@BrianC: For the record, this is another BrianC and not just me asking myself questions. :)
I think Gerry and Carter are draft picks, but I don't know that NU has a guy go off the board the first two days. A lot can change between now and then, and I think Gerry will test really well, but my early guess is that he's more of a fifth-rounder. I think Brandon Reilly's speed and measurables could also make him a late-round guy. His bowl highlights also won't hurt. So I'll say three guys get picked, with free-agent opportunities going to a few others.
@Balcy: Is this Balcy from "Perfect Strangers?" What a perfect average show of my youth that was. Anyway, I'll say John Parrella. Didn't even have a full year to recruit and still got some dudes I think have a lot of upside. Deontre Thomas, Watts, Guy Thomas and Daniels are all quality gets a year after it felt like Nebraska was just running place recruiting on the D-line. I'm sure January brought some tense moments for Parrella as other schools flirted with his commits, but give him a lot of credit for the relationship-building he did.
@TO: I listed Ben Miles as my sleeper. I just think this staff knows exactly how they want to use him, and he can be more than just a fullback. Also, from a football background like his, I'm banking on him being a quick study. If I were to throw out another, it's Jaylin Bradley. Because of his academics and because he's from Bellevue, Nebraska, he didn't get the hype that a guy with his skill set would nationally. But you listen to his coach Michael Huffman talk about what Bradley might look like with NU's weight training and nutrition, and you're talking about a potential 210-pound back whose stats are as good as we've seen in these parts.
@PTHUSKER: Yes, I had the privilege to sit down with Jaylin a week or so before he signed. He is a humble kid, but he's coming to Nebraska on a mission. His coach has told him how it's not just about him, but representing all the local talent and I think Jaylin takes that assignment very seriously.
@NateM.: Yes. I think you have to respect the lifeblood that recruiting is to a program. But I prefer breaking down the guys more once they're actually here. I always tell people, though, that for every recruiting story that makes you roll your eyes, there are about 10 great ones centered around kids of character who are living out dreams not just for them but also their family.
Jaylin Bradley's was a great recruiting story, for example. That could've gone the other way, and he knows how close it was, and took that blame on himself and just worked hard to get it right. And then there's a story like Deontre Thomas, who will be the first kid in his family to go to college. Last year, Greg Simmons broke down crying on signing day because he'd suffered a lot of loss in in his life and comes from one of the roughest neighborhoods around, and now he was accomplishing a major life dream. So, I always keep those stories close when you are reporting or reading about some of the more annoying ones.
@Skerfan: Based off the evaluations coaches shared about players last year, I put Wilson and Raridon from the 2016 class as two young linemen most likely to break through. Raridon, in particular, was getting a lot of love from not just coaches, but players, as perhaps being the next man up at center. Michael Decker may have something to say about it too. Good question on Barnett. I was sort of surprised he didn't come up more last year, but you know, this is just his third year in the program, and it's not uncommon at all for guys to not take off at all at this point. But count him near the top of that list of good recruiting pick-ups of recent classes that you want to see start to make his imprint now. NU will have 17 scholarship O-linemen over there this spring, and only three are seniors. So the competition should be as wide open, especially after last year's struggles which should keep anyone from really safe, as it's been.
@NewportRed: I'd say it'd be a bummer if any of the three guys who finished their senior years in this state -- Bradley, Walker and Allen -- were not in this Husker class. All have film that warrant being in this class. There were no charity cases here. As for where they rank, I'd be willing to bet at least two of those Nebraska boys end up being solid contributors to this program, if not all of them. I'm not going to rip someone's opinion, especially when I haven't read exactly what they wrote, but I don't think most of what has been said in the last week about the class (including these words here) is more than just guesswork, albeit educated in specific cases.
I always remember one of Osborne's assistants breaking each recruiting class down by thirds. He said there would be a third that hit big, a third that totally missed and that middle third that you're going to get something out of, but how much? That how much that middle third gives you was, in his opinion, always what told you if the class was a success or not.
