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Recipe for success


Hans Gruber

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Everyone is discussing what head coach to hire next or what the expectations should be at Nebraska.

 

I have a different question. How do you think Nebraska should build its football team and program (or progruhm for the Southerns) going forward? No coaching names. Just ingredients.

 

Should Nebraska run the option to mask a lack of elite talent locally? Or should Nebraska find a way to get top 15 recruiting classes ever year?

 

Should they lean on JUCOs? Or should they only give out 12 scholarships to high school kids each year and lean on the transfer portal?

 

Do they coach up kids within 250 miles and hope they play harder? Or do they recruit more talented kids from farther away that are more likely to transfer?

 

Do you want Nebraska to schedule nonconference cupcakes to up their win total, or schedule the best nonconference teams each season?

 

What do you think is the best formula for success at Nebraska in the 2020s and 30s?

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I'm open to ideas. Not saying my idea is the best. But this is what I think.

 

Hire someone that puts a premium on the offensive and defensive lines. Neither needs to be the best in the country, but they need to be physical and tough.

 

I would lean on recruiting high school lineman, linebackers and tight ends within the 500-mile radius and build them up.

 

Then use the transfer portal for high end skill position players. Lean on NIL to try and get those. Preach that O and D lines won't be an issue. Then transfers can hop in and (hopefully) shine quickly with good lines on O and D.

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10 minutes ago, Hans Gruber said:

Everyone is discussing what head coach to hire next or what the expectations should be at Nebraska.

 

I have a different question. How do you think Nebraska should build its football team and program (or progruhm for the Southerns) going forward? No coaching names. Just ingredients.

 

Should Nebraska run the option to mask a lack of elite talent locally? Or should Nebraska find a way to get top 15 recruiting classes ever year?

 

Should they lean on JUCOs? Or should they only give out 12 scholarships to high school kids each year and lean on the transfer portal?

 

Do they coach up kids within 250 miles and hope they play harder? Or do they recruit more talented kids from farther away that are more likely to transfer?

 

Do you want Nebraska to schedule nonconference cupcakes to up their win total, or schedule the best nonconference teams each season?

 

What do you think is the best formula for success at Nebraska in the 2020s and 30s?

Well, Scott mostly had top 20 classes, until this past year, which was a small class. So, that all happened with lots of losing, right? Imagine what Nebraska could do if it won games? Effort and wins , and Nebraska can absolutely recruit top 10-15 classes. It just needs the right people working for them. Dedication, hard workers, hungry dudes, and smarts, and you’ve got a recipe for success. I’ve always maintained, you can win a national championship if you can constantly recruit in the 10-15 range. 

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2 minutes ago, Has Been said:

Well, Scott mostly had top 20 classes, until this past year, which was a small class. So, that all happened with lots of losing, right? Imagine what Nebraska could do if it won games? Effort and wins , and Nebraska can absolutely recruit top 10-15 classes. It just needs the right people working for them. Dedication, hard workers, hungry dudes, and smarts, and you’ve got a recipe for success. I’ve always maintained, you can win a national championship if you can constantly recruit in the 10-15 range. 

 

Bo and Mike Riley each had at least one top 20 class too. I agree that if Nebraska wins games, they can recruit well. 

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Program identity, recruiting to fit you system, player retention and development, especially OL & DL. Factors that have been sorely lacking even before Frost but worse the 4 1/2  years.

 

I'd rather have a #30-40 class of players that fit what you want to do, will stick around and can develop successfully into strong players than a #20 class where half of them leave within 2 years and the remainder show little development even in year 5.

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3 minutes ago, Dogs In A Pile said:

Program identity, recruiting to fit you system, player retention and development, especially OL & DL. Factors that have been sorely lacking even before Frost but worse the 4 1/2  years.

 

I'd rather have a #30-40 class of players that fit what you want to do, will stick around and can develop successfully into strong players than a #20 class where half of them leave within 2 years and the remainder show little development even in year 5.

 

I agree with a lot of this. My assumption is highly-ranked dudes from far away are OK with sticking around Lincoln if Nebraska is winning games.

 

But if Nebraska winning just 3-6 games a year, those guys aren't going to want to stick around. Kind of like the difference between enlisted men and mercenaries historically. 

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I agree with a lot of this. We have tried to rebuild back asswards.  We needed to focus on the foundation of the LOS.  That is what I’d do. Get big dominating nasty guys on the OL and DL and build around them with key skill players in recruiting or the portal. Easier to plug in a RB or WR than an entire OL unit. It’s like we got distracted by the all world slot back but never put the foundation around him to succeed. While we were enamored with the shiny new object Wisconsin and Iowa stole what we should have done. Their line play on both sides of the ball has been much better than ours and then let RB’s like Jonathan Taylor run behind it. Iowa has not had good QBs but TE’s, OL, DL makes them competitive. I have been disappointed in our DL also.  You have a generational player in Suh, a huge defensive history in the Blackshirts, and we never built off of that either in development or finding blue chip recruits on the DL. I’d actually take Suh as my DL coach today. We need some life back on the defensive side of the ball. 
 

Build the lines.

Build the defense.

Then plug in the skill players.

It’s not 2009, I think we can get good enough skill guys to be good. But if your OL can’t protect or open holes and your DL gets no pressure or push upfront it doesn’t matter.  

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I'm glad you asked!   I've had this theory for quite sometime.   The most under recruited position in college football is fullback; even thou these are very versatile athlete's.  recruit the best 5 fullbacks every year.  Analyze them.  the can play multiple positions and make the best special team players.  If they catch the ball well, you can always make them a tight end or Hback.   they have the size and talent to play quite a few positions.  you start winning special teams and the fullback is an extra lineman blocking on pass routes.  It has to help the offense.  Usually they don't move around to different colleges, so all the sudden you have 5th year seniors that have developed.  thanks for listening! 

