LINCOLN, Neb. — With the end of spring football, Nebraska closes another chapter on the Mike Riley Era. It was a short one, but the period between the end of the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30 and the Red-White game on Saturday was jam-packed with changes, particularly for the head coach.
New defensive coordinator, new defensive system. New offensive system, new quarterbacks. And a new batch of recruits.
Now begins the next chapter, one that will last until Nebraska kicks off its season against Arkansas State on Sept. 2.
Here’s what is in store for the coaches and players:
1. In-house evaluation
Riley and his staff have talked extensively about their next move. For the next 3-4 days, the Huskers brain trust will review spring tape and discuss schemes and the depth chart. These discussions will likely result in the naming of a starting quarterback, and could affect the direction of Nebraska’s recruiting efforts in the next few months.
On the defensive side of the ball, coordinator Bob Diaco and his staff will likely comb through the depth chart and examine the tape to figure out the direction of the defense — including who they think will fit best in certain spots. Specifically, there will probably be lots of talk about linebackers.
2. Recruiting evaluation
From April 15 to May 31, coaches are allowed to watch recruits compete (or practice) at high schools, but are not allowed to have face-to-face interactions with the recruits or their parents. (You can read more on those NCAA rules here.)
A few days after the in-house meetings among coaches, offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf will likely fly west to evaluate some quarterbacks. On his list will be Tyler Shough, Spencer Petras and Brevin White. No doubt wide receivers coach Keith Williams, defensive line coach John Parrella and defensive backs coach Donte Williams will also hit the road to evaluate players. Expect a lot of offers during this period, or immediately after it.
What will be worth keeping an eye on, though, will be who Nebraska offers at the quarterback position. The Huskers have only offered 9 total quarterbacks in the class, though Langsdorf says it’s pivotal they get at least 1 QB in this upcoming class.
3. Summer camps
June 1 marks the beginning of a “quiet period” in recruiting, meaning coaches can only interact with recruits face-to-face on college campuses. Not surprisingly, the Huskers will host 6 total football camps in Lincoln that month. They include:
June 14: Youth camp
June 15: Youth camp
June 16: Big man camp
June 16: Friday Night Lights
June 21: Youth camp
June 22: Youth camp
June 23: Friday Night Lights
June 23: Skill positions camp
Last year, Nebraska’s Friday Night Lights camp attracted top recruits from around the country, including 2017 signee Tyjon Lindsey and 2018 commit Brendan Radley-Hiles.
4. Fall camp
The final step on the ladder before the season begins will be fall camp at the beginning of August. The beginning of July is a dead period for recruiting, and not much usually happens during that month.
Nebraska will be able to get back to practice at the beginning of August, which will kick off with Fan Day. From there, the Huskers will practice every other day. That will ease into daily practices, including a handful of 2-a-days. The fall will culminate with a scrimmage open to the public one week before the home opener on Sept. 2.