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Negative Recruiting Against Nebraska Shows Concern by Opponents

Mike Riley

Mike Riley

Regardless of those among the Nebraska fan base that still aren’t convinced Mike Riley is the guy for the job, there are several coaches across the land that believe he still has one of the best eyes for talent in the game.

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Last Tuesday, 93.7 The Ticket’s Mike Welch reported that he had been given information by sources that a Big Ten and SEC school were using negative chatter online to deride the Big Red.

I know what you’re thinking. “Oh here we go with the dreaded ‘sources’ again.” I’ll put it this way, if Welch told me he heard someone tell him I was going to get hit by a bus tomorrow, I’d invest in padding.

Besides, negative recruiting is part of the game and recruiting is most certainly a game. It’s like if Risk and chess had a lovechild. Does every program partake in slamming other schools? No, but to suggest that they're isolated incidents is naive.

Which prospect could these teams be after? Welch indicated it was a big recruit in the Cornhuskers’ eyes. I don’t think one recruit could be singled out due to fans’ irritation of the team’s current 1-2 record, so let’s dig deeper.

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The first thing that came to mind is the infamous Alex Lewis botch against Miami. Naturally, plenty of fans weren’t happy and even I chimed in with my thoughts.

I wasn’t the only one to have a take about Lewis’ subsequent social media rant, but my words were more... courteous than others’.

Now, I’m no big city detective, but it seems to me that schools wanting to go after a big recruit in Nebraska’s eyes might be going after a big one, literally.

One such prospect would be Sioux Falls, South Dakota's own massive Matt Farniok. Two Big Ten teams have been after him with fervor (Iowa and Michigan State) and howdy, an SEC one has as well (Missouri).

Negative recruiting works sometimes and other times it blows up in the offender’s face. Think of it as a grenade, but once you pull the pin, you have no idea how long the count is.

Touching on those concerned about the current 1-2 situation, doesn’t it seem the least bit odd that these teams are trying to strike while Husker fans are trying to acclimate to a new coach, culture and team, especially when any little crack in the armor shows?

That reeks of concern (and dare I say fear) going up against a 1-2 team for prospects.

— Written by Brandon Cavanaugh, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Be sure to follow Brandon on Twitter @eightlaces and Periscope (eightlaces), and like his Facebook page.