As the holidays wind down, recruiting season really gets going. That means over the last couple of weeks we’ve received quite a few recruiting questions, especially ones about the early enrollees. Who do you have to look forward to on campus come January? And beyond recruiting, what is going on with the men’s basketball team?
Brandon Vogel, Jacob Padilla, Jake Jensen and Erin Sorensen answer your questions in this week’s Hail Varsity mailbag.
Q: Out of all of Nebraska’s early enrollees, who should we be the most excited about? – C.S., Omaha, Neb.
Roberts. Not only is he very good, but he seems to be coming with the
“I’m playing right away” mentality and I think he will.
go with Jaevon McQuitty if his shoulder is completely healed. Outside
of Stanley Morgan, the wide receiver group is wide open, especially now
that Levan Alston has left the team. McQuitty is a technically sound
receiver with solid athleticism, I think he sees the field early.
I’m really excited about Tristan Gebbia. The kid is already a leader
and he’s not even on campus yet. I’ll be anxious to see how he is once
he’s working out with the team.
Q: Now that Andrew Ward has committed… Who’s next? – S.
JJ: The Jan. 7 weekend will be a big few days for Nebraska, as Foster Sarell, Chuck Filiaga and Jamire Calvin will all be committing that day. I feel good about Nebraska going 2-of-3 on those guys. Prior to Jan. 7, your best bet at a commit is still Sachse, Texas, defensive tackle Damion Daniels.
Q: OK, be honest… Can Nebraska beat Tennessee? – H., Neb.
BV: I wouldn’t call it probable, but it’s not unthinkable either. Everyone is aware of what’s missing for Nebraska in this game, but the one edge the Huskers might have is the edge I value more than all others — coaching. Anything can happen in one game, but over the long run the better coach tends to win in college football.
JJ: The biggest thing that Nebraska has working in its favor is that the offensive line is completely healthy entering this game and Tennessee can’t stop the run. Nebraska will have to run for 250+ for me to give the Huskers a shot to win this game, but they have the advantage in the trenches to do so.
Q: What do you think about Adidas’ bowl game apparel for the Huskers? Anything you wish you could have for yourself? – A.
JJ: I love grey sweatsuits. Hate grey on everything else related to football, but love them on sweatsuits.
ES: I want one of the backpacks they got. If you want a little look at everything, this tweet will do the trick:
Q: Is Ryker Fyfe one of the better walk-on QBs Nebraska has ever had? – M.B.
JJ: Yes, but Monte Christo is better, if only because of the name.
Q: What’s going on with the men’s basketball program? – R.C., Papillion, Neb.
JP: Well, that’s not a very specific question. Overall, the team is struggling, mostly because of the combination of a lack of experience and a lack of shooting. If teams don’t have to at least respect Nebraska’s shooters, then it is going to be difficult for them to score. And if you can’t score, it’s going to be tough to win games. I think their lack of consistent scoring is why they’ve been susceptible to losses to bad teams like we’ve seen in each of the last three years. Tim Miles said when he got to Nebraska his focus was building a strong defensive foundation, but at a certain point you need to have scorers as well. I think he’s tried addressing that with some of his recent recruiting classes, but he didn’t get any one-and-done type players who are ready to make a big immediate impact. These guys are still trying to find their way and there aren’t enough difference-making upperclassmen to allow the freshmen and sophomores to develop slowly.
Q: How many people calling for Miles’ job know diddly squat about coaching a college basketball team? – H.G.
JJ: 99 percent.
ES: Not many of us know what it’s like to coach, do we? That’s always the joy about this sort of thing. I coach high school cheerleaders and I’m sure people have their opinions on what I could or should be doing differently. I’d say it’s a part of the job and Miles knows that, just like Mike Riley, John Cook or anyone else.
Q: What was your best Christmas gift this year? – L., Lincoln, Neb.
JJ: I got the football coaching bible by the AFCA from my mom this year. Already 100 pages into it.
ES: It’s hard to narrow because I got some really nice things, but I will say the best gift was definitely the time I had with the people I love. Corny, I know. It’s true though.
Q: Best Christmas gift ever? – L., Lincoln, Neb.
BV: For sheer excess and excitement, probably the USS Flagg. In terms of years of use, my original Nintendo got a workout.
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.