It was a nice idea. Would've made for a great story. But, sorry Nebraska, your 2019 quarterback is in another castle. Or state, rather. He's not in Iowa is the point. Probably. Things can always change in recruiting.
For now, Council Bluffs quarterback Max Duggan is committed to TCU. The 4-star (Hail Varsity Rating: 90.8) prospect had been on Nebraska's campus a handful times over the past year, attending one of the Friday Night Lights camps and taking an unofficial visit last season. He also had offers from just about every school in the immediate vicinity plus some (TCU, Penn State, Ole Miss, Georgia, Ohio State) that weren't.
If that offer list wasn't enough of an indication, Duggan was plenty intriguing as a prospect. Mobile, smart, son of a coach and a three-sport athlete. Locally at least, it was his location that may have truly set him apart. Quarterbacks like that aren't in Iowa (or Nebraska or Minnesota or Kansas or South Dakota) very often, and that increased the eyeballs on his recruitment.
Did Nebraska have to get him because he happened to be about an hour away from Memorial Stadium? Like I mentioned above, it would've been nice but it's hard to view any player, no matter talent or address, as essential. That's just setting yourself up for recruiting disappointment. The Huskers are plenty familiar with canvassing the globe––at least the North America-shaped portion––for quarterbacks.
The Huskers have signed seven quarterbacks since playing their first season in the Big Ten in 2011. That's one a year, minus the 2014 and 2015 recruiting cycles. Nebraska took two quarterbacks (Zack Darlington, AJ Bush) under unique circumstances in 2014 and no quarterbacks in 2015. Those quarterbacks included four from California and one each from Florida, Georgia and Texas. Minus Darlington and Bush, they were all viewed as similarly talented players coming out of high school, 4-star players ranked between say eighth and 15th in the country at their position.
That's what Adrian Martinez was last year. It's what Duggan is. Nebraska will probably end up with a quarterback with a similar profile eventually.
And that's fine for everyone involved. Nebraska will find a quarterback, he just probably won't be "locally grown." And Duggan will continue to have strong local support even as a Horned Frog.
Good luck, Max.
But Is Nebraska's Next QB in Ohio?
Ohio State held its spring game on Saturday, and it didn't offer much clarity as to what's going on with the Buckeyes' three-man quarterback race. Perhaps by design. The two experienced players, Joe Burrow and Dwayne Haskins, split snaps one one team, often subbing in and out in the middle of drives, while freshman Tate Martell got the chance to quarterback the other side largely on his own.
It's been assumed that Burrow, the veteran of the group who would have the graduate transfer option available to him, could bolt if he doesn't appear to be in contention to start. Burrow didn't exactly bat that perception down after the game on Saturday.
"I came here to play. I didn't come here to sit on the bench for four years," he said earlier when asked the same question I ended up asking for the second time later in the media session. Does he need to be the starter to stay?
"I know I'm a pretty darn good quarterback," he said, "and I want to play somewhere."
Nebraska has been bandied about as a potential destination for Burrow should he choose to leave. He was recruited by the Huskers out of high school, and his father, Jimmy, played at Nebraska and is the defensive coordinator at Ohio under Frank Solich. He does have some scarlet-and-cream connections, but that's the extent of it. People can see the two dots and mentally draw a line between them, but we don't even know if there's a second dot yet.
And it's fair to wonder if Nebraska's spring session hasn't changed the likelihood of any potential move. I don't know if it has, but if Burrow's primary goal is to find a place to play right away, given that the Huskers have their own three-man (maybe four?) quarterback race going on under a new staff, I don't know that Lincoln is the perfect scenario either.
For those that have already been imagining the possibility of Burrow as a Husker, his comments Saturday certainly didn't discourage that. But they also might've told you why that won't happen, too.
The Grab Bag
- Texas A&M set a school record for spring game attendance with 48,129 in attendance on Saturday.
- On that note, here are your updated 2018 spring game attendance rankings with Florida State leading the way.
- Here's a good recap of the national storylines from Saturday's scrimmages.
- ICYMI: Brenden Jaimes and Tanner Farmer are just fine trying new spots on the offensive line, Jaylin Bradley is plenty happy with this new offense and Jovan Dewitt talks kickoff strategy.
Today's Song of Today