Nebraska landed its kicker last night. Yes, even with limited scholarship numbers in this class, the Huskers probably needed to do it. Theoretically that’s a spend-it-and-forget-it scholarship that a team hopes it only has to use once every four years. And if you’re doing that at punter and long snapper too, three scholarships on a rolling four-year rotation probably isn’t too much to devote to special teams. The nice thing about Nebraska’s current breakdown is that none of those scholarships should come open in the same year. Drew Brown is a senior, Jordan Ober a junior and Caleb Lightbourn a sophomore.
Barret Pickering is the guy who will be tasked with replacing Brown (who, assuming no injuries in 2017, will have been a four-year starter as planned). Special teams recruiting has become it’s own sort of mini-industry, with specialty camps driving the rankings discussion and Pickering fairs plenty well there. Per Kohl’s ratings, he’s a 5-star kicker and ranked No. 2 nationally.
Pickering plays for the Alabama prep powerhouse Hoover High School, which, if you’re of a certain age, you may remember from MTV’s “Two-A-Days,” a reality-TV version of Varsity Blues. As a junior, Pickering connected on 19-of-27 field goals, including six of 40-plus yards, and all 49 of his extra-point attempts, earning All-America honors from MaxPreps. (Yeah, he kicked a lot.)
Convinced that was worth a scholarship yet? In truth, it’s not cut-and-dried, particularly at Nebraska. The Huskers have had some success with walk-on kickers over the years, and have one on the roster now, Cole Frahm, who might be pretty good. But that’s leaving a lot to chance (or evaluation, I suppose) at a position that, almost by default, leads the team in scoring each year and is responsible for 20 to 25 percent of a team’s points every season.
That said, room is filling up in this class quickly. I can’t even imagine what it would be like if Nebraska’s class was 90 or 95 percent done before we even reached the fall, but it’s within the realm of possibility.
Detailed Down to Each Step
Have to admit that I’ve always enjoyed any postgame conversations I’ve gotten to have with Danny Langsdorf. It’s clear he knows his football and he’s generally willing to share what he knows. That’s why I also like watching him teach.
Short clip from Huskers.com, but still a pretty interesting look at quarterback tutoring during the spring. (Also, close call for Keith Williams at the 20-second mark as he nearly got mowed down by De’Mornay Pierson-El on an out.)
The Grab Bag
- Philadelphia’s vice president of player personnel offers some insight on why the Eagles are looking at Nathan Gerry as a linebacker.
- Matt Fortuna looks at the Huskers’ draft prospects for 2018 for Athlon.
- Joe Moglia’s story is pretty well known at this point — and this is a good telling of it — but I didn’t know he turned down the Miami defensive-coordinator job in 1984.
- This is pretty crazy, but all four members of the secondary from Detroit’s Cass Tech High School team in 2013 are going to get a shot at the NFL.
Today’s Song of Today