Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
It's been a rather amazing turn of events since December 12, 2012. The world was supposed to end in nine days, but before the Earth had a chance to spin off its axis, Husker Nation was apparently rocked to its core.
Graduate assistant Vince Marrow tipped his cap and bid adieu to join new Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops.
This caused the No. 1 JUCO tight end in the nation, Beau Sandland, to look elsewhere and defensive end Antoine Miles to decommit after joining Nebraska's class all of nine days earlier.
It's to be expected that there'll be some minor ripples in a program when a graduate assistant leaves, but this seemed a bit excessive. Oh well, right? These things happen.
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini told me via text that he recommended Vince Marrow for Kentucky job. Said it was "a good opportunity."#huskers— Samuel McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) December 12, 2012
I'm terribly sorry, what?
Three things wrong with this statement: Bo Pelini encouraged one of his best recruiters (not even a full-time coach) to leave, he recommended him to an SEC school with another Cardinal Mooney graduate whose last name is Stoops, and this is somehow good for everyone involved.
Pelini lets a guy who's been out-recruiting a large chunk of his staff up and leave? Well, he couldn't keep him, the staff's full.
I'm no Warren Buffet, but when a guy who's been around my outfit for two years is outperforming several of my highly-paid employees who've been around long enough to know how to properly produce, it's time for a good, old-fashioned performance review.
Marrow was getting work done. There's clearly a weak link. Nebraska's football program isn't a clubhouse. A guy may be nice, may be an awesome fishing buddy, but this is business.
Suddenly, Kentucky happens to get very good at recruiting. To the point of flipping well-regarded then-Nebraska commit Marcus McWilson, no less. A Cardinal Mooney graduate, just like Marrow and Stoops.
Fans are mad enough at this development, but this may have gone over like a lead balloon with the entire program. Just ask The Voice of the Huskers.
Husker staff finds that loyalty is not a two way street....and I'm not talking about the young man.#recruitingdarkside— Greg Sharpe (@SharpeGreg) January 29, 2013
...and it doesn't stop there!
Braylon Heard, Nebraska's No. 2 running back in 2012 is now allegedly transferring. Another Cardinal Mooney graduate. Another Kentucky Wildcat? Doubtful that Pelini would allow Heard a release to UK. Ohio? Sure.
Pelini's lock on his old stomping grounds was a critical piece of the Huskers' puzzle for success in the Big Ten, especially with Urban Meyer and Ohio State coming out of the penalty box. Now it's gone.
Marrow and Stoops have formed a regular Cardinal Mooney Connection at Kentucky and the Wildcat faithful are ecstatic. They should be.
Why did this happen? How could this possibly have gone down as poorly as it has?
It all goes back to Pelini's encouragement of Marrow to leave. Taking advantage of "a good opportunity."
Was it good because Marrow could advance his career? I don't think so. Something doesn't add up.
Regardless of where Heard goes, Pelini now has to out-recruit Urban Meyer and the newly-formed Kentucky duo every year.
The stripping of many recruiting restrictions couldn't have come at a better time for Nebraska. I personally detest it, but it may be the only way the Huskers snag quality Ohio prospects now, even from Pelini's own alma mater.
Marrow's departure certainly seems like a good opportunity for him.
Why Pelini allowed such good fortune to happen on his watch and attach his name to it, I have no idea.
What are your thoughts on these developments? Leave your comments below.