Archive for July, 2008

Nebraska HS football: Recruiting by the numbers

Posted on July 26, 2008. Filed under: High School Football | Tags: |

By Will Cummings
Hit News @ Hit Highlights.com

    The Nebraska high school football class of 2008 produced 10 D-1 recruits. Will the class of 2009 produce more?

    That’s the question we ask in our latest poll. But before you vote take a look at “Recruiting By the Numbers.”

 [poll id=”5″]

Recruiting By the Numbers

    The population residing within the State of Nebraska’s is approximately 1.8 million, and it typically produces about 7.5 D-1 players per one million residents—approximately 12 per year. However, when you compare the state of Nebraska’s ratio for producing D-1 players to Mississippi’s class of 2008 ratio of 25.5—the highest ratio in the US—it makes you want to go huh!

There are lies, damn lies and statistics.”

The above quote was made popular by Mark Twain, but originally attributed to the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Benjamin Disraeli.

 Yet, there are some statistics and numbers that are profound no mater how you look at them:

USA Class of 2008

Top Ten D-1 Football Producing States

State
(Population In Millions)
Number of D-1 Schools in State

Total
D-1
Offers

Ratio
Per Million

Texas (23.9)10

374

15.6

Florida (18.3)  7

358

19.6

California (36.5)  7

347

9.5

Georgia (9.5)  2

158

9.5

Ohio (11.5)  8

146

12.7

Alabama (4.6)  5

95

20.6

Louisiana (4.3)  5

82

19.1

Pennsylvania (12.4)  3

79

6.4

Mississippi (2.9)  3

74

25.5

Illinois (12.6)  3

63

5

   
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Big XII States
Class of 2008

State
(Population in Millions)
Number of D-1 Schools in State

Total
D-1
Offers

Ratio
Per Million

Texas (23.9) 10

374

15.6

Missouri (5.9)  1

27

4.6

Colorado (4.9)  2

35

7.14

Oklahoma (3.6)  3

35

9.7

Iowa (3.0)  2

12

4

Kansas (2.8)  2

25

8.9

Nebraska (1.8)  1

10

5.5

     As you can see Nebraska has the lowest population base among the Big XII states—one million less than Kansas, which is the next lowest populated state in the conference.

    Nebraska’s population will never allow it to produce great raw numbers of D-1 talent, but it definitely can improve its ratio of D-1 offered players.  A few suggestions on how Nebraska can improve high school football in Nebraska were mentioned in an earlier Hit News article linked here.

    What suggestions do you have?

    It is our hope at Hit News that the NSAA and its members constantly look for ways to improve the product that is Nebraska high school football.

 Statistics used in this article were obtained from mapgameday.com and the 2007 estimated US census supplied by Wikipedia.

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Rivals.com releases the 2009 Nebraska Top Ten HS Football Recruit Rankings.

Posted on July 26, 2008. Filed under: High School Football | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Below are listed the names and rankings of Rivals.com’s Preseason rankings of the State of Nebrasaka’s Top Ten Recruits:

1.   Vondrae Tostenson, WR, (6-4, 215) Millard South
2.   Jon Lechner, OL (6-5, 310) Creighton Prep.
3.   Tyrone Sellers, DE (6-4, 215) McCook
4.   Cole Pensick, DT (6-2, 250) Lincoln NE
5    C. J. Zimmerer, RB (6-0, 213) Omaha Gross Catholic
6.   James Davis, OL (6-3, 300) Omaha North
7.   Ty Kildow, ATH (5-7, 170) Millard South
8.   Eric Koehlmoos, ATH (6-1, 190) Pierce
9.   Daryle Hawkins, QB (6-4, 190) Omaha Central
10. Eric Cummings, DT (6-2, 255) Omaha Burke

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Definition of a Husker Football Fan: Fickle

Posted on July 18, 2008. Filed under: College Football | Tags: , , , , , |

By Will Cummings
Hit News @ Hit Highlights.com

 

What’s the Definition of a Husker Fan?  Answer: Fickle

An Outsider’s View of Today’s Nebraska Football Fan
and the Importance of the Next Three Years

 

 

     After witnessing almost a decade worth of mostly lackluster seasons , and several coaching changes and three sports administration office makeovers,  

Husker football fans have gone from a having  what many outsiders would call a superiority complex to taking on the mantle of a bunch of disillusioned fickle followers.”

    The opinion expressed above was initiated partly in response to an-unscientific-poll that was posted on Hit News @ Hit Highlights .com,  but mostly it is based on my observation of Husker fans over the past sixteen years.

    The poll that sparked the undertaking of this diatribe asked poll takers to give a yes or no response to the question: “Will the Huskers win a Big XII football Title within the next three years.”  The response thus far:  No-184; Yes-74.  72% of the respondents do not think the Huskers will win a Big XII title within the next three years. 

