NCAA FOOTBALL: OCT 29 Michigan State at Nebraska

Hot Reads: Joseph, Burkhead getting it done

RECRUITING RED HOT >>> Nebraska picked up its second verbal commitment in as many days on Thursday in Spanish Fort (Ala.) cornerback Jonathan Cook. Rated as a three-star prospect by all the major services, Cook is a good get from SEC country. He had offers from Ole Miss, Penn State and Mississippi State as well as a grayshirt offer from Alabama.

Early Friday morning, the Huskers got another one from down south. AuburnSports.com reporter Justin Hokanson broke the news that former Tigers’ cornerback Jonathan Rose will transfer to Nebraska:

Rose was a very highly regarded prospect coming out of high school and appeared in nine games for Auburn as a true freshman.

The connection between the two is new defensive backs coach Terry Joseph. Joseph recruited Rose while he was at Tennessee and was the lead recruiter for Cook. He was hired in large part due to his connections in the South and so far he’s delivering.

REX IN EFFECT >>> The preseason accolades keep rolling in for senior running back Rex Burkhead. He was named a second-team All-American by Sports Illustrated on Thursday. Burkhead was one of four running backs to be honored as an All-American along with Wisconsin’s Montee Ball, South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore (both first team), and Oregon’s Kenjon Barner. That’s not bad company to keep.

AUDIBLE >>> I’m calling an audible on the usual Hot Reads format and sending you to a podcast instead. Grantland’s Chuck Klosterman interviewed ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit for a college football preview on Thursday. I was legitimately giddy when I saw the pairing. Whether it’s television, music, or sports, Klosterman’s an uncommon thinker who digs deep into the cultural side of things. It’s an interesting and welcome take on college football.

JACK-KNIVES >>> Chris Brown of Smart Football fame has a new story up at Grantland on the evolution of the hybrid defender. LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu is the impetus for the examination, but Bo Pelini’s done many of the same things with guys like Dejon Gomes and Eric Hagg in the past making this a particularly interesting read. (Side note: If you like this sort of X’s and O’s breakdown, Brown’s book “The Essential Smart Football” is a must-read.)

PROGRESS REPORT >>> The BTN’s Tom Dienhart posted his impressions of Nebraska’s Thursday night practice here. We’ve already recapped some of the updates from the BTN crew in this post, but Dienhart offers a few more tidbits here:

–QB Taylor Martinez still doesn’t have what you’d call perfect mechanics. Better? Yes.

–The BTN crew as a whole, not to mention OC Tim Beck, seems to be in love with Tommy Armstrong.

–True freshman LB Michael Rose worked with the second unit on Thursday. Given his maturity level coming out of high school, not to mention his ability, I’m not totally surprised by this.