Tag:Nebraska
Posted on: February 10, 2011 6:10 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 2:24 am
 

Starling: "Going to take a lot" to leave Nebraska

Posted by Adam Jacobi

On paper, one of the crown jewels of Nebraska's recruiting class is Bubba Starling, a highly-touted quarterback prospect from Gardner, KS (an exurb of Kansas City). Starling is one of the top high school quarterbacks in the country, and he could probably challenge reigning Big XII Freshman of the Year Taylor Martinez for a starting role on Day 1.

In fact, Starling is such a good athlete that he's also one of the best baseball prospects in the nation, and although Nebraska has offered him a spot on both its football and baseball teams, that might not be enough for the young man Baseball America anointed as its No. 1 high school prospect. And since Scott Boras is advising the young man, well, it seems as if his story's already written.

Still, the draft hasn't happened yet, and Boras has a funny way of making demands so steep that his draftee just plain doesn't get signed. And lest we think that (pardon the pun) hardballing won't happen in this instance, here's Starling himself starting negotiations at "a lot of money" (via the Kansas City Star):

Several online mock drafts have Starling going No. 11 overall to the Houston Astros, which is where the complications arise.

Last season’s 11th pick, Deck McGuire, picked up a $2 million signing bonus from the Toronto Blue Jays. Tyler Matzek got $3.9 million from the Colorado Rockies in 2009 as the No. 11 draft pick, and Justin Smoak netted $3.5 million in the same slot in 2008 from the Texas Rangers.

That kind of money would be hard to turn down. Starling is weary of the incessant speculation about his future, but he admits that becoming a multi-millionaire overnight might convince him to forego his commitment to the Huskers.

“Obviously, it’s something I would have to consider, but it’s going to take a lot of money for me not to go to Nebraska,” Starling said.

Now, if the top high school prospect gets any money from the draft, it's going to be a lot of money, so Nebraska fans should be rooting for a small-market team without a prayer of paying a big-time signing bonus to draft Starling. Generally, though, those small-market teams know better than to tangle with Scott Boras clients when it comes to draft day, which is why those mock drafts are putting Starling with the Astros down at the 11th spot. 

If that is indeed Starling's fate, Husker fans shouldn't panic; Taylor Martinez is back under center, after all, and as long as Bo Pelini can keep from running T-Magic off with another ill-timed scream session, Nebraska should be set at quarterback for a while. Moreover, if Starling's baseball career somehow doesn't pan out, he'd hardly be the first guy to come back to college football and be successful (Brandon Weeden, Chris Weinke, others). Something for Husker fans to keep in mind when they decide between "traitor" or "best wishes" to direct at Starling if/when he makes the jump to pro baseball.

 

Posted on: February 10, 2011 3:29 pm
 

Indiana loses fourth assistant coach in a month

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When last we checked on Indiana, new head coach Kevin Wilson was having some problems retaining his even-newer assistants. His offensive coordinator had gone back to Boise State, his defensive line coach had defected to Michigan, his secondary coach has fled for Nebraska. The one bright spot was that he'd stopped some of the bleeding by hiring a bright up-and-comer to handle the running backs, Air Force running game coordinator Jemal Singleton.

Consider the bleeding officially resumed :
Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy has completed his coaching staff, adding Jemal Singleton to the staff ...

“I'm very excited about the opportunity to work at Oklahoma State and with Coach Gundy,” Singleton said. “It's a phenomenal program. It's a school I knew a lot about while growing up in Texas and I'm excited to now be a Cowboy myself.”
Though Singleton's exact role in Stillwater is still to be determined, it's expected he'll coach either receivers or running backs.

Also to be determined is why so many coaches seem so eager to leave Bloomington the moment they step into it. On the one hand, all four of the programs who have swooped in the for the new Hooiser assistants have been much larger, more established programs than Wilson's, and all four departed assistants have probably received not-insignificant raises to make the move.

On the other, wouldn't we expect one of these coaches to show some level of loyalty to Wilson and their new employer by sticking it out with the Hoosiers for longer than it takes to unpack the moving van? Is there something about Wilson or the program so toxic that one good look is all it takes to send them fleeing?

We're not likely to get answers to that anytime soon, but unfortunately for Wilson and the Hoosiers, at this rate it looks like the Indiana coaching staff isn't going to be settled anytime soon, either.

Posted on: February 9, 2011 11:09 am
 

Pelini trying to help Watson to soft NFL landing

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

In today's edition of "As the Nebraska Coaching Roster Turns " (or "General Huskpital," if you prefer), we find that the long-rumored alterations to the Husker coaching staff -- the departure of offensive coordinator Shawn Watson foremost among them -- are now all but official, according to this report from the Omaha World-Herald :
Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini has completed his revamped coaching staff, according to a source close to the program, though he’s waiting on university protocol to make an announcement ...

Watson and receivers coach Ted Gilmore are believed to be out as NU prepares to unveil two offensive and two defensive additions to Pelini’s nine-man staff.