    The results of the poll caused me to reflect back on my arrival to Nebraska in 1992. As an outsider-and not a Husker Fan-it was amazing to me how fanatical Husker fans were even before Tom Osborne led his team to his first national championship in 1994. For Husker fans the cup was always half full and they always believed their team was going to win, and when they didn’t win their excuse was a bad call by an official or a blown play or a missed opportunity. Hence, after that first national championship, Husker Nation went from fanatical to downright obnoxious in their adoration for everything linked to Nebraska football. In a span of three years, two more national titles would follow. And as a result of my open disdain for Nebraska football—I endured much humiliation, pain, and suffering.

    So after admitting that I am not a Nebraska born native and that I openly rooted against the Huskers for years, you probably think I am sitting back and gloating at the demise of a traditional college football powerhouse and storied program. Quite the contrary!  For though I had no love for the Huskers, which was based on my college football career at Kansas State where we were unmercifully and routinely thrashed by Nebraska teams, before I transferred to Ohio State (my home town), I always have had the respect for traditional powerhouse sport programs and successful coaches. I especially have a deep admiration, understanding, and appreciation for successful coaches having been a son to a very accomplished amateur boxing coach.

    My life experiences have given me countless real world and up close examples of the complex nature of quality caoching and strong winning traditions as well as witnessing the presentation of poor coaching and losing programs.   I am no soothsayer, but those who know me can attest that when Osborne retired in 1997,  I expressed to deaf fanatical  Husker fans that Nebraska football would fall to the ranks of the mediocre—for a long time. It was only a logical proclamation based on personal historical reference points and nothing more. The assertion was (and is) based on the proven premise that

Tradition alone may win you some games, but coaching is what wins championships.”

     From the beginning of Osborne’s retirement, it was obvious to me that Frank Solich would not be the answer, though he deserved the job due to his loyalty to the program. Solich simply impressed me as someone that had spent too much time playing second fiddle to a great coach for him to become a successful heir to the throne. Subsequently, during the time of the search for Solich’s replacement, my estimation was that Bill Callahan would be the wrong man to hire,  because of his acrimonious relationships with many of the Oakland Raiders players (I mean you don’t often see several star players make such vehement disparaging public statements about a head coach), and his distance from the college game.

Fortunately for Husker fans, a little over a decade after Nebraska brought home its last national championship trophy, you finally have in your midst a head coach that is capable of bringing back to Nebraska another AFCA National Championship Trophy.  But you sure don’t act like it!”

      For the past six years,  other than turning out 80.000 strong for a Husker spring game, most of which I believe was more morbid curiosity than Husker adoration and pride,  I have not seen nor have I heard anything from Nebraskans even remotely similar to the Husker fans I first met and grew to despise.

    The difference between the—pre-Osborne first national championship—1992 Husker fans that I first encountered upon moving to Omaha and today’s fans is truly astonishing.  Gone is the air of cockiness: replaced by self doubt and uncertainty and the seeming desire to be content with just being competitive on the field. Whew!

    The poll is just a reflection of what I have been reading in local papers, periodicals, and Internet message boards. In addition to what I have been hearing on area radio and TV shows, and through my personal conversations with Husker fans, since midway through Solich’s tenure.

    It’s been a long, rough, drama-filled eleven years and now it’s time for Husker Fans to be Husker fans. Recruiting issues will take care of themselves with wins. Many top recruits want to play for BCS Bowl contending programs and they are intrigued by and drawn to youthful and successful head coaches like Bo Pelini, a defensive coordinator fresh off LSU’s 2007 national title team and a former defensive back coach for the San Francisco 49ers 1995 Super bowl championship team. Let him start winning games at Nebraska and a lot of top recruits will quickly perk up.

   The scenario plays out like this: The national media has basically shunned Nebraska, even during the glorious decade of the ‘90s—great teams but no compelling story line or special spark. To many outsiders, the Husker 90’s dynasty was just a group of hard working boring Midwesterners. Sorry!  But that’s how many of us saw it. Today, Nebraska has Pelini, a charismatic, youthful, emotional, first-time head coach hot from the oven of the national champion LSU Tigers—his quest is to bring back Husker Glory.

    The media loves this type of storyline. He wins games and the national media will eat it up! Wins bring media attention. Accordingly, Pelini and staff will draw the type of recruits that have traditionally been hard for Nebraska to sign. Thus, a new era begins.

    The caveat to this scenario: Nebraska must be successful within the next three years. Success in this scenario means that Nebraska appears in a BCS bowl or they come pretty darn close to making the series. Why? The longer it takes for Nebraska to show that it is back among the top tier programs the more panicked and frustrated fans will become and the more emboldened and successful upstart conference competition will be on the field and on the recruiting battleground. During this time frame, If Nebraska football fails to make a definitive statement that illustrates talks of its demise are premature—a possibility that I cannot fathom—the Husker’s quest to “restore the order” most likely will not materialize for many more years to come.

