Kansas St. QB Is Target Of Nebraska Blackshirts!
This Saturday in Manhattan, Kansas the Wildcats will welcome the Nebraska Cornhuskers to their house in a battle of Midwest Schools. Nebraska is trying to resume their place as a College Football powerhouse, while Kansas St. rebuilds with new coach Ron Prince.
America's favorite sportsbook Sportsbook has this game on the wagering board for you to bet on this instant if you like, with the Cornhuskers favored by -8.5. The news in this game centers on Kansas St. quarterback Josh Freeman.
Giving a quick review to this story, after attending Nebraska's quarterback camp, it was on June 6, 2005, that Freeman, a 6-foot-6 Grandview High School 4-Star recruit, told coach Bill Callahan that he wanted to be a Cornhusker.
Looking back on the scholarship offer, Callahan said this week, "He had everything you see on film ... his size, and of course his ability to make plays with his feet and he has a strong arm. Those three ingredients are what we looked at when we recruited him."
In all honesty, Freeman's choice of Nebraska was maybe for the wrong reason.
"Nebraska has that great tradition up there," Freeman said. "I fell in love with Memorial Stadium and those 85,000 (fans) in Memorial Stadium. It was breathtaking."
As a 'Husker-to-be, Freeman went on to complete his Grandview career with 7,000-plus passing yards and ranked as the No. 4 pro-style quarterback in the country.
While Freeman was still pondering inquiries from schools like Oklahoma and Missouri, Bill Snyder startled all at Kansas State with his resignation, which was followed by the hire of Ron Prince.
It just so happened that Prince was helping recruit Freeman for Virginia, but without much success.
"I think we were too far away," Prince said. "We didn't have much of a shot, but we took the shot we had."
What the then Cavalier coach said he liked about Freeman was "... he had the ability not only to see the field, but was real smart in going through sequences and progressions."
A collection of qualities hard to find at the Friday night level.
As Freeman remembers, the communication was only via the mailman and perhaps one phone call to his parents. But if Freeman wouldn't go east to Prince, Prince came west to Freeman as coach of the Wildcats, and eventually got that desired in-home conversation.
"He was a special man with special things going for him," Freeman reflected.
In mid-December, Freeman changed his mind and a couple days after visiting the K-State campus, he gave Prince the "I want to be a Wildcat" call.
That was followed by his father sending a text message to Callahan of his son's intentions.
In the end, Freeman said, "I did what I had to do and I'm 100 percent behind what I did."
Coach Callahan, any response? "That's over," the NU coach said at this week's press conference in Lincoln. "Recruiting is over and it's time to play, so we're excited about playing. They're a good Football team and it's going to be a heck of a challenge."
And how does the Wildcat QB think he'll be received by the Cornhuskers?
"I have respect for coach Callahan and what he's done as a coach, and I assume he respects me as a player," Freeman said. "I don't feel like there's any bad blood between me and Nebraska. Maybe with the fans, but not the coaches."
Curious as to what Blackshirts means?
Nebraska's Blackshirt tradition quickly evolved from a modest beginning. No one seems to know exactly when the concept was formed. But its roots can be traced to George Kelly, the defensive line coach for Bob Devaney's teams from 1962 to 1968. Kelly was the first to assign black pullovers to the top defensive unit during practice. The pullovers were distributed by trainer Paul Schneider. The week before the opening game of the season, Nebraska's first-team defensive players are given black practice jerseys. If two players are listed on the depth chart as sharing the number one position, each is given one of the black mesh jerseys. Second-team defenders wear yellow practice jerseys. The practice jerseys are left in the players' lockers. Opening a locker and finding a black jersey is an emotional experience for most Cornhuskers, and particularly those from Nebraska.
About the Author: Bob Acton is an experienced sports writer and handicapper, who has written for the sports industry for over 10 years. His years of writing for Sports Scene, sports consulting on 33 Made for Television and Major Motion Pictures and his work as an instructo