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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Losing Sucks. Developing Talent Sucks Worse.

Jonas Gray is a prized 4-star recruit out of Detroit that has committed to the 2008 Husker recruiting class who chose NU over Michigan, Michigan State, Louisville, Ohio State and Florida to name a few. He is ranked the #4 running back and #47 overall by After seeing what Callahan and Co. have done to develop 5-star recruit Marlon Lucky in his career, I was interested in seeing where this stud recruit is at because obviously he isn’t going to improve once he steps foot on campus under the current regime. Here is a video of his commitment and a work-out.

His straight up and down running style is eerily similar to Dahran Diedrick. It looks like he barely passes the ‘paper test.' The chalk is going to have alot of tackles over the next 4 years. Do you call that skipping or running?

Kenny Demens, his best friend, high school teammate, and 4 star outside linebacker, was suppose to be a package deal with Gray. Where Gray went, Demens would follow. Demens is 6’1, 225 lbs, 4.6 forty and Gray is 5’10, 213 lbs, and 4.44 forty. Both look very impressive by the numbers. The big difference, however, is that Demens' wasn't snowed by the Nebraska coaching staff and was smart enough to realize the reality of the situation.

Now to the point of this rhetoric.

Bottom line is who is going to improve more to get to the next level? Callahan drops his NFL experience to every high school recruit he can. That's the problem. He treats these 'kids' as professional athletes. Sure you can come in and learn a complex NFL playbook, but that's all you'll learn. The fact is that these recruits still need to learn basic football skills and more importantly, what it is to be a college athlete and a part of a team. I remember hearing that Callahan was asked why he wasn't more involved with these players not as a coach but as a mentor. His response? 'My door is always open.'

One thing Callahan supporters have always said is that he can recruit, but for what? If you go by ‘star’ recruits, we should dominate the Big 12 north. Take this as a vent of frustration or take it as a very simple analysis of one recruit. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling, actually I know, that this is just a continuing trend of landing another top recruit that will become victim of an incomprehensible 100 lb. playbook and lack of fundamental coaching.

Gray said that his commitment to Nebraska would bring ‘more power to the class’ and make them ‘a top 3 class’, but who would argue, including Gray, that at this point he would have been better served being part of Demens’ package deal. Regardless if we are a Top 3 class or Top 30 class, it’s all about coaching at this point. Bo Pelini took ragtag players that were terrible the year before to elevate them to the #11 defense in the country in - hold your breath - ONE year. You can’t argue that there is (or was when they first stepped foot on campus) more talent today than then. Not even close.

Sorry Jonas Gray. I am probably wrong and you are probably a really good running back. The only thing I can tell you is that you might be better today than you will be in 4 years. Which is why we, as Husker fans, hope the Bill Callahan experiment has finally come to an end.

Bill, dude, you're done.