    Many beaten down and jaded and fickle Husker fans do not believe it’s possible that the Huskers can turn around the program within three years. I do!

    Bob Stoops, Urban Myer, Pete Carol, and Les Miles all have that immeasurable special quality that makes them the type of winners that turn around programs in quick order. In my opinion, Bo Pelini is just one of the gang.

     My message to Nebraska fans: 

Expect the unexpected—the glory will return sooner than many of you believe.” 

    Enjoy the ride!

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Poll: What Nebraska HS QB will gain the most total yards in 2008?

Posted on July 16, 2008. Filed under: High School Football | Tags: |

By Will Cummings
Hit News @ Hit Highlights.com

 

    The 2008 Nebraska High school football season is poised to bring to fans some pretty exciting quarterback play from a bountiful crop of top notch gunslingers and ground assassins. And with 68 long, hot, sweaty summer days away before the seasons’ first kickoff, we thought it might be fun to help fill the gap with some preseason polling.

    Our first poll asks the following question: “What 2008 Nebraska high school quarterback will account for the most total yards (passing + running) gained from the line of scrimmage?”

 

2008 TOP NEBRASKA HIGH SCHOOL QUARTERBACK

        TOTAL YARD CANDIDATES

Nick Failla, SR, (5-10, -175) Millard North A
Daryle Hawkins , SR, (6-4, 190) Omaha Central A
Schuyler Heathers, SR, (6-1, 160) Chase County C
Alex Hook , SR, (6-2, 165) Creighton Prep A
Ron Kellogg , SR, (6-2, 200) Westside A
Eric Koehlmoos, SR, (6-1, 190) Pierce C
Lance Lawson,SR, (6-2, 180), Norfolk A
Bronson Marsh, JR, (6-1, 190) Millard South A
Tyler Seals , SR, (6-2, 195) Bellevue West A
Corey Serrano, SR, (6-1 205) North Platte A

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Vote below:

    Please feel free to post your comments by clicking the “comment” link at bottom of this post. No sign up is necessary to post your comments.

    By clicking on the blue “Share”button below, you can also e-mail this post to friends so that they may have an opportunity to participate.

 

[poll id=”4″]

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Hit News’ Breakdown: Nebraska High School Football Recuiting Class 2009

Posted on July 16, 2008. Filed under: High School Football | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

By Will Cummings
Hit News @ Hit Highlights.com

 This article–updated 09/09/08–was originally posted on 6/29/09

Breaking Down the Nebraska High School Football Recruiting Class of 2009

    As of the end of June,  there are already six Nebraska high school football players that have received at least one D-1 offer [James Davis was number 7 on September 5, 2008.] Though this year’s class may not have the four and five star players as the previous two classes, It may end up having more total D-1 players offered than either of the two previous classes. 

Below we have compliled three list:

  1. Early D-1 Offer List and our ranking of Nebraska High school Football players that have received D-1 offers.
  2. Top Ten List and our ranking of the top recruited Nebraska high school players that have not received offers. 
  3. Top Mention List, additional players with opportunities to receive offers.

    All three list are based on player performance and potential without regard to any off the field issues except for injuries.

    The list are not indicative of the best high school players: These are players that have the most potential to play at the D-1 level based on their current size, speed, and playing ability.

    The list is also not a combined ranking of players with the most D-1 potential. In other words, simply because a player(s) has received an early offer does not mean that the player  necessarily has more D-1 potential than a player who has not yet received an offer. In addition, The Top Ten List does not reflect that the players on the list will ultimately be better D-1 candidates than The Top Mention List players.

    Recruiting is a fluid process where a player’s stock may rise and fall due to a variety of issues. Accordingly, with seven months remaining until February’s signing day, a lot can change between now and then. But one thing is for sure, college coaches will be continually monitoring player progress through the remainder of the recruiting cycle. Even players who have already received offers need be wary of this, because an oral or a written offer can be pulled as quickly as it was given.

    With the above in mind: We encourage all players to keep your grades in order, your behavior in check, and your training and game efforts at their highest levels.
 

Nebraska High School Football 
Early D-1 Offer List
(Updated 9/7/08)

 

1. Tyrone Sellers, DE
    (
6-3, 215)
McCook

Wyoming, Kansas (Commit), Kansas State, Iowa

Currently, Sellers is physically undersized, however, he possesses the playing ability and speed to be an effective rush end at the D-l level. With the added size that he will surely gain through a D-1 strength program, he may even develop into an effective run stopper and an every down DE.

