Every week, the Husker Locker staff sits down and is presented a number of questions addressing various aspects of Nebraska Cornhuskers sports.
What’s your opinion on the hire of Terry Joseph?
Brian: Great hire by Bo. Knows the system from being a graduate assistant at LSU with Pelini, knows how to recruit the South after stealing a few kids from Nebraska over the last couple of years, and knows what this system is all about. If Bo lets him do his thing, who knows what can happen next year?
Chris: I’m thrilled with the hire for multiple reasons. First, Joseph has strong ties to the South on the recruiting trail, which will be needed given Corey Raymond’s departure. Second, the hiring of Joseph is a strong signal to me that Bo Pelini is maturing as a head coach. Given his past hires, it was realistic to think he would simply reshuffle the staff. Instead, Pelini went out and took an SEC school’s coach who could very well be an upgrade over the man he’s replacing.
James: Fantastic hire. We are lucky that someone Bo knew/worked with and that he trusted has evolved into a good recruiter and position coach. We’re also lucky said coach was on a sinking ship like Tennessee, and worked with the position of need. Still, this is one of Bo’s best assistant hires since he’s been at Nebraska, regardless of the circumstances leading to it.
Brandon: This hire says a lot to me about where Bo feels he’s at right now. He could’ve easily given the position to a graduate assistant like Vince Marrow or an intern and shuffled the current staff around, but he actually went outside the program. Given, Joseph’s a former graduate assistant that worked under Pelini (See also: Ekeler, Papuchis and Raymond), but Bo’s shown he works best with guys he can trust.
It just so happens that a guy he can trust has been acknowledged as one of the best young recruiters in the game with strong Louisiana connections. Joseph might not have the resume Raymond did, but with how he gets after things as a coachd and on the recruiting trail, he won’t need it.
If Doc Sadler is let go, when do you feel it’ll happen…or will it?
Brian: If? There is no “if” to this question. No. 5 faces No. 12 second on Thursday afternoon’s Big Ten tournament schedule. When Nebraska loses this game and makes it back to Lincoln, he should be gone by noon on Friday, and not a nanosecond later.
The program needs that turnaround immediately after the season is over. Hopefully Mark Boehm follows suit and is dismissed at the same time. Nine years with no NCAA tourney bids and a sub-.500 record in conference should cause the axe to fall.
Chris: Doc has to go. Nebraska’s finally ending one of the worst regular seasons in team history and lost at home to Iowa on senior night. Unfortunately, this comes on the tail end of a stretch of poor play throughout Sadler’s tenure.
The team never seemed to improve under Doc, and recruiting continued to struggle with each passing season. The only way he’s is still the coach next year is if the athletic director can’t stomach the $3.5 million buyout that the firing would trigger.
James: I think it’ll happen within a few days of the end of the regular season. Tom likes to let his coach finish the season, and then evaluate on the whole. He’ll give Doc that benefit.
Brandon: First, Doc can’t possibly stick around after this season, can he? Would Tom Osborne really allow that? If he does, I can’t say I agree with the idea that he’s trying to get the men’s basketball program in order. Connie Yori’s squad been ranked and has busted through to the middle of the Big Ten tournament. The product Sadler puts on the court is just rank.
A school doesn’t invest the amount of resources Nebraska did in new facilities and getting the use of an arena for a failed coach to get one more year. If he does, someone needs to have a chat with the man at the top. Osborne’s a nice guy, but he’s also a businessman in his current role. The only red he can tolerate when it comes to roundball is in the stands.
Following the NFL Combine, do you feel that any Huskers are first round locks?
Brian: Alfonzo is pretty close to a first rounder. Hopefully Lavonte jumped higher on some boards for the first round. Dallas wouldn’t be hurt taking Fonzie. Lord knows replacing Terrance Newman would be slick to stick to Kansas State.
Chris: There aren’t any first round “locks” this year as was the case with Suh and Prince, but Nebraska has some first round talent available.
Alfonzo Dennard and Lavonte David have the stats and pedigree to garner first round attention, but it comes down to how concerned teams are with the speed of Dennard and the size of David. Additionally, Jared Crick appeared to be headed for the first round after his junior year, but injuries have likely dropped him into the second or third.
James: No. I think David and Dennard are second round picks. Maybe David somehow slides up, but I think early second is the best we’ll see this year.
Brandon: Before 2011 began, Crick and Dennard were easily first rounders. Now, Dennard looks to be lucky to get snagged in the first and aside from the Patriots, I don’t know who’d stop Crick from slipping into the second. The only Husker to raise his stock in Indianapolis was Lavonte David. He shows up at 233 pounds, runs a 4.56 40-yard dash, raises eyebrows and walks out the door.
Crick and Dennard could find their way back into the first round, but it’s going to take a monumental effort at Nebraska’s Pro Day next week.
How big is Charles Jackson potentially making it to Lincoln?
Brian: It would be big, considering that he could probably start on the opposite of Mohammed Seisay against Arkansas State. That being said, the “Hey! Look! He’s qualified!” horn has been sounded…for quite some time…by his family. When there is an official release by North Stadium about Jackson, we’ll cross that bridge.
Chris: One word: Huge. Jackson was arguably the best corner who participated in the 2011 Army All-American game. Plus he possesses elite strength and coverage ability for the position. If he can pick up the defense, there is no reason he can’t push for starting minutes this season. He’s head and shoulders above anyone else on the roster athletically, except perhaps Mohammed Seisay.
James: Gigantic. Athletically he could start. Can he learn the zone-match defense quickly enough? Can he get enough reps in summer/fall ball? He’s a huge bolster to the defensive back roster. Again, another case of sometimes being lucky (in this case, with Jackson qualifying) working out for you.
Brandon: Huge and we’re talking “almost making up for Andrus Peat not being a Cornhusker” huge. If there’s one area that Nebraska can’t get enough help at, it’s cornerback. If Jackson does show up and with Braylon Heard making the switch, suddenly the Huskers have two guys to add fierce competition in deciding who starts opposite Mohammed Seisay.
Going back to the first question, Joseph’s likely going to make this transition for Heard smoother than Raymond would’ve and if Jackson has some mental issues, so be it. Not to knock Raymond too hard, but Joseph’s that good of a hire. Plus, Nebraska’s not his fourth job in a little over 365 days.
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