The defensive additions you know about already ; Corey Raymond will coach the secondary and Ross Els the linebackers. And one element of the offensive reshuffling is all but a done deal, as the World-Herald reports that running backs coach Tim Beck is "the leading candidate" to take over as the Huskers' offensive coordinator and play-caller after Notre Dame assistant Ed Warriner chose to stay in South Bend. The identity of the two new assistants, however, appears to be still up in the air.

But where does that leave Watson? At least Pelini appears to be making an effort to find his soon-to-be-former assistant a soft landing:

Meanwhile, the source said, Pelini is working to help land offensive coordinator Shawn Watson a job in the NFL.

So that's nice. Maybe not as nice as letting Watson keep his job (or telling recruits up front that he was in the process of reshuffling the staff), but it's something.


Posted on: February 7, 2011 3:09 pm
 

Scott Frost will stay at Oregon

Posted by Tom Fornelli

So you remember that job opening at Nebraska for an offensive coordinator that Bo Pelini had no idea about, yet was seeking out candidates for? Yeah, that one. Well, former Nebraska quarterback Scott Frost had emerged as a candidate for the job last week, but the word is that Frost is going to stay at Oregon where he is currently a receivers coach.

It seems that even though Pelini doesn't know of any job opening, that didn't stop him from meeting with Frost over the weekend about the possibility of Frost coming back to Lincoln. It seems the deal-breaker was that Frost didn't want to come back to Nebraska unless it was for the offensive coordinator position, but that's not what Pelini was offering.

No, it seems that Pelini is preparing to give that job to current running backs coach Tim Beck, though Pelini has also spoken to former Kansas offensive coordinator Ed Warinner about the position as well. That is, if the open position actually existed. Which it doesn't, right coach Pelini? Wink, wink.

As of now, current offensive coordinator Shawn Watson and receivers coach Ted Gilmore have not been relieved of their duties -- at least not publically -- but all indications are that they will be in the near future.
Posted on: February 5, 2011 12:38 pm
 

Bo Pelini knows of no job opening

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There's been quite a bit of speculation about coaching changes in the works at Nebraska in the last few days. During Nebraska's post-signing day dinner, three assistant coaches were all absent. Secondary coach Marvin Sanders was one, and he's already announced his resignation and been replaced by Indiana's Corey Raymond. The other two coaches were offensive coordinator Shawn Watson and receivers coach Ted Gilmore, so naturally, people are now wondering what the future of those two is in Lincoln, or whether they even have any.

Especially when job postings for an assistant football coach are popping up on Nebraska's website. One's asking for somebody who would be "responsible for offensive game preparation, on-field strategies and game tactics. Conduct student-athlete recruiting, monitor academic progress of current student athletes and provide instruction to team in the execution of offensive schemes and techniques."

Of course, when asked about this job posting on Friday, Bo Pelini told the Omaha World-Herald that he had no idea what it was talking about.

“What job posting?” Pelini told the paper.  ”That could be for an internship or it could be that (Jeff) Jamrog (assistant AD for football) put that up there. Sometimes when we have lower-level openings, we do that.”

Yes, a lower-level opening or internship that will involve game preparation and recruiting.  Something tells me that Pelini isn't exactly being truthful. Especially when you take into consideration the fact that Larry Frost has also told the Omaha World-Herald that his son Scott Frost, the former Nebraska quarterback, has interviewed with Nebraska about a job. Scott Frost is currently receivers coach at Oregon, and according to his father, while he'd love to coach at Nebraska, he wouldn't leave for anything other than a coordinator position.

Which means that Bo Pelini is interviewing a lot of coaches for a job opening he doesn't even know exists.


Posted on: February 4, 2011 12:21 pm
 

Unhappy Husker signee: 'They broke the guy code'

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When we last discussed the Nebraska coaching situation, Huskers secondary coach Marvin Sanders was expected to be on his way out. Expectation became reality later in the afternoon as Sanders officially resigned . With Indiana coach Kevin Wilson having told the world on Signing Day that one of his coaches had already been hired as Sanders' replacement, the timing of Sanders' departure looks curious: why wait until the day after Signing Day to make public information that's clearly been available for some time?

The easy answer is "because Bo Pelini didn't want to risk scaring off any of the Huskers' commitments," and that's why one of those commitments -- Spring (Tx.) cornerback Charles Jackson -- isn't pleased at all about having been kept in the dark , per the Omaha World-Herald:
“I'm not in the happiest mood right now ... I was pretty close with [Sanders]. He was there one day, and then he just left. It was like, OK, Coach Sanders isn't going to be coaching me. Who's going to be coaching me?" ...

Thursday night at 8, Jackson still hadn't heard from Sanders, Bo Pelini or anyone else at Nebraska.

“I think they should've told me before I signed,” Jackson said. “I didn't have any idea. They broke the guy code" ...

Did Jackson feel like Nebraska waited to make the Sanders announcement in order to secure his commitment?

