In a move on Tuesday, Scott Booker was announced as your new safeties coach as Bob Elliott is stepping down from that role.
So, what does Booker bring to the table?
As A Coach:
Many folks from Notre Dame seemed to be thrilled that Booker was not retained in South Bend, not only for his tight end coaching, but also for his special teams issues. The Irish allowed four kick returns for Touchdowns, and four more punt returns of at least 30 yards, according to this article.
That being said, the Irish did score 5 touchdowns on special teams in 2015. I have a feeling that it was more a bad season with special teams and Booker not being able to fit and develop as a TE coach that led to his dismissal. Which is fine, but if Booker can bounce back in Lincoln, the better the Huskers will be.
The Irish were better at punting and punt returns (38th and 44th) than Nebraska was last season (114th and 78th), so there could be a wrinkle for improvement there at least from Bruce Read. That being said, it’s been said that the “whole staff” of the Huskers will be in on special teams.
Booker did do all right with tight ends in his time at Notre Dame, coaching Tyler Eifert to the Mackey Award and First-team All-American honors, and a first-round NFL Draft pick with Cincinnati in 2012. He also had two more NFL Draft picks at tight end with Ben Koyack and Troy Niklas.
Brooks also did develop two NFL Draft picks at Kent State with the picks of safety Usama Young and cornerback Jack Williams. His time at Western Kentucky, however, will be noted as one that saw his team give up nearly 40 points a game and go 0-12 on the season.
As A Recruiter:
If you are wondering what Booker is like as a recruiter, this may be where he fits in with this staff right away. Booker has been able to show he can go across America to recruit and get kids to verbal to the Irish. There should not be any reason that he can’t do the same with Nebraska.
That being said, out of all those four-star kids, only one is a cornerback. There is the potential for Booker to get with Donte’ Williams and get some serious action going on the recruiting trail. There’s no time like this weekend to start with everything.
There was a wonder why Booker was brought onto the staff and Elliott was not doing much in recruiting. I just dismissed it as the fact they wanted to keep Elliott fresh in Lincoln & Donte’ could cover it. Now, we see that something is up with Bob, and we all hope that it’s not something very serious.
That being said, it’s good that Nebraska already had Booker on the payroll and could just get him up to the 9 assistants instead of having to try to hire outside the program in mid-June. Also, don’t forget that Bob will still be there, he just won’t be able to invigorate himself into on-the-field instruction. However, there’s no doubt that Booker will be given all the chances to make himself into a good safeties coach in Lincoln.