Hail Varsity Mailbag
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Mailbag: Transfers, New Numbers and Changing Food Preferences

April 22, 2020

Does anyone actually read this opening line before getting to the questions? Let’s test…

Based on the year you were born, what are the songs you immediately think about or that take you back to the different decades of your life? Songs that instantaneously allow you to remember a moment from that decade? (@Corn_Huskers)  

Erin Sorensen: I was born in 1987 so a lot of songs from the ‘90s take me back. Robyn’s Show Me Love? A bop. Donna Lewis’ album was one of the first I owned. Ants Marching by Dave Matthews Band reminds me of my mom because it played in our house a lot. You Get What You Give by New Radicals has the same effect. I was jamming out to Spice Girls, Britney Spears and NSYNC in the late ‘90s. Songs like Alanis Morissette’s You Oughta Know remind me of summer when it would play on the radio at the pool. There are also specific songs that take me back to key moments in my life: The Remedy by Jason Mraz takes me to the summer I was 15 and in driver’s ed. It played on the radio nearly every day I was in the car. Michelle Branch’s All You Wanted will always take me back to eighth grade when I would listen to it on repeat before going to a football game on a Friday night. Most of Something Corporate’s catalog takes me back to high school, and Jack’s Mannequin takes me back to college. Anyway, I’ll stop this list here because I could go on for awhile. I don’t claim to like good music (but that’s subjective to the person anyway) but music has always defined moments in my life. OK, one more example: After our accident, Beyonce’s Lemonade dropped. I remember the joy I had for that album and to simply be alive to enjoy it. 

Greg Smith: I was born in 1984 so like Erin there are a lot of 90s songs that take me back. I realized the other day that Usher’s My Way album came out in 1997 which seems wild. There is a lot of 90s R&B that I probably shouldn’t have been listening to then that I still listen to now. Joe, Tevin Campbell, Mary J Blige and Jodeci pretty much laid out soundtrack of the 90s for me. Also hearing 90’s Alternative Rock reminds me of my middle school and high school days. I actually listened to Everything You Want by Vertical Horizon just yesterday. Down by 311 is still a classic and in rotation. There are some others from later in life. Where Have You Been by Rihanna will always remind me of being in my favorite bar while living in Chicago after college.   

What food or drink have you realized you either love or can't stand now six weeks into the pandemic? (@Corn_Huskers) 

Brandon Vogel: Realizing I’m kind of out on bell peppers. I don’t dislike them and I will eat them, but I’m starting to realize they don’t really bring much to the party. They’re not that flavorful and the texture isn’t my favorite, so now I’m wondering what the upside is for me and bell peppers. 

GS: When we started this I didn’t like sweet potatoes. Then along the way I liked them. Now I don’t want to look at them. There is probably a reason for this but I can’t find it yet. 

Mike Babcock: My diet is fairly mundane, and not overly healthy. Nothing has changed, really. I eat about the same as always.  

Derek Peterson: I’ve eaten more PB&J sandwiches in the last month than I had in the previous five years. 

It seems like everyone is just assuming JD won't be back next year. Why is that? He hasn't entered the portal yet, and Frost seemed optimistic when talking about it that he would be back. What percentage do you give it that he won't be? (@InDaWilderness)  

ES: I think the lack of information at this point probably doesn’t help. We’d likely have been asking about it through spring ball. Even if we didn’t get clear answers, it would have still provided a little insight (or so I believe) as to what the staff was thinking/preparing for. Without that, we’re just going off hunches and what we’re hearing. I guess I’d give it a 50-50 he returns (but that seems…too optimistic?) because I don’t have a clear enough reason to lean one way or the other more than my personal opinion, but I guess I’d just be surprised if he’s back whenever the team is allowed to practice again. 

Jacob Padilla: Not that I have any rock-solid info, but based on reading the tea leaves and listening to what’s gone around, I’d put it more like 75-25 he doesn’t return, which is why I’m operating as if Nebraska won’t have him this coming season. I think Frost was more 1) trying to keep the door open in the hopes that Spielman might come around and 2) pushing off having to talk about it until it becomes official. 

MB: Agree with Jacob on Frost’s reasoning in not making a definitive statement. Given the situation now, I think it’s even less likely he’ll return and my sense was the odds were heavily against it to begin with. But that was only a sense, based on rumors and so forth. 

DP: Time can change anything, but I’d guess it’s more likely than not he’s not coming back.

Which player would you like to see in the "new" number 0 come fall on both offense and defense? (@Go_Big_Red) 

ES: Back when spring football was still a thing for Nebraska (AKA that first day and the only day), I asked quite a few football players this exact question: Who will grab the 0 jersey first on offense and defense? The answers were unanimous: Luke McCaffrey on offense and Cam Taylor-Britt on defense. I agree with both. 

BV: Cam Jurgens and Keem Green. 

GS: I agree with Brandon even if I can 100% see Luke McCaffrey doing it. 

MB: Agree with Erin. Not sure 0 works for an offensive lineman. 

JP: Not exactly sure why, but I think it might be cool to see Keyshawn Greene running sideline to sideline with 0 on his chest/back down the road. 

