Greg Paulus to Nebraska?Former Nebraska quarterback Patrick Witt has announced where he will be transferring too and also had some very good things to say about Coach Pelini and the Nebraska football team in an article put out by the Omaha World Herald today. Witt will be transferring to Yale where he will be available to play next season since they are a Div-AA team

Witt said the move was purely for academic reasons and he never demanded anything from Coach Pelini. He just felt that the decision should be made before Spring practices started so the coaches could make any changes that they needed to. Here is a little excerpt from the article:

“I am indebted to (Pelini) for his support and for all the help he has provided me during this transition,” Witt said in the statement. “I am confident that the Husker football program will enjoy much success in the seasons to come under his leadership.

“Growing up, playing Division I college football was a dream of mine, and I am thankful to have been able to do just that as a Nebraska Cornhusker.”

We wish Witt good luck as he continues on at Yale.

As for another quarterback, it is expected that Greg Paulus will be checking out the University of Nebraska campus and talking to the coaches. Details were being talked about on other blogs and messages boards about Paulus being on campus Thursday or Friday. He is currently finishing up final exams at Duke where he will graduate after this semester.

Paulus threw for 11,763 yards and 152 touchdowns and was named Gatorade National High School Football Player of the Year after his senior campaign. He was said to have more than 75 scholarship offers in football and basketball when he was just a sophomore.

Paulus might not be a bad guy to have on the team even though he hasn’t played football for four years. The Huskers would love to redshirt Cody Green and Latravis Washington if possible and who knows how the rehab for Kody Spano will go through the offseason. I say bring him in if he wants to and see what happens.

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NFL Draft NebraskaThree former Nebraska Football players were selected during the second day of the 2009 NFL Draft on Sunday. Linebacker Cody Glenn was the first guy to get picked as he was selected by the Washington Redskins with the #158 pick in the draft. Glenn said that he was very surprised to be selected in the 5th round as he was expecting the 6th or 7th and possibly even signing a free agent deal after the draft was over.

Up next it was Matt Slauson being picked with the #193 overall pick. Slauson will be re-united with former Husker head coach Bill Callahan out in New York with the Jets.

Lydon Murtha was the final player to be selected as he was picked by the Detroit Lions with the #228 overall pick in the draft. Murtha’s stock dropped as it got closer to the draft because of nagging injuries that teams were skeptical of.

Other players that have signed free agent deals are:

Marlon Lucky - Cincinnati Bengals
Zach Potter - New York Jets
Todd Peterson - Jacksonville Jaguars
Nate Swift - Denver Broncos
Joe Ganz - Washington Redskins
Baker Steinkuhler - Cincinnati Bengals

Good luck to everyone as they attempt to make NFL rosters in the coming weeks!

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Nebraska Spring GameHey everyone, hope everyone had a great weekend and you were able to attend the 2009 Spring Game. I was unable to travel down to Lincoln for the game as I had other duties to attend to this past weekend so I don’t have much of a detailed report on the game. And since it has been two days since the game, I’m sure you have all read game reports and looked of stats and such so I really won’t get into that too much today.

Wow, it looks like Zac Lee had a great day under center as he did complete 15 of 18 passes for 214 yard and three touchdowns. Great day for Lee as he pushes forward to be the starter in 2009.

I thought Latravis Washington did a very good job as well. He threw the ball 21 times and completed 13 of his passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns. For being under center for just three weeks since his highschool days, Washington did a great job and showed off his strong arm.

Ndamukong Suh was absolutely a beast. Is he that good or is our offensive line that bad against a player of his caliber?

Speaking of all the yards the quarterbacks threw for, does that mean our secondary is that bad as well? I read about Larry Asante once again getting beat on a long pass which was then called “A breakdown like last year.” Hmm, that sure doesn’t sound good.

The Huskers did receive one verbal commit over the weekend as linemen Mike Moudy told the coaches that he would accept a scholarship offer. Moudy is 6’7 and weights in at 291 lbs. He is a big boy that wants to be a great linement for the Huskers!

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Kody Spano ACL InjuryThe Nebraska Football team is down another quarterback as redshirt Freshman Kody Spano will more then likely be getting a new ACL. Spano left practice on Monday with the injury and then reportadly updated his Facebook status to read “Getting a new ACL on Thursday”

With Spano being down, the Huskers are very short handed heading into the Spring game this Saturday. Zac Lee, Cody Green and Latravis Washington will take the snaps for the Huskers. It is really hard to think about it because if the team suffers one more injury at the quarterback position, things could head downhill very quickly due to the lack of experience at the position.

Coach Pelini is hoping that Spano will be ready to go at the start of fall camp but it will all depend on how his rehab goes through the Summer months. Hope for the best Husker fans.

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Niles Pauls DUIWe have learned that early Sunday morning, Nebraska wide receiver Niles Paul was arrested by the Nebraska State Patrol for driving under the influence of alcohol. Paul was also charged with driving on a suspended license as well as being a minor in possession of alcohol.