2. Cole Pensick, DT
    (6-2, 250)
    Lincoln  NE

Nebraska (commit)

During his JR year, he was a First Team Nebraska Super- State OL, and he won the Nebraska All Class Gold in the shot put. Strong and athletic with decent speed. He will need to add bulk to his frame to compete with the big boys at the next level.

3. Jon Lechner, OT
    (6-5, 310)
    Creighton
Prep

Nebraska, Wyoming,  Wisconsin, Iowa State , Ohio, Buffalo.

Possesses D-1 size and agility to play guard or tackle, but he will need to hit the weight room hard and dedicate himself to consistently performing at his highest level to be a successful D-1 player.

4. Eric Koehlmoos, SF
    (6-1, 190)
Pierce

Wyoming

A HS QB and DB, this gifted athlete has colleges looking at him on both sides of the ball. With his speed and hard-hitting style, he most likely will be more effective as a safety at the next level.

5. Vondrea Tostenson,
   WR (6-4, 215)  
   Millard South

Iowa

A good freshman basketball season followed by a very good sophomore football campaign put this prized sized WR on the map. However, an early JR year football knee injury has kept him sidelined since. May lack the speed and burst to be an impact WR  at the D-1 level but could be a nice possession WR. He also has the frame to add bulk for a move to TE.

6. C .J. Zimmerer, FB
  
 (6-0, 213)
Omaha Gross Catholic

Nebraska (Commit)

On film, this is a tough looking FB and LB.  He will need to improve speed and add size to be effective at the next level.

2008 In Season Offers

7.  James Davis, OG
(6-3, 310) Omaha North

*Offer from Ohio University on 9/5/08

Very good pass blocking skills, strong, good feet and quick hands. Lacks ideal height at position for many D-1 colleges. Needs to work on run blocking skills. But has ability to be an effective D-1 O-lineman.

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  Click “Read More” Link below for next List

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  • my Hit News.com

    Nebraska High Schoolhoops7Top 25 Prospects '08/'09

    By Action Force

    crystallogout17

    Sponsor: Hit Highlights Inc.

    1. Jarell Crayton, 6-7, SR, C, Bellevue East

    2. Gregg Smith, 6-6, SR, SF/PF/SG, Ralston

    3. Elliot Elliason, 6-11, JR, C, Chadron

    4. Dwight Smith, 6-3, JR , PG/SG, Ralston

    5. Tyler Evans, 6-2, JR, SG/PG, Waverly

    6. Mike Gessell, 6-0, FR, PG, South Sioux City

    7.. John Karhoff, 6-8, SR, PF/C, Creighton Prep.

    8. Vondrae Tostenson, 6-5, SR, PF, Millard South

    9. Matt Hagerbaumen, 6-7, SR, SF, Lincoln Southeast

    10. Stevelle Burns, 6-0, SR, PG, Benson

    11. Deverell Biggs, 6-1, JR, SG/PF, Omaha Central

    12. Caleb Steffensmeir, 5-11, JR, PG, Creighton Prep

    13. Jordan Tyrance, 6-4, SF/PF, JR, Lincoln Southwest

    14. Trevor Meinke, 6-0, JR, PG, Beatrice

    15. Scottie Davis, 6-5, JR, SF/PF, Omaha Burke

    16. Derrius Vick, 6-0, SO, PG, Lincoln Southeast

    17. Ted Lampkin, 5-11, SO, PG, Omaha Central

    18. Jerad Warner, 6-6, JR, PF/C Omaha Gross

    19. Dol Kutey, 6-6, SR, C, Lincoln Northeast

    20. Ben Imig, 6-0, JR, SG/PG, Bryan

    21. Galen Gullie, 5-7, SR, PG, Bryan

    22 Pete Uhing, 6-5, SR, PF/C, Lincoln High

    23 Adonis Hill, 5-10, SO, PG, Omaha Burke

    24. Mike Dentlinger, 6-6, JR, PF/C, Millard North

    25. DK Augustine, 6-4, SO, C, Omaha Bryan

  • Action Force’s Top Ten

    top-ten-logo4

    Nebraska High School

    Basketball Teams

    (Week ending 02-15-09)

    Team ,(Record) Last wk rank

    1.

    Lincoln SW (18-2) 1

    2.

    Creighton Prep (15-4) 3

    3.

    Lincoln East(13-5) 4

    4.

    Lincoln High (11-6) 5

    5.

    Omaha Central (13-3) 3

    6.

    Lincoln Southeast(14-5) 7

    7.

    Lincoln Northeast(12-5) 103

    8.

    Omaha Bryan (15-6) 8

    9.

    Chadron (19-0) NR

    10.

    Norfolk (13-5) NR Contenders: Bellevue East, Omaha Burke, Omaha Benson, Bellevue West

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