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Nebraska - 2022 Signing Day Doesn’t Hold The Same Luster

Grouchy old man laments....

Iowa v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

It’s National Signing Day! It’s a time of excitement as new recruits all across the nation choose their place of playing college football for the next few years of their life!

That would have been an appropriate opening a few years ago. Since 2018, most of the excitement around signing day takes place on Early Signing Day. Nebraska has most of their recruits lined up already. We may be waiting on two to decide today; running back Ajay Allen and wide receiver Janiran Bonner.

Nebraska would be kicking ass if our beloved Huskers were required to field teams full of offensive skill players.

You can’t help but be excited by players Nebraska has picked up in the transfer portal. They needed quarterbacks, they got two highly sought after transfers in Casey Thompson and Chubba Purdy. They needed more experience in the defensive backfield, they got four, Omar Brown, Tommi Hill, and JUCO transfers DeShon Singleton, and Javier Morton.

Nebraska needed special teams help. They brought in punter Brian Buschini along with punter/placekicker Timmy Bleekrode and placekicker Spencer Pankratz.

Where they’re missing is on the defensive line. Jordon Riley hit the transfer portal and headed to Oregon where defensive line coach Tony Tuioti now resides. Riley was second on the depth chart at nose tackle at the end of last season. There are ten defensive lineman on the roster.

It’s pretty easy to see these moves reflect the urgency of “win now” as Scott Frost now has performance requirements as part of his new contract under newish athletic director Trev Alberts.

You can cherry pick bad stuff as the roster solidifies for fall.

  • Nebraska has the lowest recruiting rank in the Big Ten! OH NOES!
  • Nebraska didn’t pick up enough offensive lineman!
  • There are 238 wide receivers on the roster! What are all of them going to do?

On paper, most look like very good off-season additions. These are players that should come in, assemble as a force with the new offensive coaching staff and score 35-40 points a game. Nebraska will be back on the winning track!

Unfortunately, that’s what I said about last year’s team.

I won’t retread over that same ground; I have been doing this long enough to know Nebraska football fans expect fluff and kool-aid in the off-season. Bluntly - I am struggling with how to approach this off-season.

I’ve drank enough kool-aid over the past years it might be eroding my esophagus. I’m not making that part up; I am right now calling a GI specialist to see what the hell is going on. When I tell him, “I”m a Nebraska football fan”, he’s probably going to shake his head, say, “You could have saved a lot of money by telling me that over the phone. Even our receptionist knows that stuff will rot your insides given the sheer amount you pour into your body.”

Sounds like alcohol, right?

NO. It’s hopes and dreams. And prayers sometimes, like, “Dear Lord, please help Scott Frost and his bunch of troubadours put together a winning team this coming season.”

Each Signing Day is a sign of hope. This one... feels like the same old shit all over again. I wish it didn’t. I try hard to be excited about this and I know y’all don’t need a Debbie Downer when you’re trying to enjoy the moment.

Perhaps I’m just old and in need of replacement. Too many days of walking up hill to school both ways during a blinding snowstorm will do that to a fellow.

Perhaps I need exposed to others with better attitudes than I in hopes it will rub off. I don’t mean online exposure. I’ve had plenty of that. I mean, in person, right there. I haven’t done much of that during this pandemic and it shows. Just last night my wife asked what’s going to happen when I have to get accustomed to wearing pants again. I don’t know.

I am looking for some answers here. I’ve never been good at hiding my true emotions; if you’ve been on this site enough you know that. I’d probably be an incredibly bad actor. I can’t fake anything worth a damn. I can try putting on a smiling face and selling you the same shit this off-season, but you know I’ll be faking it. Maybe that’s what everybody else is doing.

You see that photo of that little kid looking out at Tom Osborne Field with anticipation? (We assume he is, just go with it.)

I need some of that right now. That child-like enthusiasm, hope, and innocence.

So tell me.

How are you guys going to approach this football off-season?