Just a few quick thoughts to get you through the weekend!
More on S&C
One of the things that has been really fascinating to me is the similarities with the first recruiting classes of the Frost and Rhule era and what they were emphasizing. If you remember, Frost and company were trying to get as much speed as possible. They would get commitments and all of the staff members would tweet some gif out referencing the speed that just verballed to Nebraska. Quite frankly it’s not dissimilar to what Rhule and the staff is doing.
What always confused me though is we would get these really fast guys, then put them through our crossfit circuit and they’d put on 30 pounds and not be anywhere close to as fast as we wanted them to be. So when I heard our new strength coach say “we are trying to create football players, not bodybuilders” I almost:
Now, to be fair. I don’t have any idea about Campbell’s philosophies or how things are going. I am planning to get more of that once spring football comes around. But the early results from videos seem promising. Gone are the days where all of the weight room tweets are Tanner Farmer, Damian Jackson, Chris Walker, or Nash Hutmacher just squatting or shoulder shrugging 7 plates. We are now seeing our strength staff show a ton of sprinting drills. You hear Campbell shout instructions on how to stop, coming to balance when you quit running, all things that guys I follow are preaching. How far we’ve come from a strength coach that wouldn’t let people sprint because it was too big of an injury risk. God that pisses me off to type. At least early I’m really liking what I’m reading, and we aren’t the constant joke in the S&C circles like we were the past 5 years.
NIL ramping up
If you remember a couple months ago, I made a post talking about how far we were behind in NIL and also said not to worry because we would be catching up very soon.
And we had a post about just how far behind we were with NIL:
But I mentioned to you all, that finally consolidating NIL, getting rid of the coaches best friend just trying to make some money, and actually taking things serious would make it so things would take off in a hurry for us.
As you remember, I brought up we didn’t even have a place where us normal fans could donate to NIL to help our athletic teams keep kids around. Places like Kansas State, Washington State, etc., they all had that. Fans reacted with “that looks petty” or “Nebraska doesn’t have to do that.” I went into it in the linked article, but goodness we were just so far behind. But I knew bigger things were coming.
In the last month you have seen the monster awaken a bit. Our NIL initiative is now renting billboards, Matt Davison is on the radio touting people to donate, and we have a point person that likes doing this stuff getting us what we need. And it’s really been great to see people step up to get us exactly what we need to get someone like Dylan Raiola. Because like it or not Husker fans, we have never been in this situation where we are bidding against a Georgia or USC. But it’s going really well.
So the 1890 initiative is getting us where we need to get to. But if you remember, I also said that things would start to settle down a bit in the world of NIL after the first couple years. It would come back down to reality for a bit. And we are starting to see that happen a bit now:
Further, it’s starting to show that this will be shifting more towards a “get Raiola” here type stuff, and “keep the good players” here type of vibe from the collective while over 50% of the players are getting next to nothing.
So if you ever had some moron telling you athletic scholarships are a thing of the past because there will be NIL scholarships… just call them an idiot. We aren’t paying the 86th best player a full ride in NIL money. Not to mention guys that get scholarships get NIL on top of it. It’s not an “either/or” for the scholarship athletes.
Long and short of this is Nebraska is not only positioning itself in a better place, raising more money, and finally stable enough to compete. But the landscape is changing where it makes it more feasible. Nebraska is in a much better spot now.
More on NIL here if that stuff intrigues you:
Why can’t the NCAA punish people with evidence out there?
A couple weeks ago, Justin Fields was on his podcast saying that he wanted to stay at Georgia, but the Ohio State boosters were offering him six figures to transfer.
Why can’t the NCAA impose violations on the Buckeyes? I mean what more do you need? I understand that the NCAA is severely understaffed, but a former player going on a podcast and saying how much he got paid before it was legal would be pretty easy to validate.
Go further… you have a head coach at a member institution for you blowing the whistle
You still can’t do anything? All he should have to do is have a screenshot and you put out a penalty and it knocks it down instantly.
It’s just all so crazy to me. The NCAA essentially said “use collectives” which is making things even worse. We were talking to a kids agent that is going to be playing this year, illegal. NCAA says it’s illegal to have the athletic department pay you 100,000 dollars, but not if a collective and booster get it for you after you tweet out one thing about their business. It’s all so stupid.
Quick Hoiberg thought
I tweeted 2 or 3 weeks ago that I thought Hoiberg had done enough to be back next year. In my opinion, us talking about postseason possibilities for Nebraska in February and now into March was enough. I still feel that way. But I do have concerns for next year.
We are losing Griesel, Walker, and Bandoumel for sure. Walker is going to be the most difficult to replace, getting a big man we can many times run the offense through and a legitimate offensive threat is just not going to be easy to replace. While I like Keita (if he can stay healthy), he doesn’t offer at this time what Walker does. Breidenbach is serviceable, but he’s not going to get to Walker’s level in my opinion. And whoever 33 is needs a lot of development in the offseason to get there. While I think you can piece some things together, it’s just tough to lose a big man like that. If we can get someone like him in the portal, i’ll feel much better about things. And maybe with our offense this year, it’s more realistic.
Griesel and Bandoumel weren’t overwhelming losses, but the impact they had is tough to overstate in my opinion. You can get another Griesel, you can get another Bandoumel, but what hurts is we had them and they have to move on.
Of course the wildcard is Tominaga. He can come back if he wants. But I know for a fact he has already been offered 1,000,000 plus to play back in Japan. Further, 1890 can’t give him any money as he’s an international student. What I can tell you is that he is really enjoying playing here and is loving every second of it. Can he delay that one more year?
My only pause is I think Nebraska is doing pretty well in what is a down year for the B1G. Next year teams could be back to dominating nationally, and a team like we have this year may struggle. That would have the people coming out and saying “told you we shouldn’t have kept him!” I don’t think that’s accurate, I think he deserves another year. But if we can’t replace Walker and get another impact wing, we may be in trouble for the 2023-24 season.
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