Osborne Back in the Game

It has been a rough recruiting year for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Ever since it was obvious that Bill Callahan would be fired verbal commitments have been falling off of their commitment list left and right, but now legendary head coach Tom Osborne has stepped up to the plate to help salvage the Huskers 2008 recruiting efforts.

Last week most of the schools across the country hit the recruiting trail with an abundance of vigor as they attempted to sure up their current commitments as well as schedule official visits with players who may want to take a look at their respective schools.

Another huge factor in helping land key players is the ability to go out and make connections with the players, families, and coaching staffs by using the ever important face to face visits.

Schools that are in the midst of a coaching change usually find themselves behind in the process as the other schools are able to book the official visits by showing that they have the stability that these players are looking for.

No school had been as hard hit by losing their coach than the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Top-tier players like Blaine Gabbert, Doug Rippy, D.J. Woods, and Will Compton began to de-commit or at the very least admit that they were considering options from other programs.

Nebraska coaching legend Tom Osborne seemed to realize the importance of getting an early "in", and is now out pounding the recruiting trail once again with Nebraska assistant coach Shawn Watson, after implementing himself as the interim head coach.

In 25 years as Nebraska's head coach Osborne teams captured three National Championships, never won fewer than nine games, and his teams finished in the top 15 of the AP poll in 24 out of 25 years. His 255-49-3 record give him the fifth best winning percentage of all-time.

So far in two days it has become known that the legendary coach has spent time visiting with a wide assortment of the Cornhuskers biggest targets.

Sean Fisher, Brian Thorson, Trevor Robinson, and Kyler Reed have already been visited personally by the coach.

"We're going to really work hard in this state to find every player that we think is right and I think these guys did a pretty good job of recruiting on the national level," coach Osborne explained in his weekly press conference. "If we have lost some high school coaches along the way, we'll try to get them back because where you start is in Nebraska and then you try to get the best players you can elsewhere."

Nebraska's top prep star Baker Steinkuhler
Osborne is known to at least been in contact with other major targets like Baker Steinkuhler, Collins Okafor, John Levorson, and Josh Williams.

"I know that he was a great coach. I know that he is a college football and Nebraska legend and really put Nebraska football on the map," said electrifying defensive end Josh Williams who is also considering offers from Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma State, and Texas.

One player who has been very hard to track down for any interviews or public comments for quite some time is athletic five-star lineman Baker Steinkuhler.

Steinkuhler does not wish to make any public statements, but has very recently re-affirmed his commitment to the university and will keep his family's tradition alive when he signs with Nebraska on signing day.

Next on the coach's list is Missouri linebacker Will Compton who recently re-opened his recruitment so he could take visits to schools like Illinois, Missouri.

"I really like the coaches at Nebraska, so if I do stick with Nebraska it will be because I feel as comfortable with the new coaching staff," Compton said.

Coach Osborne admits that the coaching search is on schedule.

"We would hope that we would be moving along pretty well by at least the middle of next week," Osborne said in a radio interview. "But if it takes longer, it takes longer."

A new coach is expected to be in place in Lincoln as early as the beginning of next week, but for the time being one thing is certain… The program and most especially the recruiting efforts are in some very capable hands with "interim" coach Tom Osborne calling the shots.

***Stay with Scout.com and the Big Red Report as we will monitor the recruiting situation and have comments from recruits on their interactions with the legendary coach

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