Nebraska football mailbag: Which freshmen will have biggest immediate impact?
Have Nebraska football questions? We’ve got answers. Join us every Wednesday for the Land of 10 Nebraska mailbag to talk all things Huskers. This week, we discuss which freshman could have an immediate impact in 2018, Nebraska’s current recruiting rankings and more.
Besides Adrian Martinez, what incoming freshman do you think has the best chance to make an immediate impact?
— Logan Woster (@lo_loWoster) January 23, 2018
I like the potential of both tight end Cameron Jurgens and defensive end Tate Wildeman. Either could redshirt, but I think both are talented enough to play right away if need be. I’d keep an eye on those two.
Other than that, kicker Barret Pickering has big shoes to fill with veteran kicker Drew Brown departed. For that reason, Pickering has potential to make an impact on Nebraska in 2018. Nebraska fans have grown accustomed to Brown and his accuracy over the last few years (78 percent of his career field-goal attempts made), so there will be some adjustment with Pickering. However, he’s on campus early and will have time to get used to the collegiate game. That should help.
Lets go back to back weeks! Surprised by how much they have gone up in the rankings? Crack the top 20? #askingforafriend
— MPJ 🇺🇸🦅🏈🌽❄ (@HeyMPJ) January 23, 2018
Yes, and no. I know Land of 10’s Chris Bumbaca said a couple of weeks back that he didn’t expect the Huskers to break the top 20. Nebraska sits at No. 24 nationally with 19 commits, according to 247Sports. The trick now is how many more recruits the Huskers will take. Coach Scott Frost has said they’d go over 20, and I have do doubt they will. Those additional recruits could jump Nebraska ahead again.
I’m still with Chris that a top-20 class may be difficult to reach this year, but Nebraska could get close. I feel like it’ll end around that No. 20 mark, one way or another.
Do you see any potential Recruit de-commits from Nebraska in the next 2 weeks, or did the early signing make that less likely?
— Jeff Lewis (@Mobilfarmersmkt) January 23, 2018
I don’t right now. I think your point on the early signing day is right, because it prevented many (at Nebraska and other programs) from looking around. That early signing period puts an end to a lot of those worries, especially since Nebraska currently only has 6 commits that haven’t signed or enrolled early.
Chris also touched on this question on the reverse in the recruiting mailbag Tuesday. It seems less likely of a surprise coming in the form of a de-commitment, and more so in a new commitment. Keep an eye on 4-star outside linebacker Javontae Jean-Baptiste.
Next guy to commit?
— alex (@throw63) January 23, 2018
I correctly predicted that 3-star athlete Miles Jones would be the next to commit last week, so let’s see if I can go 2-for-2. In this week’s attempt, I’ll go with 4-star safety Cam’ron Jones. He’s committing on Saturday and Nebraska is in his top 5. I feel good about this one, so we’ll see if I can get it right once again.
Are all other husker teams taking on the motto “why not us?” If not maybe they all should
— Blessing Tran (@btran0524) January 23, 2018
I’d hate to steal the volleyball team’s motto and make it generic, so maybe something similar can be adapted across the board. For what it’s worth, when I’ve spoken to athletic director Bill Moos, the idea of “why not us?” resonates with him across all sports. That’s the attitude he wants all of his teams to take on, and I think you’ll see him continue pushing the belief that any Nebraska team can win championships. If they’re not? Then he’ll address that, too.
Why no talk of Zack Darlington back to QB? If I remember, he was a to duel threat out of HS & moved to WR as a non-fit in the prostyle O.
— David A. Ermish (@CoachErmish) January 23, 2018
I think the biggest reason is he isn’t necessarily needed at the quarterback position, unless it’s an emergency situation. He’s found a good spot as the holder and with the receivers. I don’t think shifting him back to quarterback at this point makes the most sense.
I agree that the type of quarterback he was out of high school would have intrigued Frost, but I think Nebraska’s quarterback room is big enough at this point (and still growing!) without throwing another wrench in the plan.
Any former Huskers planning on working out with the new Husker Power team?
— wiN the game❄️ (@CoryHonold) January 23, 2018
I’m sure there will be, but I haven’t seen anything specific yet. I do know quite a few of those in Nebraska’s graduating class are working with the former strength and conditioning staff in Lincoln to prepare for the NFL draft. I know that’s not what you asked, but it does show these athletes like training in and around Nebraska. That tells me other current professional athletes will likely be on campus this spring and summer as they work through the offseason.
What does #Nebrasketball have to do in the next 6 weeks to land a Big Dance invite? What are their chances?
— Sawyer Nyquist (@SawyerNyquist) January 23, 2018
Long story short: Nebraska needs to win. The Huskers have nine more games to go, and four of those are on the road. The key will be avoiding the letdown Nebraska has faced in years past.
Outside of the 2014 NCAA Tournament run, the Huskers have fallen apart at the end of the last three seasons. For reference, Nebraska lost 9 straight to finish the 2015 season, 9 of 11 to end the 2016 season, and 8 of 10 to end the 2017 season. Yikes.
Those end of season letdowns are what Nebraska has to avoid to stay in the conversation. The Huskers aren’t a lock by any means, but they’re not completely shut out yet. If coach Tim Miles can keep this talented group on track, they’ll make a case for themselves. It’s not a guarantee by any means, but it’s better than what it’s been the last couple of seasons.
Tell us more about Amy Williams. What's going on to make the women's team so successful in year 2. Night and day difference from last year, it seems.
— David (@thawildbunch) January 23, 2018
The number one thing I see in coach Amy Williams? Confidence, and it’s that confidence that I believe has inspired her team.
Last year’s team was reeling after the resignation of former coach Connie Yori. She had been at Nebraska from 2002-16, so there was a lot of history with her. When a longtime coach departs for any reason, it has an impact on a team and that’s part of what we saw last season.
I think Nebraska and Williams had to shake off the uncertainty of that first year together. Things were uncomfortable, and players weren’t always sure of what they were doing. One season later, that’s completely changed. I credit Williams’ confidence, and her perseverance.
On top of that, people were concerned when last season’s leading scorer Jessica Shepard decided to transfer, but this team bounced back. So much so, this Nebraska team is now 8.1 points per game better than they were in 2016-17. Again, confidence and perseverance. That’s how it reads to me, at least.
Why does a slice of Valentino's hamburger pizza taste 10x better at Memorial Stadium?
— Hey Y'all I'm Matt (@thew1242) January 23, 2018
We get Valentino’s pizza in the press box postgame, and I’ll admit I think the slices that comes in the individual boxes out in the stands is better. I have no idea why this is, but I assume it’s some kind of game day magic.
Has anybody looked into the fact that Scott Frost coached a team formerly known as the “Golden Knights” to an undefeated season and now he is taking over a team whose first undefeated season was when they were nicknamed the “Old Gold Knights.” #Conspiracy
— Jeremiah Sievers (@JEREIH) January 23, 2018
No, but I think you’re on to something.
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