Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Recruits with unrealistic expectations

Today's Omaha paper has an interview with Leon Jackson, who is showing signs of frustration with a lack of playing time. I'm not surprised here at all. The 2005 recruiting class was simply overhyped.

First of all, let me say this: It's way too early to judge the 2005 recruiting class.

It's too early now, it was too early this summer, and it was too early last winter when some people handed these guys starting jobs.

Let me also say this: The 2005 recruiting class was ranked more on numbers (31 recruits) than on quality. There will, no doubt, be some fine football players in this group. And in a year or two, we should be enjoying their success on the field.

But somewhere along the way, the hype meter went off the scale. Harrison Beck, Craig Roark, and Rodney Picou were going to be starting. Marlon Lucky was this year's Adrian Peterson. Zac Bowman was going to declare after this season for the NFL draft.

What's reality? Beck, Roark, and Picou are redshirting. Bowman is second string. Lucky is playing a handful of snaps in spot duty.

Will we see Bowman and Lucky more as the season moves on? I think so. Will they be good football players? Probably, but the jury is still out. Will we see those other guys? I sure hope not. It makes no sense to burn any of their redshirts at this point in the season.

I'm more concerned about the mental aspects of these freshmen. I'm sure many of them had dreams of making a big impact as freshmen. Hopefully, they are committing themselves to working harder so that next year, they can be in a position to claim playing time. Sometimes the better football player isn't the more talented one.

Look at #4, Cory Ross. Most schools and recruiting services didn't even consider him a running back. But Ross shows the heart and determination of a great football player. Where would Nebraska be without Ross? I don't know. But I do know that Rivals.com has no way to measure what makes Cory Ross a great football player.

I'll take a class full of players like Cory Ross than a class of Rivals "4 star" players anyday.

No comments: