Consider this a column, where I write about a whole bunch of different things that may or may not include the Nebraska Cornhuskers. I'm still trying to come up with a column name. These will include some links like the "Corn Flakes" series we do, but they'll also include short bits I can't fit into full stories.
Holy cow, the Winter Olympics are almost upon us. I don't know why, but I thought they started in another three weeks or so, which just goes to show you how well I'm doing on time. There's no football games to reference (as in, oh, yeah that's the same week we play Kansas State), so when right now everything tends to blur together.
I enjoy the Winter Olympics. The sports have fascinated me since I was a kid. Spencer Hall wrote a bit over at SBNation.com about ABC's Wide World Of Sports and Franz Klammer's downhill assault in 1976 that I think best describes what captivated me as a kid. The people who compete in these sports are insane.
I don't know if you've used it, but the SBNation.com home page has grown quite a bit over the past few months. Take a look at it as an alternative to other major sports sites and let me know what you think. You might want to consider using the site to follow the Winter Olympics. Am I a shill? You betcha.
Facebook Connect Comes to SB Nation
You should be noticing a new feature today on Corn Nation, along with other SB Nation sites. Facebook integration will become available via Facebook Connect. We will have more information on what this means later today.
Jermarcus Hardrick, Lavonte David, And Character in Recruiting
Before signing day I got the chance to talk with Jeff Sims, the head coach at Fort Scott Community College who coached Brandon Kinnie, along with two recruits this season - Jemarcus "Yoshi" Hardrick and Lavonte David.
It was a fairly lengthy conversation, I appreciate the time he gave me. A fair amount of it had nothing to do with the new Huskers, but about dealing with young men and coaching, and how he can successfully coach teams when so many of his players transfer to Division I schools after only two years. I'll leave most of that stuff between myself and Sims, and give you what you're looking for - some information about two of Nebraska's newest recruits.
About Hardrick, Sims told me the same thing he told Steve Sipple - "he's (Hardrick) the meanest football player I've ever seen in my life." Sims asked me to take a look at Hardrick's hilight videos on youtube, and notice how when he locks onto a guy he doesn't stop until the guy is on the ground. Here's one for you - the guy is a monster.
His nickname, "Yoshi", I thought was odd. It's a generational thing for me. Why would you want a nickname after a little green guy who lays eggs and sticks his tongue out all the time? Sims said Hardrick has had the nickname since he was a kid and he likes it. Besides, his brother's name is Mario. Enough said, it makes sense.
Regarding Lavonte David, Sims related that he's a natural football player. He's very football intelligent, and doesn't need to be taken off the field because he can play both pass and run very well. His knowledge might allow him to have a quick impact in 2010.
Sims was quick to point out, as he did when I interviewed him about Brandon Kinnie last year, that people need to temper their expectations with new players. Hardrick (I'm going to have to get used to calling him "Yoshi") will have a huge advantage because he's in Nebraska for spring ball, but David won't arrive until the fall. David may have a quick impact because of his football smarts, but it will take both players time to adjust to being in Nebraska.
I asked about academics and character with regards to both players. Sims pointed out that Hardrick graduated in 18 months, and that he's a coachable guy, and he'll do what his coaches teach him to do. About David, "He's a guy that will look you in the eye, a stand up guy". Sims finished by stating "Nebraska doesn't get second-class citizens" and that those coaches always go after people who have good character.
Husker fans have always been skeptical of JUCO players, as if they were too bad to get into a real school. After having a few conversations with Sims, I know that's not the case. They simply weren't ready for a larger environment, and the JUCO prepares them for it. Whether David and Hardrick can have an impact in 2010 remains to be seen, but given Sims endorsement, I'm ready to take that bet. I'm in good company though. So were the Pelini brothers.