Daniels fits the description well on paper but I think sometimes everyone gets ahead of themselves in guessing a true frosh can just come in and play that spot right away at the college level after arriving in the summer.
@JamesHaynes: I'm sure Trent Bray will continue to have options as a young, impressive coach in the business. Also, I think the last part is making a severe jump to a conclusion I sure wouldn't make.
@Jim: I honestly don't think Nebraska's season records are much different the first two years. If the transition with Armstrong had some difficulties, so would of one with a guy just off another campus that you plugged in. That's sort of the nice thing about the Tanner Lee situation. He had a year to take things here before jumping into the fire.
@CzechDays: I'd guess Damion Daniels, and one four-star corner will lead the chatter. That's just a guess.
@PaulfromWisconsin: I don't think you absolutely have to have a DC in place before signing day, though if I were a recruit I'd sure like to know who's going to be running the show. I also understand a head coach wanting to make sure he gets that hire right above all else. I guess NU fans can just hope the Badgers finally hire a dud ... because the last two (Aranda and Wilcox) have been dynamite. I heard a couple other names that Riley might have at least thought about for that position, but not to the comfort level I'd report them. Given the fact Diaco was brought in a day after Banker was fired and hired a day later, there couldn't have been too much extra time for serious flirtations with anyone else.
@DiacoMania: Yeah, it goes back to 2008 I believe with Ben Cotton. I give those boys some credit. They took their share of hits, but you know what, they all played here and contributed. The idea some suggest that they got some free pass without having the stuff to play at Nebraska isn't right.
@DiacoMania: I've liked Taggart ever since he brought his first Western Kentucky team into Lincoln back in 2010. I also wouldn't call him a slam dunk hire. To me, he's one of those, 'Well, maybe' hires, which is most hires aside from about 4-5 people in this business anymore. There's reports that Chip would prefer not to get back in the college game, but who knows what is what there. If you were a coach coming from the NFL and didn't have to deal with recruiting, I could see where there wouldn't be an eagerness to jump back into that part of the college game.
@NewportRed: This subject is a little touchy, because I think there's plenty of people in many professions who are at their best still in their 60s. You named one in Nick Saban. Heck, it's hard to believe Osborne retired at 60 now when you see what you see with a guy like Saban, and how long Bowden did it.
I get the question, though, because I've thought about it myself, and what challenges there might be for a guy who has done something 35 years to now connect to a player 15 years younger than he's been working. I also don't think that experience at the top of the ledger is a bad thing at all, if the head coach has the right personality and ability to adapt.
I like how Riley phrased it once, though. He said the best advice he ever got was to just be himself. Because players can tell if you're not genuine to who you are. I think if you are that way, and are also willing to adjust here and there to the ways players change over times, you can go a long while. Frank Solich sure has kept going. Was one drive away from winning a conference title at age 72 this year.
@cubswin2323: I think they wanted to go to a 3-4 first and Diaco was in his view the best of those who runs it available. There's a little bit of a leap there, but not a big one I don't think based off how Riley was talking at the press conference Friday.
@smigel: Probably me, Smigel and me. Although I'd probably have to not chat anymore. Honestly, I'd be lying if I said I knew a lot of names of position coaches in college football. It's why I always get a kick out of the initial reactions to position coach hires. Like Keith Williams. I didn't know who Keith Williams was before he came here but I can see why Riley picked him now.
@Benchwarmer: It's weird, but then, that is his style. Sort of a middle finger to the NCAA almost since it won't allow practices elsewhere in the country. If NU could go anywhere, I'd say somewhere close to a beach. Or Rome. Rome isn't bad. I don't know that the LJS would foot the bill for that trip, though. Perhaps it could be the Huskers' way of getting away from the media throng here.
@CombatVetGBR: Can I answer this one in two weeks after the class is put together? It's hard to make a top five right now when it's still incomplete. I think a couple late additions would change a lot of people's lists dramatically.
@Dick: We haven't had access to players since the announcements. It felt like guys grew in their connection with Banker last year. Were they willing to partake in the cliche and run through a wall for him? It's something I've thought about this week when talking to a few of Diaco's players at Notre Dame. They just fed off the guy's energy. I had a guy who called me last night, four days after I reached out to him. He'd been busy but said he wanted to call back because he wanted to say a few things since it was Diaco. I don't want to overhype him before his Husker defense plays a down, but the strong feelings for him out of South Bend seem genuine and a good sign of what NU fans might hope transfers over to Lincoln.