In what shouldn’t come as much of a surprise — particularly if you’ve read Pro Football Focus over the past year — former Huskers safety Nathan Gerry is having a productive week in Mobile, Alabama, in preparation for the Senior Bowl.
It started on this always-uncomfortable note…
…and has continued through practices throughout the week.
If it’s just about body type or ability, Gerry feels like a pretty safe bet for the draft, but, of course, there’s that other stuff. His senior season was bookended by suspensions. Gerry missed the opener in 2016 against Fresno State for an unspecified violation of team rules and missed the Music City Bowl against Tennessee for academic reasons.
Gerry spoke with Eric Edholm of Yahoo! Sports this week about those incidents, which are sure to come up as NFL teams make their evaluations:
Huskers message boards lit up when Gerry’s suspension was announced, and many expressed their disappointment in how his career ended. Gerry said he understood fans’ reactions to the news, but he feels most of them had proper perspective on the matter.
“You just have to swallow the bullet sometimes,” he said. “At the end of the day, I think a lot of them appreciated the work that I put in over my four years.”
NFL teams ultimately might not care if a prospect is academically motivated, but it also represents a lack of responsibility to some teams that will view the multiple suspensions as a negative — and they’ll dig to find out what the first one was for. Gerry said he’s trying to convince them that it won’t be the type of problem that leaks into his pro career.
“I just have to take responsibility, and I believe I can and have,” he said. “I’m trying to show teams I am responsible.”
My guess (and I’m far from a draft expert): There’s little question Gerry gets drafted (mid-rounds) unless the NFL sleuths turn up something off-the-field that is hidden even in the rumor circles of Nebraska. He’s too big and fast not to get a shot.
Nebraska basketball wasn’t quite able to get over the hump last night against Northwestern, dropping its fifth straight game. Jacob Padilla has your recap here.
Also, Jake Jensen took a little bit closer look at Elijah Blades decommitment and what it could mean for Nebraska.
The Grab Bag
- Commit to a school, or commit to a coach? Eric McKinney of ESPN looks at one of the toughest questions facing recruits.
- Pro Football Focus highlights the top returning offensive linemen in college football.
- Brent Wagner of the Lincoln Journal Star looks at the players, most of them local, who choose to walk-on at Nebraska over scholarship offers elsewhere.
- Ian Boyd asks if our definition of a “pro-style” offense needs to change as actual pro offenses are changing.
Today’s Song of Today
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.