Welcome to Mash, a daily analysis of Nebraska athletics stories to know and anything else that piques our interest along the way.
The Nebraska Corners are likely to face the toughest test of their youth season on Saturday against a wide-open Georgia South attack.
That means we’ll likely see the biggest focus on Tommy Hill’s move to Arizona on the edge of defense. Since arriving on campus, Hill’s athletic ability has been praised by the Nebraska coaching staff.
Nebraska coaches also said this week that Hill is working to align the emotional side of football with his physical talents.
“That passion, that energy, it’s like fire,” said Eric Chinander, Nebraska State defense coordinator. “If used correctly it can warm the house, if used incorrectly, the pacifier can burn. I want that feeling, I want that passion, you just have to use it to your advantage.”
Hill has eight tackles, two breakout passes, and one center back rushing through two games. Nebraska would like to see a spin or two on Saturday.
The impact of the transfer gate and the NIL has been well documented in football and basketball, but coaches in another sport faced the crossroads of the seismic changes sweeping college athletics for the first time this summer.
College baseball coaches have found themselves in a deep slump over the changes brought about by the Gateway and the NIL this summer, with a tight summer schedule set as a variable.
The gate used to be an accepted part of college baseball, but the addition of zero-tolerance opportunities resulted in transfers—and hiring transfers of up to 11 people. I interviewed Nebraska baseball recruiting coordinator Lance Harvell for our occasional “Recruiting Files” series last month, and Harvell detailed how the summer was different for Will Bolt and his staff.
“This summer, everything has been turned upside down,” Harvell said. “It’s not that the transfer gate just came up because this has been around for a few years now, but you combine that with NIL and it just exploded. The way I explained it to people: the transfer gate, it wasn’t the numbers of players there, but it was quality more than quantity. There are guys out there. Of all the players and guys who have been freshmen for three or four years, conference players of the year and all the Americans that walk into the gate and you’re like, “What in the world is going on?”
“Aside from the sheer volume of players, in some schools you can put together a full lineup and rotate the weekend out of the gate. You talk about rat race, that’s Doozy. You can have the best hand and everyone you talk to wants to pull the trigger and commit. Then you can Spending weeks in the desert where you want, “I can’t even return a phone call.” Gate tides – they give and end. The highs and lows, you just never know.”
Nebraska Baseball has signed the 24th transfer class according to American Baseball, and several upcoming transfers will play roles on the hill and on the field next spring. This does not mean that it was easy to assemble the class.
The baseball calendar is a bit unique compared to other sports. After the season ended in May or June for players, the portal quickly filled up. Instead of players making visits to potential relocation destinations, many headed to the summer ball across the country, and many chose to stick with the new, unseen schools.
I’ll get more from Harvell in the next installment of “Recruiting Files” next week, including Rob Childress’s interest as a monk for the Transfer Portal, Harvell’s best expedition job and much more.
Saturday’s Nebraska visit list certainly focuses on in-state talent, especially in future classes. A couple caught my eye?
2024 rim defender Henry Prochaska of Elkhorn South, who has had a solid summer on the camp track and is clearly the Huskers’ younger brother who started the left tackle.
2024 Lincoln Southeast Line operator Cooper Johnson will be on campus as well. Johnson is playing right in the Southeast this year, and at 6-foot-5, 285 pounds, he’s making headlines, especially when paired with 2023 Nebraska commits Gunnar Gottula. Johnson could also be a next-level goalkeeper.
Also important is the return of Topeka (Candy) athlete BJ Kanadi in 2024 to campus. Kennedy has been a multiple visitor to Lincoln and holds performances from most of the major Power-5 schools in the Midwest. The four-star prospect has been a longtime goal for Husker’s assistant Bill Bosch.
Finally, we’re about 24 hours from Nebraska and South Georgia. Got your suit of detergent?
Petition to return feathered hats in the name of #husker Game clothes.
(Football game, 1937) pic.twitter.com/F05gficqhC
– UNL Archives (UNLarchives) September 9, 2022