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Uncensored Running Diary: Mike Riley National Signing Day Press Conference

Pat Janssen is back to give his uninterrupted and unfiltered thoughts during the Mike Riley National Signing Day press conference.

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Yesterday was National Signing Day. You know what that means...another one of my running diaries. We've done this a few times before (ok, six times before). As always, you can follow along here.

0:01: Coach Riley comes out on fire! Loving the brown suit. It looks like something my great grandpa Orpheus Krei might have worn at one of his 1970's fish fries, but damn it if he's not pulling it off. It's a bold look, and I love it.

0:09: According to Coach, it's the fifth day in the past month that he's been in Lincoln. I hope he bought his poor, lonely wife a cat or something. Provided she's not allergic to them, too.

0:19: Random note: are the 'N' pins now being worn by coaches like the flag pins are worn by politicians? Steve Sipple's going to try and link Coach Riley to Jeremiah Wright soon, isn't he?

1:20: Coach is preaching that, even if you have a huge deficit at a position, you don't want to fill it all in one year because it means you'll have another huge hole again in four years. He made this same point at last year's signing day press conference. I love the foresight and wisdom pouring out of that little bald head.

2:14: Celebrating the class. Celebrating the class. Four guys are transferring. Celebrating the class.

3:07: Alright! Time for some questions! Fire away, Dirk-heads!

3:10: "What impressed you about Patrick O'Brien?" It's gotta be the hair, right?

3:14: Nope, it's seeing him throw the ball. That was my fourth guess. The other three were all related to his hair.

3:57: Coach says he won't offer a scholarship to a quarterback unless he sees him throw live. Does Skype count because PeaJay1983 is ready to show you what he's got, Coach!

4:45: "We like that Derion Grimm caught 34 touchdowns." Cool. Me too.

5:00: He's now talking about the O-line class, and as he describes them, he's swaying from side to side. Much in the same way I figure his gigantic balls were swaying after signing Matt Farniok.

6:00: "Nebraska draws people here for whatever reason." Eh, it's not any worse than "Nebraska Nice."

6:47: Sam McKewon takes 23 seconds to ask a question.

8:05: Coach says he wants to own the 500 mile radius, but he says it in the least threatening way possible. Kirk Ferentz petting a puppy is probably more menacing than Coach Riley at his angriest.

8:55: After coaches spend a year or two being unable to speak about specific recruits, it's always a little unnerving to hear them talk about the new signees and say their names over and over. It feels a little a 9-year-old at a sleepover suddenly realizing he can swear now that he's away from his parents. It also feels a little like when you start dating someone new, and you say their name a lot so you don't accidentally call them by your previous significant other's name. He doesn't want to lovingly tell Ben Stille to rush the passer and ruin the moment by accidentally calling him Jack Gangwish.

9:00: It's really refreshing how into detail Coach Riley is going in regards to the actual recruiting process. We get to see how the sausage is made. The world's friendliest sausage.

10:19: The next recruiting cycle is already underway! NO REST FOR BRIAN TOWLE!

11:23: You know when you have a co-worker who really sucks? Someone who, if you're being polite, can be dubbed a drain on society and a shitstain on the underwear of human existence? And you know how great it can feel after a night of beer and hot wings to walk by their desk and just leave a wet fart lingering? That looks like how Mike Riley feels talking about beating out Michigan State and Iowa for Matt Farniok.

13:27: Talking about Lamar Jackson's signing video: "Did you guys see that?" You mean the video that had more production value than anything I, a Los Angeles-based actor/writer/filmmaker, have ever been a part of? That video? Yes, Michael. I saw it. I bet he didn't even need to set up a GoFundMe page, either.

14:51: Jon Nyatawa has taken 14 seconds so far to ask his question. Will he top Sam's 23-second question?

14:59: Nooo!!! Jon stops just short of the clubhouse leader and halts his question at 22 seconds. YOU WERE ALMOST THERE, JON!

17:00: Coach is telling a story about the recruitment of Dez Fitzpatrick and how they didn't recruit a kid from Texas harder because they thought they had Fitz. Some people will choose to interpret that as a lack of preparation and foresight. I choose to look at it as a staff with principles.

18:00: Hearing the media and Coach Riley talk about David Engelhaupt makes me feel like he's the Dream Team Christian Laettner of this recruiting class.

20:01: It sounds like Coach Riley is giving his recruiting pitch to the media. Maybe he signs one of them next cycle. I bet Tom Shatel would make a hell of a guard. Mike Welch might get buried on the scout team, though.

22:23: "Our view on freshmen is that if they're not gonna redshirt, then they are playing in the games...If they're not redshirting, we want to make sure we get a lot of value out of them." I think I hear Jordan Stevenson coughing in the other room.

24:00: Coach called JoJo Domann a bullet. He's from Coors territory. Can we start calling him the Silver Bullet? I'm not waiting for approval. I'm calling him the Silver Bullet.

25:57: I've seen drug addicts able to stand in one place longer than Mike Riley. Stay on your mark, Coach!

26:25: I love the way Coach Riley rubs his hands together during some of his answers. For a brief second, he's like a cross between a supervillain and a fly. And then he goes back to being adorable immediately afterward.

28:15: Someone, presumably from the Coleridge Blade or the Nemaha County Herald, chimes in with the obligatory walk-on question.

29:45: Seriously, how many crop insurance plans do you think Coach has sold while wearing this suit?

30:27: Sam McKewon keeps adding to his overall question-length lead. He doesn't top his original 23-second beauty, but he logs another solid 18-second question.

31:17: Speaking about the in-state players Nebraska didn't land: "They're a personal disappointment to me." It's okay, Noah Fant. I'm pretty sure a bald man in southeast Nebraska has said the same thing about me.

31:18: My dad. I mean I've disappointed my father.

31:30: Mike Riley's reaction to Lamar Jackson's video is pretty much the same one I have every time I watch this video.

32:39: And now we present Press Conference Theatre.

Dirk Chatelain: "Did you follow Jim Harbaugh's recruiting antics?"
Coach Riley: "Yeah."
Dirk Chatelain: "What was your favorite one?"
Coach Riley: "I didn't rank 'em, Dirk."

That was our Press Conference Theatre presentation of "Burnt."

35:07: "This is an important decision that involves real stuff, that involves someone's child." So no sleepovers, Coach?

35:14: Sam McKewon has been knocked off his perch! The World Herald rivaly heats up as Jon Nyatawa asks a THIRTY-ONE SECOND question! We've got another 10 minutes or so on this press conference. Will Sam take his title back?

39:00: Coach is now giving tons of thought-out, well-articulated and heartfelt responses, and in the process, stealing precious time away from Sam McKewon and Jon Nyatawa. It's crunch time. There may only be another at-bat or two left for these guys.

44:27: Oh, no! It's over already? Our lovable head football coach/Stanton County mortician has left the stage.

And for those keeping score at home, Jon Nyatawa takes home the longest-question trophy, knocking off Sam McKewon with a strong finish. Dirk Chatelain finishes in a disappointing third place.

And that'll do it for me, too. I'm heading to Kohl's to see if I can find that suit jacket.

Pat can regularly be heard on the Big Red Cobcast (@bigredcobcast).