Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Joe Mortensen: An Example of How Recruiting Hype Failed Nebraska

Today's Omaha World-Herald profiles Kansas linebacker Joe Mortensen. Rated a "2 star" prospect by Rivals, he accepted a scholarship offer from Nebraska in the summer of 2003 after attending the Huskers summer camp. More specifically, he was the most valuable player of the camp.

Fast forward a few months, and the Bill Callahan/Steve Pederson error was underway. On signing day 2004, Mortensen finds out that Nebraska has rescinded his scholarship offer. So he reopens his recruiting, and signs with Kansas.

Who needs a 2-star linebacker, right? Nebraska doesn't need to offer scholarships to 2-star linebackers, right?

So whatever happened to that schmuck anyway? Well, he's now a three year starter...and a consensus all-Big XII linebacker.

Oops.

To be fair, Mortensen might not have developed into a star linebacker if he had come to Nebraska and been coached by the previous staff. So it's not assurred that Mortensen would have been all-Big XII at Nebraska.

But do you think he could have helped Nebraska? And was that a huge mistake by the previous staff? Once again... absolutely.

8 comments:

Husker_Engineer said...

Another week, another half researched POS article from the media designed tell us:

Pederson = Devil
Callahan = Fool

Okay, we get it. Move on, I have.

This story is along the same lines as that crap piece on Fryar's kid (i.e. They either failed to do some basic research...or ignored it.)

Fryar's son committed to Western Michigan exactly 4 days after Bill Callahan was hired. Solich didn't offer the kid, but you did not hear much about that in the article. It was simply put out there to remind us of the above equations.

This article is more of the same. The kid was told he would have a scholly if some other plans fell through. Well, those plans did not fall through -- we got B-Jax instead. This kind of stuff happens every signing day at major programs. The only reason to bring it up in the OWH is that Lee Barfsomething loves to hate.

Husker Mike said...

If we really DIDN'T have another scholarship to offer, then where did they find the scholarship for Marque McCray? Or the other jucos they pursued after signing day?

They never signed the full allotment in 2004, so the idea that it came down to a choice between Brandon Jackson and Mortenson is bogus.

Husker_Engineer said...

I am not saying we did not have another scholly. I am saying that his was designated elsewhere and he would get it if those plans fell through.

It just seems to me that Barfy and Co are really reaching running this stuff. It is Husker Football season, we are weeks away from the conference schedule, etc. There have to be plenty of things to write about...but kicking people when they are down is much more fun I guess.

All people need to do is look at Corey McKeon's senior campaign to understand what would have happened if dude would have come here.....offer or not, we still would barely know his name IMO.

AJ said...

I just find it odd that pretty much EVERY Husker fan bit into the recruiting hype...not just a few. Now, EVERYBODY is dogging the process...

Make up your mind people.

rueschmike said...

I didn't find anything in the Scout.com database on this kid that showed he ever had an offer.

Husker_Engineer said...

That is because he never had an offer. Furthermore, he is not listed on our commit list, because to commit to a school, you need an offer.

You can't pull an offer that does not exist. The story is complete BS written by a paper that simply wants to remind us how bad the former staff was so that when we get beat by Mizzou, Tech, etc. they can start running stories about how bare the cupboard....oh wait, they are already doing that.

Two 23 point wins and we have stories on LB's at other schools that wanted to come here? Barfy is supposed to be the 'Big 12 Writer' Has he written a story about why it took a 17th point 4th quarter rally, including an interception returned for a TD with less than 2 mins left in the game for CU to beat a 1-AA team?

More important to tell us Callahan passed on a 2-star LB....who Solich also passed on, but FOR SURE Solich would have eventually seen the All American potential in this kid and made sure he got him a real offer at the 11th hour....oh yea, for sure he would have....

Husker Mike said...

There's a lot of revisionist crap out there about Mortensen. Rivals indicated he had an offer from Nebraska.

As near as I can tell, and I've read the attempts to explain this away on BRB and Huskerpedia, is that Mortensen had an offer from Solich. It's not clear whether he verbally committed, however. And as Callahan took over, the offer was pulled. (You can say it became "conditional"...but that's essentially the same thing as "pulled", especially since there were scholarships still available to offer.)

And besides, the point is that here's a great player who could help this team, who isn't here now. Pointing out the mistakes from the past so that we learn from them.

Husker_Engineer said...

I get that Mike. I don't really mean to rant on your blog. I follow recruiting and even I don't remember this kid. The stuff I have access to indicates he was never on our commit list -- and kids that have open offers are usually on that list.

I also understand that he is good now and we might have had him. However, I think the trump card to all of that is Cosgrove. Case in point, Lance Brandenburgh. I think Lance would have been a killer in Bo's system...