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Mailbag: Friday Night Lights Out Edition

Bry D. - Flickr.com

Wow! So, that Friday Night Lights camp sure was A Thing. It was a blast from the free food and drinks (fortunately my crew and I got there early) to a gorgeous evening featuring some of the best recruits in the country showing off for over 6,700 Husker fans.

While we wait for the commitments to start rolling in (maybe?), let’s get to your questions.

Took us a long time to get to that one, eh? I think I can safely say that first step in Nebraska having any chance of landing Parsons has been taken. When 6,700-plus show up, show you — specifically you — love, start chanting your name and applaud your drills, doesn’t it only make sense to want to see what an actual game atmosphere is like?

Here it is, late June and over twice as many people showed up for a camp as last year. No doubt Parsons knows about the Spring Game crowds, but if this event didn’t spark a desire for him to see what Nebraska fans are like when it’s time for them to truly represent, I don’t know what can. The next step is bringing him back for an official visit. If that happens, I believe the Big Red is truly in play.

Don’t get me wrong, it’d still be a dogfight to get the guy, but maybe we can look back to this picture some day and say it was the start of something grand:

While Pledger didn’t work out during the camp, he got plenty of love from the crowd much like Parsons did. He even got a chant of his own. Momma Pledger is clearly invested in her son’s future and as a parent, I can respect that. Oklahoma’s in a better place in terms of running back depth and, to be frank, Pledger has a shot at starting at both Nebraska and UCLA, two schools that reportedly have his eye.

Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade may be a Husker power couple, but they’re not the only one. Mike and Dee Riley can show parents that Lincoln, Neb. is a special place simply by telling the story about why they chose to uproot themselves. Throw Bookie into the mix and I think you have the opportunity for a flip.

Alvin Mack from The Program.

I never “got” The Mighty Boosh. I stick to Rick and Morty.

We first have to look to the glut of linebackers that Nebraska has right now that will really get an opportunity to shine. Guys like Luke Gifford, Marcus Newby, Dedrick Young, Alex Davis and Avery Roberts all have an opportunity to excel in this defense.

Now, just because Diaco is switching the base over to a 3-4 doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expect to see some ol’ fashioned 4-3 as well. It’s because of this that I think Gifford ends up having one of the better seasons of any defender on Nebraska’s roster. He looked excellent during the spring transition to the 3-4 and I think he’ll do well when he needs to shift over to MIKE as he appears a step quicker than when we last saw him.

I believe that Nebraska will be better than most expect which is just fine from my perspective. If any member of the opposition (coach or player) wants to think the Huskers will be worse off than the 2016 version for whatever reason, that’s a benefit. The national perception is that Tanner Lee is this huge question mark who didn’t play well at Tulane and that Keith Williams apparently can’t coach any more quality wide receivers among other silly notions.

I’ve seen a team that I believe will exceed expectations, especially on a national level. Worst case scenario, I don’t see how Nebraska wins less than seven games and I believe the Huskers are more likely to get to the nine win mark again.

“Why are we not showing any interest in the crop of four-star offensive linemen coming up through the state of Iowa right now? Iowa (naturally) is in on them already. Even IWCC has a highly recruited HUGE OT.” – Burke Swenson

Well, the best answer I can give is that due to the small size of this cycle’s class, there are likely other prospects that Nebraska feels will fit their system better that they have firmer relationships with. This results in the necessity of being picky and that’s just the way it goes sometimes.

TASTE TEST OF THE WEEK!

I was a bit bummed as the original object of my desires wasn’t available this time around, but the show must go on, so an audible was called at the last minute. I’ve been complimentary by this point in the Mailbag since its inception and I wanted to go into uncharted territory. In fact, I wanted to try something that by all logic had no right to be good.

This week’s experiment brings a simple concept (M&Ms) and fiddles with it because, well, that’s how food trends work anymore. As a result, we have two features this week, Caramel and Coffee Nut M&Ms. I chose these two for very simple reasons: 1.) I like caramel and 2.) Coffee Nut actually won a flavor contest that M&Ms had going on. On to the results!

Caramel: I went for the safe option first as…well, I actually know what caramel is. I wasn’t sure if I liked these or not at first. The typical chocolate taste was there but — WOW! — does it get overpowered by the caramel quickly.

The other thing I noticed is just how much chewing was involved in working these things around in your mouth. It’s like gnawing on bubble gum. I felt like I could take the mound at TD AmeriTrade Park and stick a few between my cheek and gum while I threw pitches. Ultimately, I don’t think the caramel selected lends itself to the chocolate very well.

I wanted to like these and I didn’t hate them, but they’re never going to top my list. If you really like caramel, give them a shot, but be warned: you’re going to need something to cut that taste with once you get about two-thirds of the way through the bag.

Coffee Nut: “The hell is a ‘coffee nut?'” This was my thought as I eyed the bag  Maybe hazelnut? Nope. These things are peanut M&Ms that have chocolate with a coffee flair. It’s not an overpowering flavor like the caramel.

Considering what could’ve been presented, I was almost expecting an assault on the senses. However, I was met with a pleasant candy that reminded me of something I’d get from a coffee place.

Very surprisingly, Coffee Nut wins this by a wide margin. I don’t know that I’ll divert from my favorite (peanut butter) very often for them, but I can see myself getting a taste for them again in the future. Definitely a recommendation.

Music of the Week

BONUS CONTENT!

Thought that’s all I had for you, huh? Nope. Back in 2011-2012, I was heading up another Husker site that featured a staff with the likes of Corn Nation’s Brian Towle and Land of 10’s Erin Sorensen. Another member of my crew for a brief time was Brett Baker who has produced so much television and coached so much speech, it’d make your head spin.

Not only do Brett and I both enjoy Nebraska sports, we also enjoy interviews of truly unique people and hot wings. If you’re not familiar with the YouTube hit show Hot Ones, long story short: a guest is interviewed by the host (Sean Evans) and as time goes on, they both chow down on chicken wings with progressively hotter sauces. Hot Ones has featured the likes of DJ Khaled, Russell Brand and Neil deGrasse Tyson to name a few.

Brett loves this show. In fact, he is famous for loving this show. Hot Ones decided to bring SuperFan (and Husker Fan) Brett to New York and let HIM grill Evans. If this is your first time watching Hot Ones, I think you’ll enjoy it. None other have a true Big Red flavor.

Follow Brandon on Twitter (@eightlaces)

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