Coach Riley and his staff have been traveling around the nation putting together their first recruiting class at Nebraska in time for national signing day this Wednesday.
Ross: First of all welcome to Nebraska again. I know you know talent because one of the two quarterbacks in the Super Bowl, when you were offensive coordinator at USC you were interested in this young quarterback from San Mateo and also wanted to draft him when you were in San Diego. So tell me how you almost got Tom Brady?
Coach Riley: You know that's a great story and I will think about that until I am probably done because I had two different opportunities to get to coach Tom Brady and neither one of them panned out. I thought we really had him at USC and then another quarterback committed and we did not have room for him. I had to go back to San Mateo and tell him, “Tom we are out of scholarships at that position.” I had been recruiting him for a year and felt bad to do that, and I did not know how bad that feels. I am really proud to say that I have been around him and know him, but I will always look back at two lost opportunities to coach him.
Ross: Can you kind of describe for me this recruiting class? What it is like?
Coach Riley: Well this recruiting class has been very interesting because we started really with a group of commitments; part of those commitments were going to come in mid-year. We had to prioritize a way to reconfirm those commitments. We wanted to make sure all those guys knew if they still wanted to come to Nebraska the door was open for them. We did research on them and liked them. You know the way I look at signing day is you are recruiting right up to that point. I do not take anything for granted. I have been doing this thing too long to think everything is set and done exactly the way it supposed to go its right up to signing day, so we will work at this right up to the point where all of our commitments get signed.
Ross: Well some of the recruits you have are already here on campus and enrolled in school and three of them are defensive backs. What impact will they make when they come here?
Coach Riley: The guys that have already enrolled, you know, I went out basically except for Dedrick Young. I went out to see the other three. That was my first visit. Eric Lee, Avery Anderson, Aaron Williams, I wanted to make sure that I saw them first because their time to come was really close. You know it was that first part of December and they were going to enroll in January so I had to get to them fast and loved them. I had seen the film before I went there, liked what I saw, and then, wow, when I met them, I reconfirmed these are the kind of young men you want in your program.
Ross: I asked you on the day that you were introduced as head coach about the walk-on program on what a strong tradition it is here at Nebraska. What about the walk-ons? Do you have any idea how many recruited walk-ons might be coming into the program?
Coach Riley: Ross, I don't know yet. I really want to make sure that we continue to grow this whole idea and I want to make sure that people understand that we love this whole idea of walking-on means to the program. We understand the history of the walk-on program here, which is probably as unique as anywhere in the country. That's one part of the hiring I am not finished with yet I am going to eventually hire a person that that will be his main job in charge of basically Nebraska but particularly the walk-on program in Nebraska.
Spring practice starts next month. The quarterbacks will be in the spotlight for the red-white game on April 11th. Coach Riley gets the walk-on program. That's why is adding a new position to just handle walk-on especially in Nebraska.