Questions were not coming in, but then I threatened to create my own questions and just talk to myself, which led to people sending questions. So, I will answer those questions. However, one day I am going to just answer my own queries and people will have to deal with the answers.
@InTheBleachers blake bell is rumored to be moving to tight end. how difficult will it be to get him up to speed fast enough to contribute?— Allen Kenney (@BlatantHomerism) January 31, 2014
Honestly, it will depend upon just how accepting he is of the change, how hard he works and how truly talented he is as an athlete. A lot of times guys get labeled as good athletes, but what that really means is "good athlete for a quarterback." So proving his true athleticism will be the first hurdle for Blake Bell.
Tight end means doing a gang of things that Bell has really never done before. Putting his hand in the dirt. Firing off the ball. Crashing into people on purpose. Blocking for the run and for the pass. Running routes and catching footballs.
I think the mental element will be easy for him, from an "understanding what his assignments are" standpoint. However, most quarterbacks are just quarterbacks, and transitioning from nobody touching them and either handing off or throwing to actively looking to get physical is not easy. There have been players who have done it, over time, but it is a tough "instant" flip to make.
If I'm guessing, I think there will be some smaller things that he can learn quickly, and that will be his niche as a player. Perhaps part of a bigger tight end package, with a couple of Y-pop opportunities worked in, but I doubt he overtakes guys who have been playing the position for years.
@InTheBleachers You want a question? What are your thoughts on fans talking with recruits through social media trying to sell their school?— Eric (@slicksickle) January 31, 2014
My thoughts are pretty simple on this: Don't do it. Outside of the fact that it is a violation, the fact is it just is relatively useless and many times creepy. The Subway Domer has done a great job of reiterating this point, on a near yearly basis, and I wholeheartedly agree with him. A good buddy and co-worker, Adam Kramer, also has a solid article with similar points.
In a nutshell, leave the kids alone. Signing day is about the team, the players and the coaches. Fans get to watch—contacting them is an insertion of the fan into an event that is not about them. Especially with all of the ugly things floating around on Twitter once Jimmy Touchdown decides not to go to someone's school because he prefers to be elsewhere.
Stay away, stay away, stay away. Do not be a part of the problem. If you have friends who contact recruits, ask them to stop. If you are a person who contacts recruits, I am asking you to stop. Just don't do it.
@InTheBleachers Is there a Groundhog Day equivalent for Skies Out Thighs Out Season?— Moojenowski (@MajewskiTony) January 31, 2014
Given the way temperatures are looking for Groundhog Day here in Charlotte, I will probably have on shorts. So, as always Sky's Out, Thighs Out. I'll likely have to put my Uggs on when the sun goes down, but I keep the shorts game strong year round. After all, I live in a house with a good heating system, so I can regulate the temperature of my house to a nice, shorts-friendly 67 degrees.
Nope. Not never.
I think the state of the Nebraska program, right now, is pretty good, honestly. If Taylor Martinez does not get injured, forcing inexperienced quarterbacks to play, I think that the Huskers would have won a game or two more and that would be a positive.
The college landscape is so wildly different now than when Nebraska was one of the major powers. Every team is on television on the national scale, and every school is working hard to get the good players. That means when Nebraska goes to Texas, it has to outscrap Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, LSU, Baylor, Texas Tech and others for a kid.
And it has to do that without the benefit of traveling to Texas for games.
The same goes with California and Florida, two places with tons of talent but plenty of schools fighting the Huskers to get the players. Recruiting, for Nebraska, is harder than for other places because it has to go so far and cast such a wide net to hopefully get results that keep the team in the Top 35 nationally and in the top half of the Big Ten.
Mix in the fact that Nebraska is a tough place to visit, and the Huskers are in a tight spot in a recruiting world that is built on relationships. Those interactions come, not just through phone calls and letters, but also in face-to-face meetings on unofficial visits. Teams cultivate those relationships by getting kids to campus as often as possible.
Unfortunately, for Nebraska, an unofficial visit to Nebraska is not within a lot of recruits' budgets financially or time-wise. Prospects must pay for unofficial trips, and for Nebraska that means either a plane ticket and then a rental car, or a drive from several hours away. That is tough on families, and it hurts Nebraska.
With how tough it is to get elite talent, at all positions, to Nebraska consistently, I think it is going to be tough for the team to return to the glory days many people remember.
I've got another one from Matt Zemek, but I need to think about it more, so I'm holding it until next week!