Can Keels Duplicate Gregory’s Success?

Nebraska's track record with junior college players under Bo Pelini is extraordinary.  Ricky Henry was first team all-conference (and has hung on at the NFL level).  Dejon Gomes was honorable mention all-conference and plays for the Detroit Lions.  Brandon Kinnie got a look at the NFL level and left NU with the 11th most receptions in school history.   Lavonte David won the Butkus-Fitzgerald award as the Big Ten's top linebacker and was all-conference in both seasons he played for the Huskers and was a first-team AP all-pro at linebacker for Tampa Bay this past year.    Daimion Stafford became an all-conference safety and plays for the Tennessee Titans.  Randy Gregory was a first-team all conference defensive end in just his first year and led the Big Ten in sacks.  Given these successes, what might we expect from incoming defensive end Joe Keels?


Greg McMullen is probably the main competition for playing time at defensive end.  He has an edge in terms of system experience and also is a stouter player as he weighs in at 6'3" and 285 lbs.  Both Keels and McMullen were highly sought after recruits.  Keels joined the team in January and so should have a greater opportunity to learn the defense than even Randy Gregory did a year ago.  

Keels seems likely to get a lot of snaps, whether he's a starter or not.  A.J. Natter is the only other scholarship defensive end on the roster that will participate in spring football.  Teams tend to rotate two-deep in every game anyway, so Keels seems certain to have his chances to show his skills as a pass rusher.  The Huskers can poach their depth at defensive tackle (where they have seven scholarship players that are at least sophomores) to get more help on the outside, but that's probably Plan B at this point.  They could also throw a true freshman in the mix like Mick Stoltenberg or DeAndre Wills.  Sedrick King seems awfully light at 225 lbs., so he'd really only be helpful coming off the edge in obvious passing situations.  

The lack of depth at end would certainly invite the use of more 3-man fronts with either 3 or 4 linebackers.  In any case, Keels is in prime position to be an impact newcomer.  It will  be up to him to make it happen on the field.

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Comments 51 comments so far

Good analysis, Steve.  My only comment is in comparing the learning curve to that for Randy Gregory, it was well publicized that the coaches were very intentional about RG’s orientation.  JK may not need such intensive focus, being in spring trainning.  On the other hand, what kind of results would the coaches have if they were able to give even more players such focus as they did RG?

“Nebraska’s track record with junior college players under Bo Pelini is extraordinary.”

K, 1st of all, ya can’t go pointing out good things BOP has done cuz then Realistinha and 7 won’t have have anything to bitch about.  Well,, they keep repeating the same ol’ same ol’ over and over AND OVER, ad nauseum, so whatevs.

Jeebus, Keels had about 25 offers,  a few from big doggs like USC, 6’4”, 280, uh, yeah, I think he’s gonna be juuuust fiiiine—as long as he stays on an ‘even keel’, haha, get it?

Oh, my bad!

I wasn’t aware that Pelini has done extraordinary things with JuCo players. I forgot that he has won conference championships and natty’s with them. You know that there is a reason why they are JuCo players?

I have a feeling that you had training wheels on way longer than other kids. Kind of like Pelini’s coaching career.

Yes, we repeat ourselves. Just as you and others do. How many times have we heard that Pelini has won at least 9 games per year? We focus on how he has lost 4 games per year.

Get over it, sis.

Oh my, some ho-hum and certainly not overly intelligent rhetoric from 7.  Now we just need is Realistinha to add his 2 cents worth (actual value).  Give them hell Dogg.  GBR and Go-Bo-Go!


Go Bo, go!!

Perhaps I will change my name to “The Truth Hurts” for those who are annoyed by Realista.
T Dogg ~ BOP deserves little credit for whatever further excellence he squeezes out of his JUCOs.  Why not the same degree of excellence from his freshman recruits over five years? 
For those who are willing to see the truth, BOP’s player development with only a few exceptions, has been less than stellar.
T Dogg ~ the truth shall set you free, my Dogg man.  Dew the Dew.
Bark the Bark.  Yowzier!!!


Howsa ‘bout, “My Butt Hurts”, you know, from what you and your ass clown amigo got goin’ on together every nite—ah, love, it’s a beauteous t’ing.

Your ‘Truth’(subjective and pseudo) is REALLY AWESOME…..

Dogg just got bored and wanted something to do. I’m sure nailing boards all day long gets monotonous.

Why else would he pick an argument after weeks of no arguing?

We could talk about ‘negative recruiting tactics gone bad’ if you want?