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Have an identity and stick to it. Power run and pass when you need to. With a dominate line that can run block on the unexpected to the defense. This one back in the backfield in the shotgun on the 2 yard line has got to end. Lead backs and power in close. The west coast offense will work in the Big 10 ie: OSU. But just like the option game.You have to have the players to make it work. Many coaches have said that the option oriented offense can't be stopped "IF" you have the athletes on the line and skilled to pull it off. Trying to pound square pegs into round holes is over. Back to basics and identity will help save our program. Just my 2 cents

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Running the ball, option football, play action, and aggressive man to man defense is what most Nebraskans identify with. In the past it was unique because we were doing it with the most athletic players. A spread option would be ideal. People think of the 90’s and immediately they think running the ball and option.

 

They forget we had a top 5 defense too. Masters at fundamentals. Relentless pass rush, great tackling. The game has changed since then now more teams want to run spread no huddle. I still think being the most physical team is the best mentality to have. Wearing out opponents still happens. It’s something we have to bring back again. And something our fans certainly identify with.

 

We have got to go out and get the absolute best offensive and defensive linemen we can find for starters. Everything starts up front. Something Frost never grasped.

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On offense: power run blocking scheme out of the pistol with an H-back filling the role of a fullback. You can pull play designs from the offset I formation playbook and plug them in with little difficulty. You can go 3-wide for a spread look, or 2-wide and an extra TE (or two) for short yardage situations. With the RB directly behind the QB and not offset to one side or the other, you can run the ball to either side of the formation and, with the H-back and a pulling guard, get a numbers advantage at the point of attack. You can run traps, off tackles, and counters to either side without any complicated changes to the scheme. You can run an aggressive vertical or air raid passing scheme out of the same formation, with the H-back filling the role of the 4th wide out and the RB running checkdown routes in the flats. Best of all, you can still run read options and, with a WR on an orbit motion (something Frost was already doing) you can run a surprise triple option. In short, you can attack both vertically and horizontally in the pass game, and run in the center or attack the edges in the run game. Wherever a defense isn't defending well, this offensive scheme will be able to attack it. 

 

On defense: run a 4-3 with a cover 2 or quarters coverage as the base defense, and a 4-2-5 nickel package and 3-2-6 dime package. D-line responsibilities should preach spill concepts on run fits (stuff the middle, force the RB to cut outside where LB and DB can either tackle them in space, or force them out of bounds before they can turn the corner and get up field). Make them waste time and energy running side to side, not getting up field. D-line should focus on penetration and getting off blocks, even when (or especially when) DE has backside contain; can't stop the cutback, counter or reverse if you can't get off a block. LBs should be taught to fill the gaps that the DL can't. They're lineBACKERS; let the line penetrate as best as they can, and let the LBs clean up if the DL can't stuff it or TFL. LBs should focus on avoiding and shedding blocks, and run tons of drills to that effect. Teach LBs to flow toward the playside; playside OLB cuts off playside bounce outs, MLB cuts off the upfield cut, and backside OLB covers the cutback, each with an eye towards covering any gap the RB tries to choose. Since backside DE will have backside contain on cutback, counter, and reverse, this should result in few open run gaps. If our guys can win hat-on-hat matchups, we'll see a lot of TFLs or short gains. If the opposing OL elects to double team our D-linemen, LBs will be mostly unblocked and able to stuff plays. On run plays, safeties will be coming down to help close gaps; if power concepts and pulling blockers can get to the LBs, either other LBs will clean it up or the safeties will. Run primarily matchup-zone concepts in the secondary; cover zone in short yardage concepts (which typically kill man coverage) that hopefully can smoothly shift to man coverage on longer routes. This takes a lot of concepts from quarters matchup zone philosophy. Be able to rotate into cover 3 when necessary (would require having an OLB capable of being the flat-to-curl defender) or a cover 6 when the opponents are running a lot of quick routes or mesh concepts. Let the D-line be aggressive, teach the LBs how to back then up, and preach a ballhawk mindset in the secondary. Teach them to jump routes wherever they can. Either INT or knock it down. No catch should ever be unopposed. Make the QB afraid to pass it to anyone who isn't wide open, make him hesitate; it'll allow the aggressive D-line to get to him more often. Double moves will be a weakness, though, as will pump fakes; gonna have to have excellent eye discipline and not jump routes until the ball is in the air. 

 

If defense is struggling, slow down the offense, extend drives, and let them rest. If offense is struggling, be more aggressive on D, generate turnovers, and give them more opportunities. Not every play has to be a home run, but every play should be designed to get a first down. Be able to chew clock when necessary, or drive down the field quickly when you must; flexibility is key. But most importantly, play fundamentally sound, disciplined football. 

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Hire the right coach to copy what Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson, etc have done.  It may take years to reach that but that should be the end goal - to put together the recipe that we know can be the best if done correctly.  

 

Don't take chicken soup to a chili cookoff.  

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12 hours ago, Has Been said:

Well, Scott mostly had top 20 classes, until this past year, which was a small class. So, that all happened with lots of losing, right? Imagine what Nebraska could do if it won games? Effort and wins , and Nebraska can absolutely recruit top 10-15 classes. It just needs the right people working for them. Dedication, hard workers, hungry dudes, and smarts, and you’ve got a recipe for success. I’ve always maintained, you can win a national championship if you can constantly recruit in the 10-15 range. 

Top 30 s I think.  
but misleading.  Classes should be rated by position groups.  More indicative.  And retention ratings annually.  That would tell s great deal  more.  
 

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