Yesterday was National Signing Day, which brings us to our now annual NSD tradition, another one of my running (and uncenscored) press conference diaries. We’ve done these running diaries a time (or two? three? four? five? six?) before. Even once with Bo Pelini. As always, these thoughts are my own, in real time and unfiltered. And of course, you can follow along here.
0:01 Coach Riley has had three Signing Day press conferences at Nebraska, and I think he’s had a cold at all three. Surely that means my running press conference diaries aren’t his least favorite thing about Signing Day, right?
0:05 “My voice will probably come and go a little bit.” As long as you’re not going anywhere, Coach, I’m good.
0:12 I think I have a new favorite Mike Riley-related game. Ill-fitting belt or wedgie?
0:47 I’m pretty sure Coach forgot NU President Hank Bounds’ name just now.
0:51 You really don’t have to thank Shawn Eichorst so much, Coach. Just don’t hold a private meeting to call him the c-word, and you should be fine.
1:19 Coach Riley does Dana Carvey’s George Bush impression better on accident than anyone else does on purpose.
1:24 “I’m not gonna make that overly dramatic,” are words that Coach Riley probably didn’t need to actually say. But he said them. Very undramatically.
1:47 “We hit California. We hit Texas. We hit Florida.” It’s like Howard Dean took a Valium before going on stage.
2:15 Is positionally a word? My spellcheck says no, but for Coach Riley I’ll let it slide.
2:42 John Parrella gets a gold star from Coach Riley.
3:03 Coach is already talking about gearing up for the 2018 class.
3:08 To prove how serious he is about moving onto 2018, he gives the Uncle Joey Gladstone “cut it out” gesture.
3:25 “The 2017 Huskers are ready to go.” He says the most motivating things in the sleepiest of fashions. Part of me wants to hand Coach Riley the script to Braveheart and see if I’m still psyched to go to battle against the English army.
3:45-4:20 When asked about the wide receivers, he spends the bulk of his time talking about guys who committed early and stayed committed to the program. Jamire Calvin, you’ve just been put on blast.
4:45 Describing the number of wide receivers in the class, he says, “We’re gonna say this is the perfect number.” I’ve had the size of certain components of my body described in a similar manner by women. I can tell you the size of the recruiting class is not what he was hoping for.
5:05 Coach is asked if future recruiting classes will be as heavy on California recruits. “Four might be high. Three, two or three, that might be alright.” Does this mean boxes of unused Calibraska shirts will soon be sent to war-torn nations?
5:14 “I’m not gonna get overly anal.” Anal. Heh.
6:09 I’m trying to read into the tone of what Coach Riley is saying more than his actual words. I think the translation I’m getting is something along the lines of: “Hey fuckers, we got Elijah Blades! And Tyjon Lindsay! So shut up about Jamire Calvin and Joseph Lewis already. Also, I have a cold!”
6:24 “It is always about where you put your manpower,” sounds like a euphemistic description for sex. Sorry, I’m six minutes in, and my concentration is already waning.
8:00 “I don’t even care if our numbers don’t say it, if we can get good linemen, we’re gonna take ‘em.” But Coach, based on what I read on message boards, our fans seem to think this coaching staff is only interested in signing skill position players.
8:05 Linemen and defensive backs are “gold.”
8:10 “Next year you’ll find a long list of defensive backs on Signing Day.”
8:18 Still can’t figure out if he’s having belt issues or a wad of underwear is stuck in his crack. Put your guesses in the comment section.
9:00-10:21 Eighty-one seconds talking about in-state recruiting. That’s like tantric sex for every single resident of Nebraska.
10:21 Sam McKewon starts to ask a question about Jamire Calvin.
10:30 Pepsi break for Coach Riley. Sam is still asking his question.
10:41 Still awaiting the end of the question.
10:49 And Sam is done! Anyone going to top that 28-second masterpiece?
10:51 Coach tries to be gentle when talking about Calvin, but he spends the next 124 seconds talking about commitment to the program.
12:41 Still talking about Calvin (without mentioning his name): “That particular case you’re talking about was a little bit over the top.”
12:47 “I got three commitments from the guy. That might be a record.” He holds his Pepsi glass up to his mouth as he’s saying this. Whether he’s intending it or not, it makes him look like the “I’m just saying” version of Kermit the Frog.
12:55 “I’d better stop.”
12:56 Sam disagrees with Coach Riley’s assessment that he should stop and adds another 23 seconds onto his question. In case you’re keeping track at home, that’s 71 seconds devoted by one reporter to ask about one player who didn’t sign with the Huskers.
14:10 When discussing whether or not the Huskers should have continued with their recruitment of Calvin, Coach says the coaching staff actually took it slow during the last go-around. “He instigated that whole deal.” Hell hath no fury like Coach Riley scorned.
14:29 “We weren’t even aware of the fact that he had re-committed to us on Friday. We were in the plane.”
14:45 After four minutes and nine seconds, we’re now talking about a guy who will actually be wearing scarlet and cream, Guy Thomas.
15:30 “He ended up signing, and we appreciate that.”
15:40 What is Coach continually scrubbing off the podium?
16:30 “Elijah Blades is not here without Donté Williams.”
17:18 PEPSI BELCH!
18:00 Coach makes a comparison between Tyjon Lindsey & James Rodgers that doesn’t involve the fact that they could both fit into a Fiat comfortably.
18:57 Quarterback talk! “We want a passer. If that guy can run too, that is really good.”
19:21 “There are some elements that we have put in over the last couple of years at that have been good for us because of the skillset of Tommy.” Is one of those elements heaving the ball 50 yards down the field and praying for great results?
20:00 If the Cozad city council had press secretaries like governors and presidents do, I imagine they would look and sound a lot like Coach Riley at this press conference.
20:30 Ben Miles gets his second compliment of the press conference. Unless there’s an undiscovered pornographic film starring Cory Schlesinger, it’s hard to imagine a fullback ever getting this much love on camera.
23:45 Coach is now talking about the walk-ons. If the in-state recruiting talk was like tantric sex, this is like the culmination. Get out the plastic sheets, everyone!
24:45 TURN OFF YOUR GODDAMN PHONE! I don’t know whose phone is going off, but I’m blaming it on Dirk!
24:50 Someone asks if Tyjon flipping from Ohio State made his commitment sweeter. Coach says no, but his eyes say, “Hell yeah! Urban Meyer and Zach Smith can suck a fat one. I hope this gives Urban another heart issue. Zone 6 ain’t got shit on Wideouts!”
26:00 Coach says he wants to focus more on recruiting the Midwest next year. Not a bad idea, but I don’t know if 500-Mile-Radius-Braska has the same ring marketing-wise.
32:08 “Hey Coach, what are your thoughts on the defensive recruits?” That took two seconds! That’s how you ask a question, Sam!
32:28 Coach is talking about Guy Thomas again. He says the phrase, “a guy like Guy” and nearly makes himself laugh.
33:36 When discussing the defensive recruits, I think every recruit was mentioned except Willie Hampton. I now hope Willie Hampton becomes the stud of this defense.
34:33 Coach is asked if anyone is leaving the program. He gives a huge sigh and an eight-second pause. I can’t tell if he’s sad or trying to remember Christian Bailey’s name.
35:00 Things are getting really loosey-goosey. I think it’s time to wrap this up.
36:50 The sports information office agrees.
That’s all she wrote. Another National Signing Day press conference is in the books. Time for spring ball and Coach Riley to crush some Mucinex.
Pat can regularly be heard on the Big Red Cobcast (@bigredcobcast).