“Maybe just a little bit. Yeah, probably. But you never know, he probably resigned the day of signing day. I really don't know what went on. It's just been on my mind all day.

“I'm just trying to figure out why I wasn't notified about the situation.”

Ironically, Pelini had been asked about the impact of staff changes on recruits the day before and had said that "as long as you're honest with them every step of the way ... you develop trust." From Jackson's perspective, at least, it appears the Huskers have not been that honest and that trust has not been developed.

Even that won't be enough to keep Jackson out of Lincoln, though; he said he remains "excited" to honor his NLI signature and play for new coach Corey Raymond, and added he would have made the same decision even if he'd been informed of Sanders' plans beforehand. But with rumors of further changes to the staff swirling, Jackson may not wind up the only 2011 Husker signee whom arrives on campus less than entirely thrilled with how his new head coach has handled an increasingly awkward-looking situation.

Posted on: February 3, 2011 5:04 pm
 

Indiana struggling to hang onto coaches

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Here's some good news for the beleagured Indiana fans out there: your highly-respected new coach, Kevin Wilson, has shown a keen eye in assembling his first Hoosier coaching staff, hiring the kinds of hot up-and-coming coaches that bigger-name programs would be happy to have.

Here's the bad news: those bigger-name programs didn't even wait for the ink to dry on the new Hoosier coaches' contracts before proving exactly how happy to have them they'd be. Wilson was forced to spend part of his Signing Day press conference announcing that two more assistant coaches have taken other jobs, bringing the total up to three after new offensive coordinator Brent Pease returned to Boise State to take the same position following Bryan Harsin's departure to Texas.

One of the two new ex-Hoosiers we mentioned already today : cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond, who appears all but set to coach the secondary at Nebraska. The other is defensive tackles coach Jerry Montgomery, who will now coach the defensive line at Michigan instead.

Both are young coaches that appear to have bright futures, with Raymond a former LSU star and NFL veteran who'd coached the corners at Utah State the past two seasons; Montgomery is a former Iowa player who's gone from Northern Iowa to Wyoming to Indiana and now the Wolverines in just three seasons. But Wilson isn't wasting time mourning his losses, having already filled one of his vacancies with Air Force running backs coach Jemal Singleton, another with Nebraska program intern Brett Dierson, and not exactly shedding tears over the departures:
Wilson explained that he initially wanted Dierson from the beginning, while co-defensive coordinators Doug Mallory and Mike Ekeler liked Raymond.

“We’re kind of flip-flopping, one of the guys I wanted they didn’t get and vice-versa. Of guys we went after, we’re going to land on our feet in great shape,” Wilson said.

He concluded that he would rather have a coach at Indiana who wants to be here.

“If it’s better for a guy to be somewhere else, it’s better for his family, better for his career, it’s better he go there than be here,” Wilson said. “I only want guys who really want to be here, are excited about being here.”
That's the right thing for Wilson to say. But more helpful than anything he says will be just keeping the likes of Michigan, Boise, and Nebraska away from what's left of his staff.
Posted on: February 3, 2011 2:17 pm
 

Coaches coming, going on the Nebraska staff

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Signing Day at Nebraska was plenty celebration-worthy when it came to the actual signing: the Huskers inked one of the Big Ten's best classes, and maybe the program's strongest since the 2007 haul that netted Prince Amukamara and Jared Crick.

But that didn't keep one local columnist from calling the day "awkward" and "uncomfortable" for Bo Pelini and the Huskers all the same, thanks to some questions swirling around the makeup of the Nebraska coaching staff.

Those start with the status of current Husker secondary coach Marvin Sanders. New Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson said Wednesday that Hoosier assistant Corey Raymond would be departing Bloomington for Lincoln to join Pelini's staff, and what's more, he'd be coaching the secondary. So where does that leave Sanders? Pelini :
"I'll address any staff questions at another time ... This is not the time or the place."
Given that "is this coach a member of your staff?" isn't exactly a complicated question, it's fair that the situation itself is complicated. Sanders was also a no-show at a recruiting event Wednesday night, though offensive coordinator Shawn Watson and receivers coach Ted Gilmore were also missing-in-action, sparking (still unfounded) rumors that Pelini had decided to initiate a more comprehensive staff overhaul.

Adding more fuel to the fire: per the above-linked Lincoln Journal-Star column , Pelini has already spoken to Oregon assistant and former Husker quarterback hero Scott Frost about potentially making to move to Lincoln.

But where Sanders looks likely to be on his way out (and the under-fire Watson may follow), another coach looks likely to be on his way in. Ohio linebackers coach Ross Els -- assistant to former Nebraska head coach Frank Solich and a former colleague of current Husker defensive coordinator Carl Pelini when Pelini was on staff at Ohio -- has emerged as the leading candidate to replace previous linebackers coach Mike Ekeler, who left Lincoln to coach at ... wait for it ... Indiana.

It's a tangled web the situation here is weaving. But there's a chance it becomes more tangled still before we know exactly who'll be coaching the Huskers in 2011.

 
 
 
 
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