Jan. 25, 2017

Offensive recruits

Welcome, Husker Nation, to another GLORIOUS edition of the Carriker Chronicles. Now, you can see I've still got the beard which means at the moment, I'm winning the argument with my wife. For now ... anyways.

Today I wanna talk about the recruits that we currently have committed to the Huskers on the offensive side of the ball. I broke down the defensive commits on Monday; today we're gonna dive into the offense. But right off the bat I want to talk about Vincent Valentine THROWING THE BONES baby in the AFC Championship game! Now keep in mind, this is a guy that most people projected to be a 5th or 6th rounder, 325, goes to the combine and tests really, really well. Gets popped by the Patriots in the 3rd round, he has developed over this year, and he's part of a Patriots defense that a lot of people might not know, is #1 in the NFL.

Now, it's interesting because everybody probably knows at this point for 24 straight years we've had a Husker player in the Super Bowl. That's almost a quarter of a century. For three straight years, we've had a Husker win the Super Bowl. Vincent's going to try to make it four years in a row, and to be honest with you it was pretty cool seeing him throw the bones. I watched him and it was more out of muscle memory than anything else. But I still thought it was extremely cool. And it just, it kinda makes you think one last time what our D line could have been this past season, but I digress. Let's move to the future and let's move forward just a little bit. But the main reason I brought that up is cuz I want to see more guys throwing the bones in the future! To me that's kind of been lost - it's a tradition, it happens---but to me it should happen more often because that is a big part of the Nebraska Blackshirt tradition.

But let's get into our offensive recruits. I'm gonna start with a guy I couldn't talk about on Friday when I talked about and took a preliminary look at our quarterback battle going into spring ball and that is Andrew Bunch. Why? Because it was announced right after I shot the show and sent it off that he was coming to Nebraska. Andrew Bunch is a juco walk-on. His father - I got some notes written down here - his father was David Bunch. He walked on to Nebraska as well. Andrew is 6'1", 190 pounds. He played one season at Scottsdale. He completed 118 out of 212 passes for 1331 yards, 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. Now, his team - the Fighting Artichokes - ended up 2-8, not a phenomenal record, I don't if that's his fault. Coming out of high school, he was a three star recruit. Now, here's what I like about this: we have so many good quality ... I'm going to say: contenders at quarterback this year fighting for the starting job. I feel like we could walk away with a solid starter, a decent back up, and third stringer. A couple things we haven't had in recent years. And then whoever's left over - if it's Gebbia, Bunch - I don't believe he's used it up yet. They can redshirt if they need to, if they don't break the top three on the depth chart going into this year. Even Zack Darlington. I don't know what they're going to do with Zack. I've heard they might use him in some goal line red-zone, short yardage situations, even going for two. I kinda like the idea of him being "slash" - the old Kordell Stewart - and how the Pittsburgh Steelers used him in the mid-90s. I think that unless we have one quarterback who just steps up and is far and away better than everyone else, I like using Zack Darlington situationally as well.

Now, let's talk about some of the other positions. And HOLY WIDE RECEIVERS! Did you know that our coaching staff offered 35 wide receivers in this recruiting class? Offered 35 scholarships to 35 different receivers! A lot of these guys that we have committed right now I'm about to talk about - they're not big, they don't have a lot of size, but they are quick - a little bit on the small side. But they are very very fast. Let's start off with Javeon McQuitty. Now, he's a speedy slot receiver, probably gonna come in and replace Jordan Westerkamp. He's a 4 star out of Missouri. 5'11 and a half inches, 191 pounds and like I said, I see him working well in the slot, especially with the speed that he has.

Next up is Keyshawn Johnson Jr. 6'1", 195 pounds. 3 star recruit out of California. And ... I have no doubt he's going to be a good player. But let's say he never plays a down for us. Him and his dad have been phenomenal as far as helping the Huskers with recruiting and building a pipeline to California. CaliNebraska! It kinda started with Keyshawn Johnson Jr, but I'm sure he'll be a very good player as well.

Next up is Tyjon Lindsey. He's 5'9", 161 pounds. 4 star out of Las Vegas. He decommitted from Ohio State and then came over to the good side. Left the bad guys, came to the good guys. He's a top 50 - one of the top 50 recruits in the entire country. And he's the highest rated Husker recruit we currently have.

Now, if you're wondering why I skipped over Tristan Gebbia, talking about the quarterbacks, it's because I took a preliminary look at the quarterbacks on Friday, on my first ever Fast Friday video. I looked at Patrick O'Brien, I looked at Tanner Lee, I looked at Gebbia. So look at that video. Just a real quick review: He's 6'3", 180 pounds, 4 stars out of California. Here's something I didn't say on Friday, cuz I watched a little bit more film of him since then. And we're talking about Tanner Lee, who it's been said he has first round talent. We're talking about comparing him to Patrick O'Brien, who's one of the top ten quarterbacks coming out of high school his senior year. I've watched a little bit more film on Gebbia since then, and I think he could have the most upside of all the quarterbacks. But he's also the youngest, he's also the lightest. Needs to hit that weight room just a little bit.

