2011 Nebraska Cornhuskers: Biggest Offseason Move

Mark BrunswigContributor IAugust 19, 2011

Barney Cotton, Nebraska Cornhusker Oline Coach
Barney Cotton, Nebraska Cornhusker Oline Coach

Hello everyone, and thank you for dropping by.  As summer winds down and "Fall Camp" is nearing its halfway point, I thought it was time to get back to writing. 

We are going to start with the biggest change of the offseason.  I'm sure there will be other thoughts on it, but in all honesty, the biggest move made by Bo Pelini was adding extra support to Barney Cotton and the offensive line coaching staff.   

You loyal Husker fans out there remember a guy named Milt Tenipor, manufacturer of the Big Red Pipe Line.  Milt was the brains behind the plant, but what Coach Tenipor had that coach Cotton has not had up until this year is some assistants to help produce reps in practice.

Coach Pelini added all one Cotton could possibly need: a smart down to earth type who was a center, and a pretty good one at that, earning All Big 12 honors multiple years.  John Garrison is technically a Offensive Line assistant/TE coach, but something tells me those TEs might work on catching with Coach Fisher.  One paid assistant is a good start, but it gets better.

Former All-American, pancake master and AFC Champion Brenden Stai is a unpaid intern.  For the second straight year, a Husker program lands a ex-pro unpaid intern, the other being new head baseball coach Darin Erstad.   Although I don't see Stai landing the lead man role next year like Erstad.  Stai brings a long career of NFL knowledge with him, and I'm sure there is a little spark if needed to start a fire under a kids backside.

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Now you're talking, Bo; we've got three guys to work with the largest group of players at practice.

Oh, but he's not done; the head man finds another set of eyes to help out.  Vince Marrow, a former NFL TE, joins the coaching staff as a grad assistant to make sure there is ample eyes and hands on the offensive line. 

Speaking of said offensive line, not only we do we have four solid coaches, but the Huskers have managed to stock pile talented offensive linemen and TEs.

Everyone continues to rave about the most recent class of freshman linemen.  Over the past three years, though, Nebraska has sold out on linemen, as it should be.  Want proof a good line can make all the difference? Look at Mike Anderson and the Denver Broncos.

The latest class had four, if not all five of them, who were at least four star kids coming out of high school. The prior two classes had guys like Jeremiah Sirles, Brent Qvale, Andrew Rodrigez, Jemarcus Hardrick and Jake Cotton. One might look to see a few youthful faces on the field this year in the trenches for the Big Red.    

Of the stellar freshman that made it to Lincoln, Tyler Moore's the most likely to see the field I would say, especially if Marcel Jones continues to have health problems.  Moore has all the tools, and it just seems very unlikely to see a redshirt for Moore. 

The kid that has me most excited, though, is Ryan Reeves. At 6'3" 300 lbs. and with a high football IQ, he is almost tailor made for the center position.  Caputo is going to need some rest this year. He is an ox, but he does give up a large amount of weight most the time.  You would like to see Cole Pensik or Mark Pelini step up and take some of those reps.  If that is possible, then Reeves redshirts and he starts for three or four years, or he plays this year and is a three-year starter for the Cornhuskers.

Ryan Klachko has a good chance to see time in the rotation at guard this year.  Ryan is very physical with a high motor and might become Brenden Stia's junior.  Klachko's chance of playing this year took a small hit wit the emergence of Jake Cotton at the guard position. It still seems as if there is a spot open at the guard position. A redshirt year is fairly unlikely for Klachko.

The last freshman linemen, Givens Price and Zack Sterup, have bright futures.  The hope for Sterup is he is able to redshirt and build some mass.  Tackle seems like a natural fit for Zack, and aside from a complete meltdown, Sterup's odds of redshirting are pretty high.

Givens Price is almost a guaranteed redshirt, even though at 16, the kid is 6'4", 275 lbs.  Still, he is very young, and his body needs a year to mature. Next year, when he's 17, he'll be between 295 and 300 lbs.  Price has tons of potential and would be the first candidate, I would think,  to switch positions if needed.

Overall, Big Red Nation should be excited for the new season, joining the B1G.  

The reopening of the pipeline facility will also hopefully be reason for excitement.

Thanks for dropping in.