Paul was pulled over for driving 53 MPH in a 45 MPH zone. When the officer went up to Paul’s window he could smell alcohol and then conducted a field sobriety test, which Paul failed. Paul was then taken to the detox center.

This is a big blow to Paul as he was the number one receiver heading into this weekend’s Spring game. Coach Pelini has already said that Paul would be suspended for the remainder of Spring practice and not be able to play on Saturday.

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Husker Baseball

The State Of Husker Baseball

Captain Obvious: These past two weeks the Husker baseball team has been in a funk. 

It’s Just 3 Games
It’s important to note that this funk really boils down to 3 losses it shouldn’t have, however the reason why people are really concerned about the team is the way they’ve been losing, with really bad pitching (more on that later).  Still though, why only 3?  The baseball team is 2-7 over that stretch, so you’re saying that 5-4 would mean everything is good?  Well, yes.  First is a 10-7 loss to Northern Colorado at home (a team we’ve lost to just 1 time in 16 other games), and second is the first loss to KSU 15-1 and the final being the last KSU game, 5-3.

Why would you say that? Look at it this way.  First, there is no excuse for losing to Northern Colorado other than baseball’s a funny game.  In baseball, the absolute best team will beat the lesser teams about 9 out of 10 times and so far against UNC we’ve done that. Does that Justify it?  Not really, but it’s baseball.

Move on to the weekend series at Oklahoma. Realize we’re the first team since May 2008 to win a game in Norman and frankly, not many teams are going to win a series there, so while a 1-2 outcome isn’t as good as winning the series (which, by the way, we had a good shot at taking game 1 and just came up short), it surely is not the end of the world. 

Next, we lose to Wichita State at their house in the last inning after finishing up the Oklahoma series in Norman just 24 hours earlier.  Ask anyone at that level of baseball, it’s tough to travel overnight and play a game the next day and Wichita State, while not great, is a decent team and plays well at home.

In comes Kansas State and the series gets pushed up due to expected inclimate weather to a double header Friday and a single game Saturday.   The reason the first and last game against KSU were disappointments was because KSU is not a baseball school and we should take the series against them.  While they’re considerably better this year than they’ve been in the past, it’s still a team you have to expect to win the series against and the first and last games there are no excuses. 

So what’s different about the second game?  Well, the second game we were facing All-American candidate AJ Morris.  Look at what AJ had done before coming to Lincoln. AJ had started 7 games for a perfect 7-0 record, and 6 of those 7 he didn’t allow a single earned run.  In fact, before Friday he had only allowed 2 earned runs the entire year over 46 innings for a measly 0.39 ERA. That included wins over a top 10 Oklahoma team (the best offense in the Big XII, and one of the best in the country), a top 10 Baylor team and according to 3 of 6 polls, the #1 team in the country in Arizona State, who by the way was the only other team to put up earned runs on him (2). Even though we gave Morris a run for his money (we were 1 or 2 early hits from putting him out of the game) and we put up more earned runs on him (3) than any other team had, we still lost the game and really when you’re facing a guy like that you can’t expect to win (3 top 10 teams have failed to do so).

The Season So Far
Does anybody really mean it when they say, “I hate to say it, but I told you so”. I’m not sure, but here goes, “I hate to say it, but I told you so.”

I’ve said all year long (before the season and now) that this is a young team and young teams will make you scratch your head one week (KSU) and jump for joy the next (Ark/OSU).  I said it’s going to be an up and down season all year long and it clearly appears to have come true.  The bad news is we’re currently last in the Big XII.  We lost series @OU (expected), won a series vs OSU (unexpected), lost a series @TTU (unexpected) and got swept by KSU (unexpected).  Even though we expected to beat TTU, it should be pointed out that they just took 2 of 3 from Texas A&M as well.

Is Mike Anderson the right man for the job?  You decide.
I’ve now had this argument with many Husker baseball fans, so I’ll present the facts and you can decide for yourself if Anderson deserves a rebuilding year while they look for talent on the mound. And yes, they are looking. In fact, they have a ridiculous amount of pitchers committed already next year, 9 pitchers and a few position players that can also pitch. The highlight is Rivals100 pitcher Lemke, who has said a few times that he really wants to come to NU, but a round 5 or earlier draft pick would be tough to overcome.

So, back to the situation we’re in. We’ve lost 13 pitchers in the draft over the past two years. Last year, the 7 we lost (5 players + 2 signees we had really high hopes for) represented 73% of the innings pitched last year. The year before that, the 6 pitchers we lost represented 69% of the innings pitched.

The typical response to that is, “Well, everyone loses players”. Which is true. However, I challenge anyone to find another northern school that has lost 70% of innings pitched two years in a row that finished in the Top 25. I’d be shocked if anyone can find ANY school let alone a northern school. I also would be shocked if any northern school that lost 70% just 1 year and finished in the top 25 the next.  It just plain doesn’t happen.