I’m awaiting strained, tearful tales of woe regarding what the Greys did to Realistinha’s brain @ Area 51…

OU7…..Sic’em big guy!!!  Have you ever noticed how some of these morons simply cannot handle REALITY?  I’ve read your thoughts for some time now, and, find it difficult to ever disagree with you…I love it when you laud Bo for the occasional times he does something right…the morons do not notice it, however.  Just read where NU coaches rank low in the eyes of Big journalists, so, maybe these guys will jump on them for a while…Peeking ahead at next season, I see at least four more losses ...interested in your opinion on that thought if you don’t mind…

OU7…..Sic’em big guy!!!  Have you ever noticed how some of these morons simply cannot handle REALITY?  I’ve read your thoughts for some time now, and, find it difficult to ever disagree with you…I love it when you laud Bo for the occasional times he does something right…the morons do not notice it, however.  Just read where NU coaches rank low in the eyes of Big journalists, so, maybe these guys will jump on them for a while…Peeking ahead at next season, I see at least four more losses ...interested in your opinion on that thought if you don’t mind…

I guess ‘reality’, on this blog anyway, according to Dos Ass Clown Amigos anyway, has gone the way of the term “troll”, which essentially has devolved into referring to ‘anyone who disagrees w me’.  We are now being bludgeoned to death with the idea that ‘reality’ simply means Realistinha’s opinion.

Par for the fucking course.


That’s is what I believe I see for the upcoming regular season. Maybe some new blood will step up and bring sound ball handling skills with them.

Who knows, maybe Pelini wins the natty, but the route goes through tOSU in a title game. Pretty much assured.

T Dogg ~ believe it or not, we actually want the same thing for NU football program.  I am willing to admit that BOP is capable of producing a certain level of success for the program.  It is logical, however, to question his ability to step it up a notch after 6 years of 4-loss seasons.  He ended the 2013 regular season on a severe down slide by exhibiting what honest critics would describe as an immature hissie fit, including a massive chip on his shoulder.  In that regard, for $3 million + he is paid, NU deserves a greater maturity level than what BOP has shown he can deliver.  And you cannot suggest such behavior is outweighed by his ability to lose fewer games or win conference titles as his tenure continues.

“OU7…I’ve read your thoughts for some time now,...” 


Oh, so it’s down to making fun of what is obvious in what Captain was saying,... but Bo Pelini passes your ‘sniff’ test as a head coach?

That’s interesting.

It is amazing how every article in here even this one about some young men that are coming here or have played here and had success here and at the next level and HS and it turns to a discussion about Bo.  Some think he will get us to the next level and some don’t, we get it.  But really does it always have to come to the 9 wins is enough or isn’t when we are talking about something else, or his demeanor on the sideline, or the amount of money he gets paid.  These discussions get real old and boring when this happens,  Found this on another post “I remember having great respect for the school but being concerned about what happened — and why it happened. If (winning) 10 games isn’t good enough, I’m not sure what is.” - Urban Meyer on being contacted about the Nebraska job after Frank Solich’s firing in 2003.  And now some of you want another coach fired and think we are going to attract another “big name” coach here be real!  Get behind the players and the team and give these guys a chance to prove what they can do.  We have some young good looking talent on this team, combined with some veterans that have already proven they are fighters so give this team some love for a change.


Las Dos Amigos are a one trick pony when it comes to smack.


Get this through your skull. This ISN’T about the players. This is about progress, whether it’s Pelini, Stoops or any other coach. It’s YOU supposed ‘Big Red’ fans that point out players and say horrible shit about them and no one else calls them down but me.

Example: Taylor Martinez

If you call myself as pointing out massive ‘fumbling’ issues that the players are having diirected at the players, then you are dead wrong. that is 100% on the coaches, at this point. They either have a knack of year after year of recruiting the worst fundamentally sound players (RB’s, Qb’s, TE’s,WR’s, whatever) or their coaches suck so bad they can’t focus on getting a simple fundamental coached into the players to hold onto that rock. That’s just the beginning.

This is only a problem for about the last 5 years now.

Simple question: Want to have a respectable leader that wins hardware?

Robert (T-Dogg),
You have no credibility. You already admitted that you cot kicked off another site. For being “Too popular”.

Uh huh, Right.

Wassup w Stoops?  No NC since 2000, thats over 13 years, not even w his own recruits, WTF!  4-5 in BCS games, that would be a negative record.  Clearly a drop off.

Ha, that just proves how freakin’ wierd you are.

Are you on dope?

Yea uh, get back with me when Pelini wins one championship of any kind.

Haaa haaa, I’ll make you a bet. I’ll bet you that Pelini gets ejected from a game, gets a suspension, gets fired, gets arrested, gets a nose job before he wins any conference championship, let alone a natty.

You need intervention. Lay off the weed.

Hmmm, OU hasnt won the B12 in 3 years, that cant be viewed as a good thing no matter how you spin it.

Wrong again.

How funny, a Pelini fan calling out Bob Stoops.
That’s rich.
No help for you, so take another hit off that bong, dude.

Wanna take that bet?

Yuk yuk yuk.

T Dogg,  You really cant compare BOP to Stoops.  Stoops is in a whole different league then BOP.

Show me where I compared BOP to Stoops.

I said Stoops aint had a Natty in a decade +3 and no CCs in 3 years.  According to Las Duas Amigas, success is completely measured by Nattys and CCs, so by their very own “reality” ruler, Stoops has gone downhill, and don’t go throwing that fluke win over Bama up in my face.

