Is Nebraska Taking a Risk on Middleton?
OK, so you’re Bo Pelini and you’ve got Nebraska heading in the right direction.
Then a kid with a bit of a checkered past and loads of potential, shows up at your door asking to be allowed to transfer to Nebraska.
Well, the Lincoln Journal Star reports that Kavario Middleton, a 6-6, 250-pound tightend who started 11 games last year for the Jake Locker-led Washington Huskies plans to enroll in classes at Nebraska with the hopes of playing football for the Huskers.
This has become a much tougher decision than it was three years ago, even if it involves a former Parade All-American.
Middleton reportedly was kicked off the Washington squad this summer for an unspecified reason. Middleton said Pelini has apparently given him a “short leash,” according to the LJS.
Heck, if you’re Bill Callahan three or four seasons ago at Nebraska and you’re desperate to win any game, it’s an easy decision to allow Middleton to play. If you’re Bo Pelini in 2010, this isn’t as clear cut.
Pelini has worked feverishly to restore the program’s culture, something that severely lacked with Callahan in charge. NU just goes about its business far more differently than it did under Callahan. Players are held responsible for what they eat, for going to class, showing up at practice, basically existing with the betterment of the program in mind.
It’s no longer about ‘I’ or ‘me’ at Nebraska, and I’m not sure allowing a guy like Middleton on board at this time in the program’s history is the best move. Sure, the kid deserves a second chance and Pelini has made it clear that while he’s no-nonsense, he also is a player’s coach — willing to stand up for his guys if they commit to the culture at Nebraska.
It’s not that Nebraska needs a tightend, although the highly touted Chase Harper didn’t make it to Nebraska because of an academic issue.
It seems to me that maybe Middleton needs Nebraska.
If the guy keeps his nose clean and works his tail off, he’ll be welcomed here.
And perhaps Pelini’s decision is more indicative of how stable the Nebraska program has once again become. NU seems more equipped than it has been in awhile to take a chance on a guy like Middleton.
Then again, is this something the PROGRAM needs at this stage? Does Nebraska need to take any kind of a chance at this point?
I don’t think so.