As of just about a few hours ago the Hail Varsity 2018 Husker Football Yearbook is officially at the printer. Nearly 200 pages of Nebraska football goodness will be arriving on newsstands and in mailboxes shortly. To give you a preview of what's inside, here's a short excerpt:
For 40 years Nebraska football revved in the red. Or maybe it just ran there. There wasn’t much variation. On college football’s tachometer, no program went as hard as Nebraska did as consistently as Nebraska did between 1962 and 2001.
Since then? It’s been a whole lot of gray. When will the Cornhuskers return to the top of the game? How will the Cornhuskers to return to the top of the game? Will the Cornhuskers return to the top of the game? Everything was muddy, rendered with all the variety of the sepia tones of Dorothy’s twister-torn Kansas farmhouse.
But if you’ve woken up in Nebraska at any point in 2018 perhaps you’ve noticed that things now feel more like the moment The Wizard of Oz drops into color. The greens are greener. The red shoes redder. The path forward, well, you can’t miss it. The streets and trees and fields and Sea are all super saturated with belief now.
Nebraska football still has much to prove of course. The offense will be pure video-game fun –– at some point. The defense will fly around and force fumbles and make plays –– soon? You can be dropped over the rainbow overnight, but you still have to find your way.
That’s what the 2018 football season will be about, but this much is already clear: It looks a lot more fun in full color.
That all might make a little more sense with a first-look at the 2018 Yearbook cover.
The cover subject may not be a surprise, but we're excited to debut our first illustrated Yearbook cover. The illustration is by Mario Zucca. His work has been featured by the New York Times, ESPN: The Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter and the late, great Grantland among many others.
To get the full context of "Full-Color Football" you'll have to pick up a copy of the Yearbook, but I think you'll like what you find. Highlights include:
- A 20-year breakdown of the twisting-and-turning paths Nebraska football and Scott Frost took from the night of the 1998 Orange Bowl to the day Frost returned to Lincoln.
- "A bunch of Coke machines with heads." That's how one former Husker great described one of the great Nebraska offensive lines to editor Mike Babcock in a story that looks back at the high standard the new Huskers up front have to hit.
- There was a time when wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey dreamed of being a Duck and playing for Scott Frost. He'll get his chance, but it'll be in red, as staff writer Jacob Padilla details in his feature.
- Staff writer Derek Peterson does a deep dive on "Possession-and-10," the opening plays of drives. They're telling you a lot about how those drives finish, and that will be particularly true in Nebraska's new offense.
- Recruiting analyst Greg Smith recounts the recruitment of linebacker Caleb Tannor, not just a great get for the Huskers in the 2018 class but perhaps a key to unlocking the door to one of the most talented areas on the recruiting map.
- What's on Mario Verduzco's bookshelf? I sat down with Nebraska's quarterbacks coach to talk about exactly that, a conversation that ranges from Nietzsche to Pope Benedict XVI and includes a lot of details about quarterback play in between.
- The stunning and singular portrait photography of Paul Bellinger is back for a third straight year. You'll also find 50 pages of Nebraska position previews, more than 30 pages of opponent previews and much more.
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