@lredeugene: Nothing I feel fit to report at this moment. I do believe that cart was put before the horse on Daniel Bullocks being the guy. He was interviewed, but that was just the beginning stages. I haven't heard at this moment of anyone else leaving the staff.
@RedRespect: Let's just jump to the O-line, since that's always the example most used when it comes to rotating. I understand mostly playing five guys, as Cavanaugh does, because that is a very common practice in football. Also, Nebraska just doesn't blow people out the way it used to, which made it easier to rotate guys more. That said, I think you almost have to come out of fall camp feeling pretty good about as many as eight guys. Because in this league, you know about two guys on your O-line are going to go down at some point. Cavanaugh has said in the past there was a gap between his first unit and second unit guys which is one of the reasons some others didn't play. I think it will be important for that gap to shrink that offseason. I'm not arguing to play seven guys in the first quarter, because I get the reasoning for wanting to go with five and build chemistry there. But I do think about three guys off the bench need good reps in practice, and need to realize they'll probably be needed at some point over the course of the season, especially in the Big Ten.
@NewportRed: Puts on Carnac hat. I'll say they win three more in the regular season and one more at the tournament. So, 7-11.
@dj: Farniok is definitely a guy to watch, no question. Same for a guy like Christian Gaylord. Cole Conrad isn't going anywhere either, I don't suspect. Gotta build up that tackle depth.
@Zadi: Rough way to walk into a new job. I think Shanahan is a sharp offensive mind, but there's not much of an excuse to give for the playcalling after they're at New England's 22. Three runs, then take your three and go up by 11 with less than four minutes left. I wouldn't be able to get that sequence out of my head for another 25 years if I were a Falcons fan. As a Vikings fan, it looked all too familiar of a team finding a way to turn victory into defeat.
@lredeugene: Only one I've ever stayed at was Embassy Suites. Obviously the location of that one is hard to beat. But there are about seven or eight now right down there by the Railyard. That's all I'd advise: Get close to the Railyard and all the fun is within walking distance.
@PTHUSKER: There were three senior tight ends on the roster last year. I don't think it's surprising those are the guys that played. Obviously you want to start to see Matt Snyder make a move this year as he enters his third year in the program. But I really like the looks of Engelhaupt from last year's class, and Stoll is another guy to keep an eye on. I mean, these guys just got here, really. I think recruiting coverage has sometimes caused people to move way too fast in saying a player didn't pan out. Far too early to say anybody from last year's class isn't developing.
@NewportRed: It's such a fine line between greatness and defeat in sports, and yes, I'm sure Burroughs thought Rio was going to turn out differently than it did. But ... I wouldn't count out a guy with that resume from finding the right stuff again.
@Zadi: All of it. The steps matter, where the hand goes matter, the timing of when do it all matters. One reason I really like Brenden Jaimes in this last class is because you can tell he's all about talking technique. So is his new coach. Seems like they'll connect.
@RedRespect: I don't know what others are writing, but he's on my radar. Chris Jones couldn't say enough good things about him this past December. When you have a senior-to-be praising a true freshman like that, it tells you he's got some game. The question is how you find ways to use him with Pierson-El still around this year, and also Tyjon Lindsey jumping in the mix.
@NewportRed: Your point is well-taken: It does put him in a bit of a box since there was no extension given last year. I don't think it'd cause too much of a stir if you said you like the overall recruiting and competitiveness of the team and are adding a year. A 2-year addition would surprise me after a losing season, though.
@BrianC: I won't dare guess on wins and losses right now, but I like the change. I think Nebraska has felt a bit too much like 'Groundhog Day' and you know what they say about the definition of insanity. If you don't make some big changes to how you operate, how can you expect to see them in your results? I also agree with the early popular opinion that a 3-4 scheme could fit Nebraska's personnel better. This is a roster full of scholarship linebackers, and definitely has some hybrid type of guys you can play around with a bit.