Husker Dan: Recruiting by the numbers
150, 50, 27, 23, 20, 5 and 0
In a minute, we’ll take a look at what these numbers mean.
But first, it’s official. The 2019 Husker Recruiting Class came to an end last week during the anticlimactic February signing day. Frost’s first “real” recruiting class has been ranked in the Top 20 by several rating bureaus. Not bad. And as an added bonus for Scott Frost and the Husker football program, most of the 2019 class signed during the late December signing period. (This was just the second year that the early signing period has been in effect.) And because of the early signing period, most of the drama associated with past February signing dates was missing.
Good work, coaches! Good work, indeed!
For most of you who have known me through the years, know that I don’t usually go ga-ga over new recruits until they have at least had a chance to play. (Okay, I did fall for Billy Callahan’s ’05 class hook line and stinker, I mean sinker.)
Having said that, Frost & Company seem to have secured a lot of very good (and several possibly great) student athletes.
The picks of the litter? They just might be the Robinson boys-RB/WR Wandale and DE Ty (no relation). And QB Luke McCaffery needs to be thrown into the mix as well.
The 2019 crop will have to be nurtured, fed, weeded, watered and allowed to grow and hopefully one day blossom into all conference and/or all American players. But how many will see significant playing time for Nebraska? And of those, how many will become difference makers? No one knows for sure. But there is enough promise for this class to make the future look pretty exciting for Husker fans. And for all of us, this fall would be a great time to start on the path to greatness.
Let’s look at the Husker Recruiting by the numbers.
That is the targeted total number of players Scott Frost thinks will be in fall camp come August.
That’s the total number of new players Frost and Company brought into the Husker football program in the 2019 Class. That’s almost the same as were brought in last year. That means that in two recruiting cycles, Frost has brought in over 100 of his own players. (That number actually went down with the departure of a couple 2018 signees last fall.) With two-thirds of the players being signed on Frost’s watch, the Husker football program will definitely have his signature all over it.
That’s the total number of scholarship players signed in the 2019 class.
That’s the total number of walk on players who have joined the Husker football program this year. And together with the scholarship players, this group represents a class of 50 of Frost’s hand picked players.
That’s the number of walk on players from the state of Nebraska. Many of those players turned down scholarship offers from other smaller FCS schools to walk on at Nebraska.
This is the total number of home grown Nebraska scholarship players in the 2019 class. The players are: Ethan Piper DT (Norfolk, NE), Chris Hickman TE (Omaha Burke), Nick Heinrich LB (Omaha Burke), Garrett Snodgrass ATH (York, NE) and Garrett Nelson DE (Scottsbluff, NE).
And perhaps most important, zero is the number of players from the state of Nebraska who chose to play at a Power Five school other than Nebraska. That is great news for the Husker football program.
Since the end of last year, the world of college football has seen the departure of some very talented people. Let’s take a look at them.
Bill Snyder, who was once vilified by Husker fans, decided to retire last year after two stints with the Wildcats (1989-2005 and 2009-2018). During those two periods, his teams went 215-117-1 and won two conference titles.
Snyder is only the fourth active college football coach to be named to the College Football Hall of Fame.
And back in 1989 when he was hired at K-State, he was quoted in Sports Illustrated, “There is only one school in the nation that has lost 500 games. This is it and I get to coach it.”
Husker fans who are old enough to remember, will never forget the ’94 Husker game at Manhattan, Kansas won by Nebraska 17-6. Husker QB, Tommie Frazier, was out with blood clots. His replacement, Brook Berringer couldn’t start due to a collapsed lung, so third stringer, walk on Matt Turman (“The Turmanator”) started the game. And if that wasn’t enough, starting running back Lawrence Phillips had a hand injury and could grip the ball with only one hand.
The game plan was simple. Give the ball to LP and let the Husker O-line do it’s thing. And the Blackshirts tormented K-State QB Chad May all afternoon in what was called by some, “The Eye Gouge Bowl.” May complained all afternoon about Husker players trying to gouge his eyes out. I’m going to check with Husker DT, Terry Connealy, to see if there is any truth to those rumors... And by the way, ’94 was Tom Osborne’s first national championship at Nebraska.
Longtime college and pro play-by-play man Kevin Kugler announced in December that he was stepping down as host of the weekly NET program “Big Red Wrap Up.” Kugler, a UNL broadcast journalism grad didn’t give a reason for leaving, but one can only surmise that his current 70-hour-a-week workload of doing play-by-play for BTN and Westwood One was a factor.
Kugler can be seen/heard doing PBP for basketball, College World Series, BTN football, NFL football, volleyball and Olympic games. (He may also do hockey games, but since I’m not a hockey fan, I’ve never heard him do one.)
Several years ago, I interviewed him (me and Kevin are just like this). I asked him what was his favorite sport to announce.
“Whatever I’m broadcasting at the time,” was his short answer.
During his stay with BRWU, the show greatly improved-better format and had much better guests. And I really enjoyed Kugler and his long time co-host, the late Adrian Fiala. What a pair they were! Best of luck, Kevin!
Long time college football head coach, Urban Meyer, will no longer serve as the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. (He may not have had any say in his departure.) Love him or hate him, Meyer elevated the entire Big Ten Conference and helped put the conference on the national map. Meyer won at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State, winning national championships at his last two stops.
I just wish NU could have had one more chance to beat UM and the Buckeyes. Although the 54 year old Meyer has stepped down as the head coach, he will stay on as the Assistant Athletic Director at OSU.
Mike, we hardly knew ye. I’m guessing most Husker fans don’t even know his name or know that he was the D-line coach head coach Scott Frost brought with him to Nebraska from Central Florida. No offense, but Mike just wasn’t here long enough for most fans to get to know him. Mike is headed to the NFL to be the D-line coach for the New York Giants.
Best of luck, Mike.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!
I don’t think I’ve ever written a column on Valentines Day, but to all my readers (all seven of you), I hope you have a great day!!!
You may contact the writer at HuskerDan@cox.net