Now, next up - cuz we don't have a lot of big targets at wide receiver - next up is Austin Allen. I kinda like this guy. He's kind of a sleeper guy. If you look at him, he is one of the few in-state Nebraska recruits we have committed right now. He's the #1 recruit in Nebraska, and he's a BIG target. He's a tight end, 6'8", 210 pounds 3 star out of Aurora, Nebraska. I know that place well, it's where my grandparents lived. And like I said, I loved his height. I love the fact we've got speed, we've got a big target. He needs to add a little bit of weight. But I'm slightly excited about this kid! He might be my dark horse. I'll see, I gotta learn a few more things about him at the moment.

Now in the backfield - we brought in a running back. We brought in Jaylin Bradley, we brought in a fullback Ben Miles. He's a son of former LSU Head Coach Les Miles. I'm a little bit surprised we offered a scholarship to a fullback, just being with Riley and Langsdorf and how they like to run their offense, but I'm glad we did cuz these guys can prove valuable in short yardage, goal line situations and be key players on special teams as well.

Now, the offensive line. We have four offensive line commits at the moment. And I have - they're all 3 star recruits - and I have their weights written down here. 250 pounds, 266, 275 and 280. Now ... I'm not slamming these kids. A lot of offensive linemen come in 275, 280 out of high school. That's perfectly normal. 250, 260 is a little bit on the light side and these guys are gonna have time to grow and develop as well because we have a couple three guys who redshirted last year on the O line who I believe have a possibility of contributing this year. So we're going to have some O linemen in front of them playing that are young, so they're going to have plenty of time to grow and develop. So I have all the faith in the world in these guys. But what I am saying is the coaches clearly put an emphasis on going - 35 scholarships they put out for wide receivers - on going after wide receivers. I think in order to win CHAMPIONSHIPS in the Big Ten and especially at Nebraska, you gotta rebuild the pipeline. It starts with these redshirt freshmen that are going to be playing, it continues with this class that is coming in. But I want to see the coaches put one heck of an emphasis on rebuilding that Nebraska pipeline. Because that's how we're going to win championships. We're all talking about the nose guard and the 3-4 defense, don't forget about that offense, that offensive line. Quarterbacks can't throw if they're on their butt. Running backs can't go if there's no place to go - "no crease defense," right, Bob Diaco? And the receivers can't catch the ball if the quarterback still has the ball, on his backside. Let's rebuild that pipeline, that's all I'm trying to say there. And it continues with the men right here.

As of right now, our class, we're ranked 25th in the nation. We are ranked 5th in the Big Ten Conference as a whole. In the Big Ten West we have the #1 recruiting class in the Big Ten West right now. The schools that are ahead of us in the Big Ten are Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Maryland. They (Maryland) have 28 recruits so that kinda skews it a little bit. I'm not really too concerned about Maryland. They're not even that great at basketball anymore and I can say that cuz I know a lot of people from the Maryland area ... take THAT!

But in the Big Ten West it's us right now first, then Northwestern, then Wisconsin recruiting class ranking-wise, and a lot is gonna change. We're exactly one week to the day away from National Signing Day. A lot is going to change and over this next week I'm going to be talking about the kids we still have offered, kids who are still looking at Nebraska, the potential recruits that could still come in cuz a lots going to happen this last week, especially on National Signing Day. For example, we have a 5 star wide receiver gonna make his announcement on signing day that we're going after. Talked about the nose guard, and Jamire Calvin, Michael Harley - these are a couple wide receivers who could also still come in, and I might even take a look at the 2018 recruiting class. We will see.

Be sure to tune in on Fast Friday. Doing my second one ever this Friday. The regular schedule, just a reminder this offseason going forward. Every Monday, Wednesday and Fast Friday. Every morning on HuskerMax, every afternoon on my social media, twitter, facebook you can find it as well on real ball insiders. I'm going to be doing interviews in the future, right after signing day after everything kinda cools down. Husker legends, Huskers in the NFL, it's going to be great. Tune in after National Signing Day. This whole entire offseason, it's going to be BOMB! I can't believe I just said that, it's going to be bomb?! Like a teenage girl, and I'm going to have four of them pretty soon! It's going to be BOMB on the Carriker Chronicles.

But always ... across the ENTIRE Husker Nation, baby, Go Big Red, Life is Good, and ALWAYS remember to THROW THE BONES!