The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 04, 1999, Page 11, Image 11

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    NU recruits fill ‘big’ gap
SOLICH from page 9
You’ve seen them run, and you’ve seen
them jump in person. You’ve been able
to see their personalities. Along with
knowing what you’re getting, you get
them on campus.”
The camp is attended by many out
of-state athletes, but the Husker coach
ing staff doesn’t always find recruiting
success in all parts of the country.
Virtually none of the recruits who
signed Wednesday were from the
Southeast portion of the nation.
NU also failed to sign a player from
Florida, and landed just one from the
state of Texas - both high school foot
ball hotbeds.
“It’s difficult to get players out of
Florida,” Solich said. “We were close,
but close doesn’t count. If we don’t get
players out of a given state, we’re going
to find them (elsewhere).”
Nebraska did find success outside
the continental United States, inking
two players from Hawaii - neighbors
Tamotu “Junior” Tagoa’i, a defensive
lineman and Toniu Fonoti, an offensive
lineman - and Patrick Kabongo, a 6
foot-6, 315-pound rush end from
Tagoa’i will follow the footsteps of
St. Louis School graduates and current
Huskers, Tony Tata and Dominic
Fonoti, from Kahuku High School,
said he hopes to be able to play as a true
freshman and could possibly leave on a
church mission after two seasons.
Solich said a player’s five-year eligibil
ity clock does not run while he is on a
church mission.
While Fonoti isn’t the only player
hoping to make an immediate impact
in Lincoln, only four or five athletes
have seen the field as true freshmen at
Nebraska over the past few seasons.
Solich said he expects that trend to con
tinue in the fall.
Despite the gurus who rate NU’s
recruiting class around 20th in the
nation, Solich said, he has no concerns
with this year’s Husker class. The
National Recruiting Adviser’s Bobby
Burton ranked Nebraska’s class at No.
“I really don’t put too much stock
in that,” Solich said. “We’ve won
national championships with classes
that weren’t rated as high as others at
that particular time.”
Experts praise the Huskers’ class
RECRUITS from page 9
might not have with the backup situation. It’s very bene
ficial. Both kids are marvelous athletes.”
Rounding out the backfield for NU’s 1999 recruiting
class is fullback Judd Davies of Millard North High
School in Omaha.
As usual, the bulk of Husker recruiting attention went
to building on the already strong NU tradition of the
offensive and defensive lines. The Huskers gained 11
offensive and defensive linemen.
“They did really well there,” Burton said. “The crux
of recruiting is getting what you want. Nebraska’s done
One reason for NU’s influx at the line positions is the
perception of Nebraska as a cornerstone school for line
men, where development and projection of players is the
Over the years, the Husker offensive line has been
widely regarded as the solid bastion for the NU running
game with large, physical linemen helping to buffer that
reputation. Coupled with NU’s rigorous strength and con
ditioning program, Wallace said, high school linemen are
very attracted to Nebraska.
“Because Nebraska has such a reputation about
offensive line development, a lot of people believe they
will sign a youngster and make him better,” Wallace said.
“Nebraska does that very well.”
Though the Huskers got the players they needed, NU
struggled in recruiting in one respect - being able to find
recruits in the Southeastern United States, a region where
Burton believes the athletes are more willing and likely to
stay home. <
“It’s tough shooting down there,” Burton said. “The
SEC is really rolling. Nebraska would like to see some
more talent out of there, but the SEC is making it a tough
But overall, both Burton and Wallace agreed that the
Huskers did very well in their recruiting season. Wallace
said NU netted nine SuperPrep All-Americans and did it
quietly, the recruiting style adopted by Husker coaches.
“There’s not a lot of fanfare,” Wallace said.
“Nebraska gets a lot of players before they get into big
recruiting battles. That’s a big factor for some of these
kids — that they don’t have to undergo the pressure and
attention like they might had they signed with another
And much of that silent success is due to the recruit
ing practices of NU Coach Frank Solich, who carries
much of the same demeanor and presentation as that of
former Husker Coach Tom Osborne.
“Based on the feedback, the recruits like Frank Solich
a lot,” Wallace said. “He’s like Tom Osborne in that he’s
very calm, it’s a no pressure situation and he inspires con
fidence in himself and his players.”
And, as Wallace said, the recruiters aren’t the only
ones who are deadpanning the job - the NU recruiting
class of 1999 should also prove to be a hushed but steady
“There’s not a lot of glitz in the group,” Wallace said.
“But there’s an awful lot of talent here.”
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Distributors of reliable L.P. gas, OTTE
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Almost every one nowadays from the busi
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There have been more jokes about used
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It has often been said that "Business goes
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We the Editors of this 1999 Business
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The Authors of this 1999 Business Re
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