Earlier today, Nebraska football head coach Mike Riley stated that both junior DB Boaz Joseph and senior safety Nate Gerry will miss the Franklin Mortgage Music City Bowl this upcoming week as the Huskers fly Monday to Nashville to take on the Tennessee Vols.
While not a lot of folks are upset about the suspension of Joseph, many folks are wondering why Gerry got to this situation. From Riley himself today, in a “I can’t say why but wink wink nudge nudge” kind of way:
“They didn’t do anything behavior-wise or anything in violation of the rules.”
That statement alone tends to make me believe that this is clearly a academic issue, as in either not passing class, not going to class, or a combo if it all.
For Gerry, he will have now missed all or part of his last 14 games at Nebraska, including being suspended for the opener vs. Fresno State. and targeting ejections to finish the ‘15 season vs. both Iowa and UCLA.
So, what does it mean? A few things:
- The duo of Kieron and Aaron Williams will be first in the game, with Antonio Reed in the game to help out when needed. Riley specifically mentioned Reed in his post-practice comments, so we’ll see if it’s another bowl game that Antonio steps up.
- Gerry’s has to explain himself, but he may only do it to NFL scouts in this case. He has hurt a lot of Nebraska fans who backed him for the duration of his eligibility, but at the same time this is a bad look for him.
- Will the person that is the leader in the back 7 step up in this game? Will that be Josh Banderas? Maybe Josh Kalu or Chris Jones. Either way, Gerry is out and won’t be the guy to help them out.
When Gerry had Bo Pelini in town to mind, the coach would make sure that “troubled players” would have help getting to class, whether it was other players or GA’s or such. Under Mike Riley, the staff has taken a more hands-off approach, making it the personal responsibility of the players to get to class and make sure grades were kept up.
Two coaching staffs invested in Gerry, with one making sure he saw the field as a true Freshman, and another one wanting him to become a leader. Now? He probably won’t even travel to see the team off one final time. Nebraska is set for next season at Safety, but could use a playmaker like Gerry to come in and compete early.
Tommy Armstrong & Jordan Westerkamp would probably give anything to be out there one final time. Gerry had the choice instead of a injury.
Thanks for the memories Nate. It’s not that we’re mad, but you can bet many folks are disappointed.