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Nebraska Football

Hot Reads: The 6 Best-for-Nebraska Tweets from the BTN Visit

August 20, 2018
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Nebraska fans know the deal by now. The Big Ten Network bus tour stops by Lincoln (because it stops by every school in August), the crew watches a practice and shares some mostly good impressions from the visit (because it's in their interest to share mostly good impressions about every school) and it's just like chumming the water. People are hungry for football news right now and one two-hour practice, well, that's more than the rest of the media has seen.

We collected all of the observations from Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith, and you probably saw those at some point over the weekend. If you want an interesting exercise, here's the same post from 2017. Go back and compare the topics and tenor from last year to this one.

I won't be doing that here. Instead I wanted to do a quick top six here. Not the best tweets, but the best-for-Nebraska observations. If everything that was shared on Saturday turns out to be absolutely (or even mostly) true, which sights/sounds/sayings would mean the most for the Huskers in 2018?

Here we go.

No. 6

Look at that, a tackle for loss (or at worst a stop at the line). Not only does Nebraska need some of those in 2018, that this one came from redshirt freshman Damion Daniels (working against Hunter Miller it appears) only makes it more encouraging. DiNardo raved about Mick Stoltenberg elsewhere, but if Daniels can supply some negative plays and give the Huskers' a solid rotation at defensive tackle all the better.

No. 5

This isn't the most exciting of clips, but that an outside observer thought to take video of Cam Taylor at all means that (a) he's impressive enough on his own to catch the attention of Revsine or (b) the BTN crew was tipped off to Taylor's rapid rise this summer. Even if it's the latter, that still means Jones is making an impression. Nebraska needs playmakers at corner. If Taylor is able to offer that the Huskers all of the sudden have more immediate depth than you would've thought back in the spring.

No. 4

This one gets a slight boost because it was Griffith's only tweet during the visit. The former Illinois and NFL fullback went to Lincoln and mentioned one thing: "The new running back looks really good." If that ends up saying a lot, Nebraska is a lot better off in 2018.

No. 3

Last week's comments sort of scrambled my immediate expectations for who will play quarterback right away in 2018, but I don't care who's throwing it, this is a nice pass. True freshman-to-true freshman doesn't hurt either.

No. 2 

I don't know if you noticed the same, but I never felt that DiNardo was on board for the Mike Riley era. That's not a criticism. In hindsight, it's more interesting that he was able to convey (or unable to avoid) that given the potential for bias towards any Big Ten school by a representative of the conference network. But he seems to be way on board for the Scott Frost era, and that memory made most of DiNardo's comments stick out this time around. Purdue was one of the biggest surprise teams of 2017 under Jeff Brohm. Projected to win 2.6 games, the Boilermakers won six in the regular season.

No. 1

It's been a while since Nebraska's offensive line has truly been a strength. And DiNardo's comments here don't mean it will be in 2018 necessarily. He separates Ohio State and Wisconsin into their own, elite category. The group DiNardo does compare the Huskers to has won a bunch of games but was a little hit-or-miss in terms of line play in 2017. Michigan ran the ball well but struggled to protect the passer. Michigan Stat was the opposite based on Football Outsiders' o-line stats. Penn State was more middle-of-the-road in most categories. There wasn't really a great group in there in 2017, but each of those teams won at least eight games. Of course, DiNardo wasn't really talking about obscure offensive line numbers, he was talking about appearance and one practice.

But even that could represent significant progress. Those programs DiNardo mentioned are, in a five-year window, Nebraska's closest recruiting contemporaries in the Big Ten. Ohio State is off in its own category and Penn State is getting close, but Nebraska can recruit like Michigan and Michigan State. It has nearly recruited like those two, and that was during some lean years. Yet the offensive line production trended closer to average (at best) than upper-third of the conference.

If the Huskers are starting to get that level of production starting this year, that's a very good sign on a few different fronts and it might make an immediate difference in the win column.

If we can take such a comment at face value, of course, or even something close to it. That's always the question.

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