DP: I will be writing a standalone piece about this exact thing, so I will save my answers for then. None of my suggestions have been named, here, though.

What's the deal with so many young men leaving the program? It's alarming to think that the team next year will be mostly brand new again. But, a lot of fans don't know the ins and outs of the program, so we aren’t seeing what's really going on. (@jroge94) 

MB: Not sure this is just a Nebraska issue, but it is concerning. And including women’s basketball players . . .  

JP: To a certain extent, this is the way Fred Hoiberg runs his program with Matt Abdelmassih as his lead recruiter who is always looking to upgrade the roster. Get used to the program bringing in transfers every year. That being said, I’m not sure the extent of it that we’ve seen will be the norm moving forward. The team went 7-25 this year, so Nebraska probably needed a whole new team. And that’s the key – if all these guys were good this season then the staff would have had a harder time finding upgrades. But add the on-court struggles with the off-court issues some of the departures had and it’s not surprising to see Hoiberg hit the reset button again. If guys like Dalano Banton and Teddy Allen and others are as good as expected and the team has more success, Hoiberg will have a core he can believe in and bring back. He had a lot of turnover every year at Iowa State, but he also had some key pieces that played two, three or four years for him. He’s still looking for those guys at Nebraska. 

DP: I will provide two tweets and then one line.



Now, the line: To call what’s going on a revolving door is certainly premature, for all the reasons Jacob pointed out, but also because it’s been one year; look at this in the same light you would the 2018 signing class for Scott Frost.

So… could NU put hologram fans in Memorial Stadium if actual fans aren’t allowed? Asking for a friend… (@Sal_Vasta3)  

ES: Is your friend Bill Moos? 

BV: Cover the seats with screens and then have everyone join via Zoom. Just a giant wall of Zoom faces. 

JB: One of the schools at the boys state basketball tournament this year made “fans” with paper plate heads and set them up in the empty seats next to their small cheering section. Maybe Nebraska could do that. 

Seems like more recruits will be committing soon. Any go NU’s way? (@Sal_Vasta3) 

GS: Eventually. But Nebraska’s “thing” isn’t quick commitments that won’t last. They do not pressure kids into committing for that reason. I’m preaching patience here because I’m very curious to see how many commitments made during quarantine stick come December and February. 

Have you made your own sourdough bread yet? Or tried any baking projects you’ve never done before while being in quarantine? (@Sal_Vasta3) 

BV: Towards the end of 2019, in the before times, I was getting pretty into sourdough—I recommend Flour Water Salt Yeast (https://kensartisan.com/flour-water-salt-yeast) if you’re interested—but now that everyone is doing it, I’ve stopped. Gotta zig when they zag. Kidding. That’s not the real reason. The sourdough method I was using was pretty flour intensive in that it required a lot and that didn’t seem like a good idea to me in these times. I have, however, spent more time smoking large cuts of meat because that takes a while and gives you a lot of options for about a week. Also, while not exactly baking, I did make this pan pizza over the weekend. Highly recommend it. 

MB: Me, bake something? I don’t think so. 

DP: Funny enough, we made homemade bread literally our first week.

Has the current sports situation allowed any of you to take a step back & enjoy things you haven’t had the chance the partake in for a while? (@Jeremy_J_KCSR) 

ES: Yes and no. I miss sports, and I was also pretty good at turning sports off when I needed a break. I never felt like I had to sit down and watch a game if I needed to do something else. Now that we don’t have them at all? I’ve actually spent less time on Twitter, which is probably for the best in some ways. I’ve walked my dogs more than normal, gotten back into Animal Crossing (a blessing and a curse) and just tried to enjoy whatever a day brings as I’m able. 

GS: Not really for me. The only thing that was happening that was must see for me was Lakers games and everything I can of pop in and out of. That’s until we get to college and high school football season but that’s a different story because work is tied into that. I have done more walks with the dog. I haven’t done nearly as many other activities as I thought I would.  

MB: Considering how long sports have been the focus of my working life, stepping back probably should have been difficult. I’ve occasionally looked at Nebraska’s baseball schedule and imagined what I would’ve been doing. And I miss being around friends in the media, talking with coaches and so forth. But I’ve adapted. I retweet Hail Varsity stuff but still don’t post and have slowly, but consistently, lost followers. So it goes. 

JP: I’m quite bad at time management (and keeping a proper sleep schedule), so I still haven’t gotten around to trying many new things or getting back into old ones. I cracked open a book but haven’t made much progress. One thing I am doing is taking a lot more walks through my neighborhood; I can’t play pick-up basketball so I’ve got to find some way to get a bit of exercise and that’s really my only option. 

If JD doesn’t return to Nebraska, can he transfer within the Big Ten? I’m not sure if he graduated and could be a grad transfer within the conference. (@ChubbyPenguin_N) 

DP: I could be wrong but the last I checked Spielman’s academic info on Huskers.com, his major was listed as undeclared. Without knowing specifics, I would think a grad transfer isn’t in the cards. The NCAA is, at some point in the near future, going to vote on the one-time transfer waiver for the upcoming season; that will provide clarity.

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