Why seperate northern schools? Well, most Husker fans are VERY familiar with the pains of recruiting to the north in football, well I promise you it’s 100x harder in baseball and the talent gap is even greater. Kids in the south play baseball year round and don’t have the ‘shaking off the rust’ time that kids in the north do every year. They just get better, all year round.

Most of Coach Anderson’s tenure has been that of good pitching and small ball offense. A lot of 3-2 games, but never a run-producing machine. Well, this year we’ve also seen a huge improvement on the offensive side, but the pitching staff has been abused more than Tina Turner (too soon?). This year (according to the most current stats on we’re 35th in the country in runs scored. That probably doesn’t seem that impressive, but considering there’s roughly 285 teams in Div I baseball, that’s very impressive.

Should Anderson be excused for a REALLY bad year this year? I don’t know, that’s for you to decide. I would add though, this season’s not over with and I doubt they’re just going to pack it in a give up. If you ask my opinion, if this year continues on the downward spiral we’ve seen recently, then next year will be a make or break year for him. This team is very young and next year would be put up or shut up time.

Does Anderson always make the best decisions? No, baseball is about playing percentages and going with your gut. Even the best coaches are second guessed constantly. His most recent move to send Nesseth to the bullpen, I personally felt was a mistake because we didn’t have any other pitchers to fill the gaps. On Friday, I think part out of frustration, he sent a guy home on a relay throw that was pretty much already on it’s way when he was behind 10-1 with just 1 out. It was a bad call, no doubt. He also pitched to Jeff Larrish, but that’s another story…

Believe what you want. Should he have seen the pitching losses coming? Yes, to a degree, however his recruits being pillaged from the draft didn’t help either. Should he recruit guys who are not going to be drafted? I guess, but I would think you’d want to go after the best talent in the hopes that some will slip through the cracks.

Baseball recruiting is a lot funnier than football because players typically enter the draft out of high school and still sign with a college and ‘see’ if they get drafted high enough. Imagine for a minute if Cody Green and Cody Spano got drafted by the NFL a few months after signing his letter of intent with the Huskers.  Could you imagine how much of a jam the the football team would be in with just 1 QB left on the roster? The football team gets 85 scholarships, the baseball team 11 or so. Almost NOBODY is on a full ride in baseball, which means the kids have to pay some of their own way, which means the incredibly talented inner city kid is going to take that 20th round draft pick and take his crappy (compared to an education) $100,000 signing bonus and leave. It’s unfortunate, but it makes it very difficult to predict an incoming class and make sure all your holes are filled. Add in that any 3rd year player can enter the draft and find out if they get drafted high enough and you’re not always sure who’s coming back and who’s staying so you don’t even know what holes to fill.

There’s a reason why there’s only 1 or 2 schools that have made the 64-team tournament every year for the last 10 years. Because even the best, LSU, CSF, UNC, UT, etc. etc. have down years. Heck, Oregon State won the title 2 years in a row (2006, 2007) didn’t even make the tournament last year (2008). It’s not realistic to think you’ll have a top 25 team every year. The great almighty Dave Van Horn hasn’t done it at Arkansas. The great Rob Childress hasn’t done it at Texas A&M. Almost every Nebraska fans consider them great coaches and they are, but they’ve had down years too.

Make up your own mind about Anderson, but don’t ignore the realities that are college baseball at a northern school.

A Look Ahead
Up next we have a night game with in state opponent Creighton in Lincoln before the top 15 Texas Longhorns come into town.  Another Big XII weekend, another Top 15 team.  If Oklahoma is the offensive champion of the Big XII, then Texas is the pitching (KSU is 2nd, by the way).  Their staff comes into the weekend with a filthy 2.26 team ERA.  It’s probably the best weekend staff the Huskers will see all year.  I personally like the Huskers chances this weekend, simply because we’ve faced 3 All-Big XII quality pitchers this year (Oliver, Lyons, and Morris) and all 3 have had their worst outings against the Huskers and only Morris walked away with a win.  Texas, however, is last in the Big XII in runs and 2nd to last in batting average, a matchup the Huskers could use right now.

It should be interesting the rest of the way.

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Cookie Miller and Alonzo Edwards TransferringThe Nebraska Basketball team will be losing a couple of players as Cookie Miller and Alonzo Edwards have asked to be released from their scholarships and be allowed to transfer to different schools.

Miller cited family reasons for wanting to transfer closer to his home state of West Virginia. Miller has a couple of young daughters out there and would like to be around them more often. Hopefully Cookie can land a spot on a team on the East Coast and continue his basketball career and education.

Edwards seen action in 16 games for the Huskers this season but was not getting the playing time that he thought he should be getting. He was in Doc Sadler’s doghouse early in the season for not hustling during practice and really never got out of the doghouse as the season went on. He played a grand total of 70 minutes, averaging 1.7 points and 0.9 rebounds in the limited playing time he did see.

We wish both Cookie and Alonzo the best in the future and thank them for their time with the Husker Basketball team.

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