Can Keels duplicate Gregory’s success? the writer mentions Bo’s name once, it mentions, Keels, Henry, Kinnie, Stafford, David, Gomes, Gregory, Natter, Stoltenburg, Willis, and King.  Some of you need some serious help.  Bo is the coach for at least the next 10 to 11 months, deal with it or move on but to turn every single article into a love or hate Bo is ridiculous.  There is only one reason why anyone would right about these things when the article clearly is not talking about win, losses, championships is to hurt the program.  This article is about young men that came here, did well and are at the next level.  Or are young men that are going to dedicate themselves to this program so they can get an education and entertain some idiots that wear a N shirt and think they know everything about football yet they are not coaches and probably have never played beyond HS and maybe not even there.  Get a life!  If you have nothing of value to add to this article print your own article about Bo and let all the idiots go to that article and respond to each other and stay off these type of articles.


Their brains are still scrambled from the MK Ultra experiments from back in the day—stuck on stoopid.

I agree with larr,
T-Doggie, if you can’t bring value to the conversation, then go.

Thanks, larr


Fluke win.

Are you sure your not talking about the Gator Bowl?

Just say ‘NO’ to drugs!

-I suspect everyone on this Site wants to see the Huskers again become the truly dominant, error free, football team from years of yore   I know I do.  A 9-4 season wasn’t bad at all for the first year, even a second season 9-4 record was acceptable, though disappointing.  The 3rd, 4th, 5th, & 6th were beginning to wear a bit thin, especially given the blow out losses NU suffered at the hands of some fairly mediochre opponents.  If the coaches can’t be criticized for failing to develop basic ball handling skills, or poor play calling, then Who?  Now we’re looking at a new batch of recruits, will we get to watch another season of pics, fumbles, poor execution, etc.  because their HS coaches didn’t teach them the fundamentals and NU seems unwilling or unable to do so, or is it really just a matter of BO finally getting the right combinations of players in skilled positions?  I hope it’s the latter, but the proof of the pudding will soon become apparent as the 2014 season unfolds.  GBR

Very well said, sir.


“Great” analysis, except that BOP has 3 10/4 seasons under his belt.

Right, and he should have won at least 10 games, too. Those out of conference opponents were like playing high school teams.

Just think what his record would be if even 1/3 of those games were against teams of substance?

Woody Hayes could of beat those teams too, and he’s dead.

This reminds me. Bill Snyder loads his out of conference schedules with cupcakes, but he manages to beat some high profile teams fairly consistently.

Why is that?

All i can say is that it works for some coaches, and some…not so much.


Do what?

“Bill Snyder loads his out of conference schedules with cupcakes, but he manages to beat some high profile teams fairly consistently. “

Again, NDSU.  Do I really need to elaborate?

You do realize that Craig Bohl’s (now at Wyo) NDSU team was better than probably 65-75 div. 1 football teams? Kansas State lost by 3 points.

We are not talking Western Kentucky, Idaho, San Jose State, New Mexico State, etc.

Can you honestly stand there and tell me that Nebraska would have beat NDSU last season?

I really doubt it. Craig Bohl really has his players attention and they perform solidly. Now he gets to start over with a pretty salty Wyoming team.

Snyder handed Michigan it’s ass in the bowl game. Snyder also beat a really good Sooner team in 2012.

Now, let me elaborate to you.

Bo Pelini’s signature win was against #4 Missouri in 2008. His first year as head coach.

If you want to use T-Dogg’s verbiage, with ‘someone else’s recruits’, no less. He has not done a thing since then that is noteworthy…(win wise). He just makes the headlines for all other reasons but.

Dennis…well said.  And, for the record, I (that includes OU7, Realista, and a multitude of husker fans who simply want to see something resembling Nebraska football) Get ready for the annual BOP hyperbole about his outstanding (please pardon me while I gag) staff, his team is right where he wants it to be, ad nauseum…and welcome to another nine and four season. 

OU…nice words about a really classy coach in one Bill Snyder…we all remember what K-State was before he entered the fray…now, sir, could you possibly say something to get me the least bit excited about 2014???


2008: NU lost to Missou 17-52.
But in 2009 NU beat Missou with a 4thQtr comeback.
The signature win you referenced was in 2010, with a RFr QB at the helm for 1/2 a game.

Correct. Thank you.

I think this recruiting philosophy reflects the sentiments of many on this board.

And I think Bo is coming around to this somewhat as well.

this is true but you need size and quickness on the tackles and when it comes to DE I think size matters but speed kills.  You take a 300lb offensive lineman and for him to try and keep up with a fast defensive end rushing the passer you will wear him out.  Now if you are going against a running team that poor DE is in for a long game.  So I agree to a point that big is better but if they are big and slow they will get burned all game long.  That is why really good DT are hard to come by, finding a big man with quickness is tough.  And finding a big quick DE is also tuff, so you make compromises depending on what kind of offenses you will be facing in Conference play and hope they match up well in the non conference games.  That is why some of these prospects and the guys we have here now make for an interesting season, they have size and quickness.  OK Bo haters now this is where you come in and say he can’t coach them up and he won 9 games every year. Whoops sorry I guess I said it for you now you won’t have any comments.

Ballfield, SDSU scored 20 against the Huskers, SDSU scored 0 against NDSU in Brookings

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