“It was hard, because I had my mind set on going to Nebraska, ” Bodtmann said. “It was a dream for me. I’m just moving forward, and I have accepted it.”
On Jan. 15, former West Scranton coach Michael DeAntona was informed by Nebraska assistant coach Mike Ekeler that Bodtmann’s scholarship had been pulled.
A day later, Mr. Ekeler offered Bodtmann a grayshirt, meaning he would not join the team but could enroll at Nebraska on scholarship in January 2010.
“I was pretty shocked,” Bodtmann said. “I thought it over that night, and I just asked him some more questions and took some time to think about it. I wanted to accept the grayshirt, and I asked him what the next step would be.
“But he indicated to me that I should look closely at other options because the opportunities at Nebraska weren’t good.”
It has been rumored that Bodtmann avoided contact with the Nebraska coaching staff after his visit, leading the school to pull its scholarship offer. Bodtmann denies those rumors.
“I never ignored any calls,” he said. “In fact, I was calling them two or three times a week and wasn’t getting an answer. I even sent coach Ekeler a text in December, feeling that I was out of the loop.”
Brian Christopherson explores critics of the 2009 Recruiting Class:
Wrote Mandel: “You know the formula: Hot, young coach takes over at tradition-rich program and puts together a monster class in his first full recruiting year. In fact, it happened the last time the Huskers changed coaches—Bill Callahan landed a top-five class in 2005.
“However, that wasn’t quite the case for Bo Pelini, whose first full class was solid (top 30) but hardly spectacular. The lone ‘star’ is QB Cody Green (Dayton, Texas)—and even he was ranked just 173rd by Rivals.”
It’s worth noting that the 2005 class Mandel mentions averaged 3.33 stars per player, according to Rivals.com. The 2009 Husker class is not far behind in that category, averaging 3.25 stars per player, but had nine fewer players. The 2005 class also had 11 players with four stars and two with five stars (Marlon Lucky and Zackary Bowman). The current class has five four-star players and none with five stars, according to Rivals.
Shortage of Nebraskans. Pelini said the Huskers have not lost interest in recruiting their home state. And likely, the record-low two in-state signees this year is an anomaly.
The Huskers signed Pensick and C.J. Zimmerer and bypassed a few prospects headed to Division I schools, notably Tyrone Sellers (Kansas) and Jon Lechner (Ohio).
The walk-on class is filled with Nebraskans, and the Huskers are off to a good start for 2010 by gaining an early pledge from offensive lineman Andrew Rodriguez of Aurora, Neb.
Shawn Watson wants an increased role in recruiting.
Nebraska had four assistant coaches patrolling California—Ron Brown in San Diego, Marvin Sanders in Los Angeles, Carl Pelini on the Los Angeles outskirts, and Ted Gilmore in northern California. Bo Pelini said he obviously "made my treks through there."