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Monday midday musings

The state of Husker football has likely never been more polarizing than it is right now. With the fanbase clamoring for tangible results in year three, Mike Riley is under pressure to produce now more than ever with the recent firing of former athletic director Shawn Eichorst.

The Moos is loose

The flagship of Husker athletics is hands down the football program but other sports such as volleyball, basketball, and baseball are all now under the Moos microscope with newly hired AD Bill Moos tenure officially underway in Lincoln.  Moos pointed to John Cook’s volleyball program as the model for success that all Husker programs should aspire to.

Midway through the third quarter of the Purdue football game, the even-keeled Moos appeared to be upset with how things were going in his first football game as the athletic director. Luckily for Riley, his team was able to rally behind quarterback Tanner Lee’s arm and scrape out a 25-24 win against a mediocre Boilermaker squad.

2018 Recruiting remains in flux

As questions continue to swirl around the long-term status of Mike Riley his staff remains committed to selling the vision of the future to recruits with several big visitors lining up to take in this weekends game against Northwestern. Top recruits

While they remain committed right now, Husker commits continue to look at other programs to ensure they have a landing place should something happen with Mike Riley at Nebraska. Brendan “Bookie” Radley-Hiles recently tripped to Clemon and took this weekend to check out the Oklahoma Sooners. Wide receiver Joshua Moore took a visit to Alabama and will likely visit Florida State in the near future. Cornerback Chase Williams will likely take a visit to USC and cornerback commit Mario Goodrich is planning on checking out rising Arizona State sometime in the future after scrubbing the visit a few weeks back.

Photo by Stephanie Bowers

No one can fault these players for looking around to protect their futures. That said, how the Huskers finish and the public support from Moos of Riley would go a long way to calm things on the recruiting trail for the Huskers and potentially reel in a top 15 class for the Huskers.

The truth is that Mike Riley has a chance to put together a very talented and explosive recruiting class in his third year as head coach. Many of these players would compete for starting jobs as soon as they enroll on campus. The secondary and wide receiver positions would certainly gain immediate playmakers and depth that has been lacking throughout the 2017 campaign.

On tap for Husker recruiting next is the official visitors for Northwestern. Nebraska is set to host top recruits DE/OLB Elijah Wade, ATH Kalon Gervin, and WR Kassidy Woods with a few other big names likely to swing by as well.  Woods is a rather new development for the staff but both Gervin and Woods have been in contact with the staff for a long time.  All three of these players would be welcome at Nebraska and would help Huskers immensely in 2018.

Building Depth – Juco Recruiting

One of the things fans have been talking about lately is the lack of attention to the junior college recruiting circles for Nebraska.  Mike Riley dismissed a rumor that the Big Ten discouraged teams from pursuing them but added that the Big Ten has communicated that teams need to be sure juco recruits fit in academically but nothing else has ever been mentioned.

Riley emphasized that he prefers to recruit the high school ranks and develop prospects but said they are looking at the juco ranks “a little bit more” now and that its a matter of timing and getting a proper fit.

Watch for the staff to take a hard look at the prospects at Iowa Western Community College the rest of the season as coaches had been by in recent weeks to check out prospects. The Huskers offensive tackle recruiting has been suspect the last few years and the Reivers have a few players who could help Nebraska out in 2018. Both Noah Banks and Anthony McKinney would help provide an injection of talent at offensive tackle as the Huskers have very few young guys who look ready to contribute at tackle.

See who else IWCC has in the 2018 cycle that could help out here: IWCC 2018 recruits

Welcome to the big show Tanner Lee

While the Huskers offense certainly has their issues this year, Tanner Lee has slowly begun to morph himself into the quarterback many fans believed he was at the start of the year.  You have to give credit to Lee for continuing to work and knock off the rust as he’s had one of the best October’s throughout all of college football and ranks as the #5 quarterback in the month of October.

That hasn’t been easy behind a struggling offensive line, but after a three-game stretch where 90% of his interceptions came from, the junior signal caller has had steady performances against some of the best competition college football has to offer.

While he still has room for improvement, Tanner has definitely shown improvement and the ability to stay cool under pressure no matter the situations. You can also thank coach Langsdorf for likely hyping on him to take a sack or throw a ball away instead of forcing it someplace during a high-pressure moment.

With this weeks emergence of Tyler Hoppes in the passing game and Lee checking the ball down he can continue down the path he appears to be on.

 

Injury bug bites the Huskers again

Check out our story today on how the injury bug has bitten Nebraska once more after several guys finally made their way back after the bye week.  There’s sevearl guys who are questionable for the rest of the season along with more who are knicked up after Purdue.

Husker Sparkplugs

We see you, Jaylin Bradley! Bradley played sparingly in the Huskers first half against Purdue but came alive during the second half of football. He gave the Huskers their first real rushing yards in the game and provided a spark for the offense when it needed it most. While it wasn’t a huge number, Bradley’s 42-yards rushing and 39-yards receiving were instrumental in guiding a comeback against Purdue.

Tyler Hoppes should off his “hops” on several terrific plays this weekend. The walk-on accumulated 105-yards receiving on 5 catches and helped the Huskers trim a 24-12 lead down to 24-19 with his play. In addition to the touchdown, Hoppes had a few terrific catches where he simply went up and made a play.  Tanner Lee mentioned today that coach Langsdorf made it a focus to get the tight-end the ball more this week and it clearly paid off.

Holding it down this weekend was backup punter Isaac Armstong who took over placekick holding duties as Zach Darlington was back in Lincoln. In a game where the Huskers relied on Drew Brown’s leg to keep them in the hunt Armstrong was a rock in his first-ever appearance in a game. Credit to him for staying cool under pressure in his first game.

– That’s it for this week! Stay tuned to Husker Hype for all the latest or follow us on Twitter @HuskerHype

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